Nigeria marked it’s Independence Day on October 1st as it celebrated 57 years. In celebration of it, I want to discuss the reasons why I value my country.
Nigeria has a diverse culture. I think the richness in the culture is significant as it’s what makes the nation stand out. There are over 300 ethnic groups in Nigeria spread across various parts of the country. One thing I’ve noticed is that genuine sense of brotherhood that you find among an ethnic group. Within and outside of the ethnic group you belong to, you’ll find that spirit of closeness. In Nigeria, whether or not you’re related, people are willing to call one another, “brother,” “sister”, “Aunty” or “Uncle.” This is simply because we belong to one nation.
Also, our culture can be seen in the diversity of our ethnic groups and also in our language, dressing, and food. In Nigeria, you’ll notice that people speak several different languages. These languages help to define a group. I believe that the language is special, especially as it relates to naming. My mother gave me an Igbo name: Isioma Ngozi. Isioma means good fortune and Ngozi, my mother’s name means blessing. To have that name is something I value because I am my mother’s namesake. I also value the significance of what that name stands for.
Secondly, our dressing. Nigerian clothing is what you can’t compare to anything else. African prints: Ankara styles are beautiful. What I love about the Ankara is that it can be styled in various ways. I also love the different colors and patterns that you see in Nigerian clothing. It’s hard to keep your eyes away from African fabrics because the dressing is appealing.
Now, there’s the food. Nigerian food is absolutely delicious. My favorite meals are moi-moi, pounded yam and egusi and pepper soup. Moi-moi is a dish that can eaten for breakfast or lunch. I usually have it as breakfast. Pounded yam and egusi and pepper soup are heavy meals that can be eaten at lunch or dinner.
I live in Abuja. I think Abuja is a relatively safe, friendly, quiet and a peaceful environment. What I appreciate about being back is how friendly and open people can be. In and outside of my workplace, people are willing to share their stories and experiences to help me assimilate. Also, people in Nigeria laugh easily and we laugh a lot. We are not afraid to laugh at ourselves. Nigerians are friendly and easy going people.
For a total of 8 years, my life was spent in the U.S. Though there are several things I appreciate and miss about U.S., there is certainly one thing that I don’t and that’s the climate. I’m not a fan of winter and don’t see myself ever being one. I’m glad to not have to think about the winter season anymore. In Nigeria, the worst it can get is the rainy season. Even though it can feel very hot at times, I rather bask in the sun than shiver in the cold.
These are things I appreciate about being Nigeria. What are some things you value about Nigeria?