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Isio Knows Better: Tribalism Versus Racism

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Isio Wanogho - March 2014 - BellaNaijaI sincerely lay no claims to being more knowledgeable than anyone, but I do confess that I know better than I did yesterday, last year and a decade ago. Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. The conversations between my mind (the sharp witty one), my soul (the lover and the spiritual one) and my body (the playful one concerned with the more mundane things of life). She is the eternal referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul. This is Isio. So, here’s to making private conversations public.

Enjoy!

***

The irony is that I have suffered more tribalism from my own people, than I ever have had racism by the white man. This is the simple truth. It is peculiar to note that while racism does exist in its ugliness, tribalism is racism’s older cousin. Tribalism with its sharp claws that deliver devastating blows, scratches open deep wounds and spews hate for its own human-kind. It is twisted, ugly, unforgiving, can be irrational and is still very much present in our society, even as it was in our parents’ generation, and as it is being bred in our children – still.

(It really does make you wonder the kind of world we are leaving behind for our kids).

In 1988, I was shipped off to the boarding school in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State. I was a tiny, wiry, skinny and a black Urhobo girl with a strange name, from a strange tribe and a small voice. I stared with round eyes at everything happening around me; the new food, the sounds of a new language, and the culture of a people that I would later school with for twelve years. I was ‘‘different’’, and not a day went by that I wasn’t reminded of this. I was brutally reminded by other kids that I was neither Yoruba, nor Ibo, nor Hausa (the three major tribes in Nigeria). And that meant that I would be country-less if the country did split up. Yes, I spoke English. Only English was supposed to be the official language spoken. The unofficial and more popular language of communication was Yoruba.

Not many years after my entrance to the school, the country had some sort of political upheaval. In its most simplistic terms, the Ghanaians were forced to evacuate the country in Ghana-must-go-bags. Many of our academic and medical staff were Ghanaians. Nigeria had become hostile to these migrants; ergo, they had to leave.  The story filtered from the capital to that school tucked far away on the hills, and as primary school students, we knew such news was not for us to act upon, as the late Tai Solarin frowned upon any kind of discrimination and fanactism in his school, be it racial, tribal or religious. Being caught would mean ‘‘express’’ expulsion.

But some students couldn’t help themselves. One evening, after supper, they went to the school field where they knew the children of many of our Ghanaian staff were playing, rounded them up and began to taunt them to leave our country, and our lands. The government had said so, so they had to leave. They clapped and sang and jeered as they spat their venom against these helpless kids, whose only crime was that they had been born here. The injustice was not only in this act in itself, but that it was carried out by children between the ages of six and ten. The horror was that the elder Nigerian staff members who were nearby at the time took their sweet time in breaking up this… ugliness. They found it…amusing. They stood and watched and laughed.

Racism is real, so is tribalism. Neither is acceptable if we are really serious about fairness and equality. You cannot condemn racism and excuse tribalism. If you, as a black man, cannot tolerate another black man from your neighborhood, tribe, country or continent, why must you demand acceptance from another of another race/continent? See it for what it is. If you cannot tolerate yourselves, yet being one of those you condemn, why must another who is ‘different’ from you accord you the courtesy or right of ‘acceptance’? Change can only happen when you change yourself.

Before leaving for my studies in Europe, I decided to do a little research into the country I would be living in. The things I heard from people I had asked were horrifying. I was told that Italians were racists. They were terrible. They are this, they are that. I would hate it there. I would be scarred for life at the level of discrimination I would face. Still, I went. Was I a victim of racism? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Honestly, the only episode I recall was at the physiotherapist’s. I had gone to her to fix my back. She was an Italian woman in her forties. She was very friendly towards me, until my friend Giordano came in. She asked me if he was there to see me. Just to see her reaction, I said yes. She asked if he was my boyfriend. Just because I could, I said yes to that too. This was mid-massage o!

Omo, the tenderness of her massage changed quickly. See the way she was pulling my head from my body (all the name of straightening my spine). All her small-talk ended swiftly. She then told me abruptly that there was nothing I had that yoga wouldn’t fix. (Meaning that I should vacate my position on the massage bed and go and do Yoga). Omo I no gree o. I hear you ma, but you gatza massage me my complete 200 Euro per hour. Na beans. Vex all you want. Begin dey press am jo!

I didn’t blame her sha. Giordano was hella sexy. He was a tall athletic boy with thick wavy hair that fell to his shoulders. He wore his beards close to his beautiful olive skin. His eyes nko?  Hazel-green. He was indeed a glorious human being to look at, with slight bow-legs that were evident in the skinny jeans he chose to wear that day. Fine boy no pimples, causing confusion anyhow. I would later tease Gio that a potential mamalet was waiting for him upstairs to service her engine. He didn’t get the joke.

All the time I spent in Italy, that was the only act of blatant racism that I noticed directed against me. And that was more vexation than racism, but still a form of discrimination.  *chuckles*

Consider these; you are not given that job because you are from that tribe in this state. You cannot be with the person you love because you are from that other tribe, and both your families would rather die than see it happen. You are not given promotions at work because your boss is from that tribe, the company is owned by that tribe, and you are from a minority tribe. Contracts nko? Forget merit. You better kiss-ass and speak the language of the powers that be, or na OYO (On Your Own) you dey. Yet we condemn the South Africans that treat our Nigerian brothers badly. Forgetting that we don’t treat ourselves in our own land (Nigeria) any better.

As Nigerians, we have tried the ways of tribalism for generations, and have seen the devastating consequences it has had on us; its citizens, and to our image abroad. How about we try something else instead? How about we learn from our history, lay down the burden of tribalism and try tolerance and acceptance of ourselves (irrespective of tribe) as Nigerians FIRST?  How about we try this and see where we are in fifty years?

Seriously though, what do we have to lose?

______________________________________________________________________________________________
Isio Wanogho is a top-model, TV Personality and entrepreneur. She is conversant in five languages and has 12 years of experience in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Isio, popularly known by her brand name Isio De-laVega, captivates audiences with her signature wide smile and relatable, quirky personality which endears her to many. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @isiodelavega

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

41 Comments

  1. Tincan

    May 6, 2014 at 11:04 am

    The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I said the same to my friends who did not have the guts to stand up to their parents and marry outside their ‘tribes’. You may as we’ll be racist. Thanks for another thought-provoking piece.

    • slice

      May 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      the civil war happened not too long ago and your parents watched people get killed just for being from the wrong side of the country. Please forgive them if they are not too quick to buy into this ONE Nigeria thing.

      Afterall if you go there and can’t give birth quick now, the mother in law will say if her son had married someone “they” knew, he would not be childless. Bottom line, tribalism is horrible (take it from someone from a so called minority tribe who has always taken it for granted that she has no access to the national cake…at least that’s what i’ve been told), but our parents are just afraid that your man might say he loves you today but when the pressure really hits, he’ll kick you out and marry “his person”

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Same thing I keep saying. It’s hard for you to preach “One Nigeria” to parents who actually experienced the Biafran war from the inside. They have scars and fears which aren’t going to disappear automatically just because you, their child, have a more practical view of how we can all get along if we really try to. And it doesn’t help that it’s people of that generation (old foggies, the lot of them) who are still running the country along tribal/ethnic lines.

      The unfortunate issue is that you don’t have leaders who are as passionate about this subject of unity as we are. So the culture of change keeps getting knocked backwards by their actions, even while you’re doing all you can to inculcate it in your own immediate environment.

    • S.R.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Sorry excuse

      nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/06/magazine/06-pieter-hugo-rwanda-portraits.html?_r=0

    • slice

      May 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      @S.R., re your link, to forgive is one thing. To willingly allow my child marry the child of the person that killed her father and my other children and take her to the land where they were killed is quite another.

      Not saying we shouldn’t or can’t reconcile. I’m just saying we should understand what we asking of our parents

  2. Neo

    May 6, 2014 at 11:14 am

    And tribalism comes hand in hand with its smaller twin, stereotypes. Ibo people like money, Yoruba people are dirty, Hausa people are infidels. In the bundling we forget the individual, their identities… We are not born with our prejudices, we simply come into them and make them part of ourselves.

    • amaaa

      May 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Even in the different tribes you get discrimination for example in the Ibo tribe you here things like Mbaise people are treacherous , Arochukwu people are land grabbers ,etc .

    • ada

      May 7, 2014 at 8:38 am

      you forgot the tribes known for juju/ogwu-ego

  3. gucci

    May 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    GBAM!!!!! U can’t receive wah u can’t give. #shikena!

  4. AA

    May 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Finally! Very well written!!!

  5. Fashionista

    May 6, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Isio, you have spoken well. I feel the same way about having not experienced racism abroad at the level I’ve experienced and observed tribalism at in this country. when I hear some of the things we (yorubas, igbos, hausa) alike, say about some of the simplest things in life, I just shake my head. If only we could just be sensitive, compassionate, polite and understanding to one another. what would it take? nothing!

  6. Miss_Flygerian

    May 6, 2014 at 11:33 am

    They are obviously both forms of bigotry and discrimination but I think tribalism is even sadder because it is black on black discrimination. It is people from the same country hating on each other based on their ethnic group. And the same people cry foul when they are racially discriminated against. Even within ethnic groups, there is still discrimination. An Igbo person will tell you that an Mbaise person is worse than a snake. A Yoruba person will tell you to stay away from an Ijebu person. I mean, where does the discrimination and negative stereotyping end?

    • Oma Henson white

      May 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Funny enough when Nigerians were busy “Dani Alvezing” with their bananas, I was thinking “Yimu Y’all.Una wey hate anoda tribe una come they form I hate racism.Even Anambra indigenes would discriminate against Imo indigenes.Ijebu against Yoruba. We really need to remove the planks in our eyes

  7. Changing Faces

    May 6, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Very well thought out piece… let’s treat others the way we’d want to be treated, and out country will definitely be a better place.

    Observation : it’s Igbo not Ibo. Thanks

  8. Bleed Blue

    May 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

    It’s not a lie you tell Isio…
    I’m a product of an intertribal marraige and I recall several times my mum warning me in whispers not to marry Ibo (yet she did) and my dad warning me also in whispers not to marry Yoruba (yet he did).
    And in one voice they dared me to step into the Hausa fold and watch myself skinned alive. Very confusing somtin oh

    And while on the subject, it’s also prevalent in the UK. You need to hear an Aberdeen person speak about Dundee folk. It’ll give you goose bumps…as in…the stark unfounded hatred ehn…na wa!

    Let’s not even talk about how the Scots totally despise the English…in 2004 when England lost at the World Cup finals, I was in a taxi and was just getting dropped off at home when the match ended.

    Now we know the Scots don’t mess about with their money (yes they are proud of that particular stereotype)…but hey ho…the cab driver told me the ride was free…because he was on too much of a high that England had lost.

    I’m. Like. Shuo.

    • Atoke

      May 6, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Mehn…. If you hear the way Welsh people VEHEMENTLY correct you that they’re not English ehn… you go fear fear. Lol There are even radio dramas and tv shows yabbing English people. Lol

    • Shade

      May 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you for pointing this out. Tribalism can be re-packaged in other countries as ethnocentrism but no one every shames the Westerns for it. It can be on a regional or local level much like tribalism. As a Yoruba girl, I am very aware of the feelings that some family members have towards other tribes but its all on a superficial level. It doesn’t stop us from befriending, loving or marrying Igbos, Hausas or any other tribe. As a 25 year old, I haven’t experienced extreme tribal bias because this whole thing was not my generations doing. Yes we see the effects of it still present but who am I to speak ill of someone from another tribe when I have never had any negative past experiences with them? Should I do it because my mother does, or my aunts and uncles? Even at that, what do they really know in the 50s about it? Its our grandparents and other older relatives who felt the true effects of it. Please people lets move on, you can be proud of your tribe but still respect and admire another tribe. We are all still Nigerians no matter what we eat, how we dress, or what language we speak.

      Thank you Isio for another thought provoking article!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Dead @ your parents each pushing their own agenda, whilst conveniently forgetting how love overcame all during their own heyday of romance. 🙂

      I believe that sometimes protective instincts prompt all the warnings, cautions, etc., because the parent remembers experiences which they’re trying to shield their child from. My uncle’s first wife was an Hausa woman, who he loved so very much. Truly, she was (and I think always remained) the real love of his life. However, the war started and they couldn’t continue living together so she got sent back to the North. And then the massacres began. I don’t know what exactly happened with her during those 3 years but by the time it was over, so were they. There was too much pain witnessed on both sides and that was the end of their marriage. And the experience scarred the rest of his family so that warning your parents gave you was also rung very loudly in the ears of all the children of my extended family… So far, we haven’t yet found any real opportunity to test those severe “threats” 😀

      And that thing about Scots and the way they use superglue to keep their money in their wallets… I thought it was only particular to Aberdonians? Have often suspected that missionaries from Aberdeen (i.e. Mary Slessor and co.) came to Mbaise in the 16th century and learnt a thing or two because you haven’t met people who will tell your themselves how much they enjoy the words “free” and “save” until you’ve met an Aberdonian. And before well-meaning Bella Naijarians express their outrage, I’m half Mbaise and very proudly so. In fact, that side of my bloodline dey even oppress my other Owerri half…

  9. what'myname

    May 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Slightly off topic Isio, but I am a sucker bow-legs! A friend doesn’t get this. To her bow-legs is a deformity/disease (rickets things). All the guys I have dated bar one have bow-legs. Funny thing is the one I really liked and still like and will happily watch paint dry with is the one without bow-legs.

    Back to the topic, our yeye dey smell big time in Nigeria! We are quick to jump on the bandwagon of racism yet the tribalism we practice is worse. I was just smh and kmt when Nigerians jumped on the bandwagon campaigning for Obama to be president, calling him ‘our brother’. And more recently jumping on the bandwagon of the banana episode with that footballer (what’s his face). Arrant nonsense! You discriminate against the man besides you just because you are from different states yet call the one miles and oceans away from you your brother. Mchewww oshisko.

    Saying that, I have preconceptions or prejudices if you like but they have absolutely no bearing on the way I relate to you. Unless you prove them. And I won’t tar a whole tribe/group with the same brush, just you who have proved my preconceptions.

  10. Le moi

    May 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    This is just me and ma mum’s family right now…
    Am frm enugu bt ma boyfriend who wants to marry me is frm anambra. Mum says i shud marry sm1 “our people” knw 4 future reasns and dat she doesnt knw d guy so i beta start forgeting abt him. Bt i love dis guy and he loves me too
    Plz hw do i post to AuntyBella? #HelpASisterOut

    • Atoke

      May 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Holla at us –> features(at)bellanaija(dot) com.

      Please check our previous Aunty Bella pieces for anything on cross tribal marriage dilemmas. You should find something to help you.

      Cheers.
      A.

    • Idak

      May 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I hope the article will not be written in this textspeak?
      This stuff induces migraine.

    • Atoke

      May 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Hahaha..Don’t worry, we have a gatekeeper who can’t stand text speak. Lol

    • Bleed Blue

      May 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      @Idak You mirror my thoughts.

      And I don’t know how and when this became “textspeak” oh…because I don’t, and nobody in my circle of family or friends texts in this manner…oh sorry…forgot about this one guy…there’s always one guy…

    • Tincan

      May 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Bwahahah, the first thing I have laughed about in days. Gotta to stop reading/listening to the news. My BP can’t be very healthy at the moment.

    • brownie

      May 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Ok that’s just crazy that your mum is telling you not to marry him! Hello?! Enugu used to be a part of Anambra, it was all one state until only a few years ago. Your mum should meet and get to know the guy before refusing him. I’m sorry you’re in this dilemma, this one makes no sense to me!

    • slice

      May 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      it’s not about the state. it’s his tribe. Even the 3 tribes in Akwa Ibom don’t get along (and very few people outside of that state know the people are different tribes sef)

  11. Esco woahnigeria.wordpress.com

    May 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    But what’s funnier than blatant racism/tribalism is the stereotyping and profiling of it all. Wrongly, Hausa people are perceived to be simple minded, Igbos materialistic, Urhobo’s tricksters and Yorubas talkative. In the movies, Yorubas are always flambouyant and social, Igbos are the cocky, thick-accented traders with containers on the high seas, Hausas are mai-gaurds, and Efiks are the domestic helps. Mbok!

    What about when misinformed perception about your ethnicity determines their treatment of you once they are aware of your origin? In America for example, an African-American chap walks into a shop, and the store security aide starts tracking the black person’s every movement for fear of shoplifting. In Nigeria, if say you are Efik or Ibibio, and the other person immediately locks Bingo, his pet dog in its cage for safety when you come around. Or when you say you are Ekiti, people automatically assume you should go into teaching or become an academician.

    Some people in Nigeria want to know your state of origin before doing business or dealing generally with you because people from certain states/ethnicities are deemed less trustworthy. It matters so much to them, that they hate people with names like Solomon Frank, because it makes it harder or damn near impossible to “place” them (though they would most likely be from one of the South South states with two English names)

    No wonder yahoo yahoo scammers use ridiculous names like William Joe or Johnson Pedro.

    Like Isio said, racism/ethnic discrimination is silly. I was with my friends at an owambe party, where only swallow food was offered. At the table I was sitted, I was the only Igbo chap and my 2 friends were Westerners (Yoruba). We all came in our traditional outfits. The waiter then served the food and my heart sank -A plate of strong looking/smelling fufu was shoved in front of me while my friends got some fresh pounded yam. I was like, hang on a minute! That’s tribalism, sorry racism. You gave me the “inferior” product because I was black, sorry, Igbo! Ok bad example.

    Back in my teenage years, Patel Begum, my Indian neighbor always got into Ikoyi Club without being asked for his membership ID at the entrance.
    Meanwhile my other neighbour Rasaki, black as charcoal, was always asked for his membership ID, even when inside the club. Talk about racial profiling…Thats why some people like area boys who obtain oyibo people even more – they practise reverse racism.

    • brownie

      May 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      “In Nigeria, if say you are Efik or Ibibio, and the other person immediately locks Bingo, his pet dog in its cage for safety when you come around.” LMAO! This is too much of a coincidence. Growing up, we had a dog named Bingo and we also had Efik/ibibio neighbours. One day Bingo disappeared and was never found. To be honest, we thought perhaps the neighbours had something to do with it! lol…I agree it is erroneous stereotyping and assuming but you’ve got to admit, it’s funny! 🙂

  12. bellanaijathegreatest

    May 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Nice article from a pretty face. But you can’t really believe naija people will ignore racism. It is likely a European created idea just like Nigeria and if it is White or foreign made and proven to fit its intended word usage, why naija go disagree now. We are not yet known for being agreeable people in Southern Africa, I suspect it is beyond ethnicity, even within the Yoruba’s there could be some bias in perceptions genuine or not. I am Yoruba and my favorite people in terms of conversations are Oyo people but you know as a naija man now,I still have some reservations about voting for Oyo people
    .
    Naija man ready to change

  13. Anonymous

    May 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Fanaticism

  14. Munwa

    May 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    i totally concur

  15. NNENNE

    May 6, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    To answer your question. .. We have nothing to loose!!!!

  16. Author Unknown

    May 7, 2014 at 4:17 am

    I don’t know if I agree that tribalism is somewhat worse than racism. In either case, you have to look at the history behind the reason for it to better understand it. And i’m not justifying it in any way. As far as stereotypes go, they’re often not unfounded. It’s really a case of varied perception on the one same issue. Personally, I don’ give a toss what someone from another ethnic group thinks of mine.

  17. frances

    May 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    We have nothing to lose really…
    Some persons may have been scarred by a particular tribe in the past and it may be hard but if we can let go and not treat other members of that tribe as same but on the merit of their individuality,then all will be better..

    I enjoyed this as usual Isio!
    That foine urhobo girl.

    imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  18. nene

    May 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    isio e kara ka (you are great). you have said it all. i’m sure those italian men didn’t let you rest, since you are what they look for in aback woman:tall, dark, and beautiful. i also heard crazy things about italy but i enjoyed it. even if non-black people are being racist to me, i never notice since it’s not as blatant as tribalism by fellow nigerians or the prejudice by black americans i’ve experienced.

  19. Smyl4me

    May 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I can relate to what you are tryin to convey @isio. tribalism exist in subtle forms and practise. My mum usually try to drum it to my ears not to get involved with an ijebu lady. Lol. i asked why? She said cos they too lyk money. Fortunately my dad is a very liberated man who doesn’t hold that tribalistic views. However i tend to befriends people who are not from tribe (ibos, efik, deltan, hausas and the likes). I just feel comfortable among them, infact to be frank i have dated once from my tribe but most date have been from othee tribes.
    i have been called out several times by yoruba friends for unsettling the apple cart.
    I am a very diversified open-minded kind of person and i enjoyed variety.
    How can you be enjoy only one food menu when there are many sumptous varieties to be enjoyed. the beauties if life is in it varieties.

    e joor e ma binu ti ejo mi ba ti poju (sorry for the long epistle)

  20. Hadassah

    May 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Jeezz… Isio am in love *no homo*
    I love your sense of humour yet you pass the message across, your sincerity.. mehn I could go on and on….
    Keep writing… Dont Stop!!
    God bless you hunnie….

  21. Adannee

    May 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

    This topic is so on point. I have often said that tribalism is the cause of our problems in this country. I see no reason why I should vote for someone from my village when he is clearly not the best candidate. I have indirectly experienced tribalism. Indirectly as it was never directed at me. I once had a friend tell me she didn’t like a guy because he looked irresponsible “and he is igbo again”. I just couldn’t understand it. Need I add that the guy was actually yoruba but happened to be fair and went by an english name. It was particularly surprising to me as we grew up together and were sometimes presumed to be sisters. In fact for her, it was not even possible to think about liking an igbo guy let alone date him. It was from her I heard of the bias about marrying someone from ijebu. At some point back in days I started saying I would marry an igbo guy as it appeared it was a taboo for my yoruba friends to take home an igbo guy. I’m like ok let everybody stick to their brothers then. Back in university two sisters were cooking soup with stock fish and one of the yourba girls started shouting that it smelt like dead rat. Some days later a yoruba girl was cooking local rice and it honestly smelt horrible. We actually thought someone stepped on poo. Coincidentally an igbo girl worked in an goes “eeeww what’s smelling like shit” and the argument began. It was so hilarious. Ok here is the last story. I was on my way home from work one day and went to join brt at tbs. Someone sneezed and the woman standing in front of him said the guy didn’t cover his mouth. Guy apologise and move on but mba, bros insisted that he covered his mouth. Na so wahala start oh. Our mummy started “awon igbo jatijati. Make I go lagos go make money. Oniranu. Very ill-mannered…” Mama went on until she sat beside me. She went on and on and I waiting for the part where she would ask for my name so I could use my igbo accent to tell her uchenna. When she eventually did, story changed. “Oh you’re so different. Your parents must have taught you well” *yimu*. The experiences just made me conclude that yorubas were the most tribalistic but like my sister always said you don’t how they get treated in the other parts. *whew* apologies for the long post.

  22. Doxa

    July 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Apart from the war, there could be other causes for the bad blood especially when it comes to marriage. For instance, a friend of mine from akwa-ibom got engaged to an Abia man, their villages shared a border. Girl takes boy to meet her family and when he says where he is from, they reply “you people that are struggling land with us”, still they gave their blessing. A month to the wedding (after both families have been communicating for some time at the family level), boy calls the whole thing off, making it a very messy affair and disrespecting the girl and her family. The boy’s family didn’t even step in to caution their son or even apologise to the girl’s family. Sebi if another member of the girl’s family brings someone from that boy’s village to introduce, the family will be tribalistic if such a person is not welcomed.

  23. ogundipe zainab

    February 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    well, tribalism is experienced in one way or another. in the market, at work, in relationships, etc. i as a person used to say i could not marry any other tribe other than mine when i was younger but then i realised that your tribe does not define you. some would say i cant marry from this tribe because they are dirt, you shouldnt judge everyone from that tribe based on just an individual”s attitude. the height of it is the inter-tribal one, when someone says he/she cant marry from a particular state because of some very funny reasons, facts they calls it, but this so called facts are not real

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