Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We shall laugh again

I can laugh. I know you will soon too. By the time I'm done with this, you'll join me to laugh.

Yesterday morning, I heard an advert on the radio that sought to draw attention to the pronunciation of children and was I glad? At least, someone somewhere has also realized the need to have our children pronounce correctly! Then later in the day, a friend told me how he had taken particular attention to correct pronunciation and I felt 'finally, there's hope for the future in the pronunciation of words'. Wasn't I glad? Coincidentally, my final year research project was on the effect of the mother tongue on the pronunciation of English words and the findings were revealing. Most of the respondents thought children between the ages of 1 and 5 are most affected by interference and the next group thought the ages 5 - 10 are most affected. Whatever group you chose to agree with, something struck me from the responses, children between ages 1 - 10 aquire the basics of their language and kinda perfect it at that age. They only build on what they already know as they grow. Now, don't you just want to be a part of the foundation laying and join me in peals of joyful laughter as we watch our children get proficient in their official language but also not lose their mother tongue!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

We will surely be proud again!

I see many Nigerian children in shirts that carry or bear NY, Calif., Bahamas and all sorts. And I get angry at that kind of mentality. I try to picture the youth of those countries carrying a t-shirt that boldly carry Nigeria and I can't seem to fix the picture straight. Why, just why won't we buy shirts that proudly spell and proclaim Nigeria? Why would mothers go to the market and look for shirts that carry the faces of American rapsters and stars for their children to don? Why won't we just...

Aight, an idea just struck me. I'll soon be out with t-shirts carrying my face and every Nigerian will scramble to buy one cuz soon, very soon, I'll represent Nigeria to the ends of the earth and you'll be proud to see what a home girl is doing with her green and white heart and brand. You'll sure want to proclaim that we were classmates, roommates, hallmates, blockmates, met me somewhere before, something to just relate us together. And then, we'll all be proud to be Nigerian.

I'll buy yours too if you'll rep Nigeria well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Papa for Naija

I got a comment on the last post which made my head swell well and like never before, I was proud to be Nigerian. the fellow started something on Nigeria and was looking for other related sites and he just stumbled on this. Men, ain't that cool? I then got more interested in looking more critically at Nigeria (I'm not abandoning my kids though) and as characteristic of me, to see how the children fit in.

I was at an Independence day celebration (October 1st) in one of the Nigerian campuses. It was a celebration that gave everyone present there, who is a Nigerian a sense of pride and belonging. I pitied all non Nigerians there. If you're not Green and White, you just can't be Nigerian. I never knew that colour combination was that beautiful.

That same day, I watched another celebration that took place in Abuja, the capital city and that took some 'uhs' and 'ahs' from me. It was really splendid. But the most captivating part was on Monday, which was a public holiday, when reporters went round Abuja to sample opinion on the celebration and they caught up with Papa Nigeria in one of the parks with some kids. They were so awed to have the president sit with them, play with them and laugh with them.

Reminds me of the childrens' party that he organized for them based on a letter he received from a little brave Nigerian girl! The kids had the fun of their lives. Now, I sat back and smiled. I'm finally seeing the Nigeria of my dreams. If kids have the opportunity to 'play' with their president, having close contact with him, how would they not want to be like him? That dream erases the thirst for crime in our youth. There is a model for them to look up to. For those who think that it will take Nigeria ages to get to the place of greatness, I tell y'all something, that future is closer to us than we think. This rising generation is the future of Nigeria. As you watch us grow, you see the future grow and the closer we are to you, the closer the future is to us.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Proudly Nigeria

Arise O compatriots
Nigeria's call obey
To serve our Fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labour of our heros past shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity

O God of creation
Direct our nobel cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign

I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful loyal and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity
And uphold her honor and glory

Who says Nigeria is not beautiful? Look at her flag and appreciate ingenuity. On that flag, there's no representation of violence or bloodshed. Rather we have growth, peace, productivity, fertlilty, purity, etc represented on that flag. A friend once told me "we didn't get our independence by bloodshed, we cannot maintain it with bloodshed". I believe that and I can proudly say anywhere that I am Nigerian.

Wait a minute, how beautiful would our country be if we can all hang a flag in our homes, cars, offices, shops, workshops, etc and let the green and white paint our nation beautiful.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Who bears the brunt?

I've had a Monday that is so - so. From one not too cheering news to another till I'm wondering, just what is happening today? And just like me to extend my thinking a little more, I thought of myself being a mother and wife.

I can imagine coming home from work with all this load on my head, my mind not so settled and a not too cheerful expression. Who bears the brunt of the fallout of my day? My hubby? Nah, that would be unfair, considering that he would have had his share of a busy day too and dumping all that emotional burden on him would not augur well for us both. And the kids? Not at all. Such wonderful innocent gifts do not deserve to be laced with such load to carry. Now tell me, who bears the brunt?

I picture a situation where both mummy and daddy are trying to unburden on each other and neither is finding it pleasant to add more to what was brought home and then both unleash on the kids! Poor innocent things. Who is to blame?

Finding a solution, I decided that if I were a mummy, I would drive from work to a pool side or a recreation spot, take a cold drink, think over the day, sort issues out in my head and delete the bad memories and be ready to face my hubby and kids like I just woke up on a bright beautiful day! If more mummies and daddies did this, what a world of difference it would create for children. They would not have to scamper for safety when they her the beep of daddy's car horn neither would have have to stand mummy's constant nagging (they didnt cause the bad day, did they?). But they would have a beautiful environment to grow and express themselves in, passing the tradition to their children and children's children.

And the smiles pass on...