An article was published in the opinion section of the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago about Nigeria and the dire state we are currently in. It received good reviews from some, and it was badly bashed by others. Apparently, the fact that it was written by a non-Nigerian diminished the efficacy of the opinion editorial in some way.
While feedback on social media is but a minuscule representation of the opinion of the Nigerian people, it’s interesting to observe the patriotism of Nigerians on social media. There’s an intense fervor with which Nigerians defend the honor of Nigerians when there’s any form of “disrespect” coming from outside the shores of Nigeria.
A few weeks ago, Twitter was abuzz with a “Twitfight” between Kenyans and Nigerians. The Nigerian Twittosphere was the face of online patriotism as far as it comes. It inferred that no Nigerian would sit idly while Nigeria is being painted in bad light. Also, when Rick Ross shot his video in the slums of Lagos, there was an outcry! Why should an American come and showcase a side of Nigeria that was unflattering? Nigerians were quick to show that there were other parts of Nigeria that didn’t look quite displeasing. Last week as well, when there was a tweet allegedly from an American TV reality star, Nigerians were affronted. She dared to call us apes? As it was revealed that the offensive tweet didn’t emanate from her, but from a young Nigerian, nothing further was said about the inappropriate use of the term “ape” to describe Nigerians.
It makes one wonder about our sense of patriotism? What actually makes one patriotic? Are you automatically patriotic because you are born to a particular country? Do you feel patriotic because of the intense beaming sense of pride you feel for your mother land? Or do our leaders and those we put in charge of us give us that pride?
Also, why is that a lot of Nigerians online are much quicker to be ‘patriotic’ than in ‘real life’? Like Banky W’s speech talks about, is it just okay to defend the country verbally and on social media and not be part of ‘the change’ for the better?
Do you believe that no one but you is allowed to criticize the flaws (real or imagined) of your country? Like Yoruba people say ” ‘Help me beat my child’ isn’t stemming from the depth of the heart of the mother”
What do you guys think?
Photo Credit: omojuwa.com