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Let’s Talk About It! Ali Baba on Nigerians Being Tribalistic



Ali Baba & Mary B - August 2013 - BellaNaija

BellaNaijarians, let’s talk about this.

Today, Nigerian comedian Ali Baba sent out an interesting tweet. We all know about Donald Sterling‘s racial remark that went viral.

Ali Baba says Nigerians who don’t date other tribes or accept other tribes as tenants are no different from him.


  1. sum1special

    May 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    And that’s the bitter truth. Tribalism is that different from racism.

  2. sum1special

    May 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Sorry. Tribalism isn’t that different from Racism.

  3. Uc

    May 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Certainly Tribalism and Racism are both of same parents…………………

  4. iba

    May 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Sad but true.

  5. elite101

    May 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I totally disagree with Alibaba on this one,although they are both forms of prejudices tribalism is completely different from racism, , its like comparing sleeping to death. Tribalism is only a difference in culture and heritage, while racism sees other human beings as less human. i suppose you have heard of the term “untermenschen”. I have experienced both first hand and i tell you there is no comparison.
    About Nigerians being “tribalistic” – no doubt about it , but we have always found a way to live harmoniously with each other for past decades and i know it will only get better.

    • A.J

      May 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      I almost want to say I love you for that Post, yes Tribalism is bad for any culture. But you cannot compare that to Racism, Racism like ignorant Ali Baba fails to realize, Has history, Lots of people died because of the color of their skin. At least in Nigeria you can walk down the street and not have to worry about every other person thinking you are a criminal because of the way you look.

    • SpeakNoEvil

      May 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Ali Baba is not ignorant as you say, but you can benefit from reconsidering your stance on racism and tribalism. People have actually been killed as a result of their tribe. The civil war and the Rwandan genocide are very good examples. Tribalism and racism exist in different climates, but they are essentially the same thing.

    • eze1

      May 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      For your info, people have been killed on both basis. i have seen in Lagos during an Hausa vs Yoruba fight where hausas were killed for not being Yoruba, and Hausas also attacking the yorubas. it is still on in Jos, KD and some other parts of Nigeria till date. if they produce same result of hatred, dislike then they are same with different faces.

    • aja

      May 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Racism is thinking you are better than /superior to other people because they are from a different race, tribalism is thinking you are better than/ superior to other people because they are from a different tribe. Please how is it different?

    • Amiphat

      May 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Gbam! Prejudice is still prejudice, some people are just more murderous than others.

    • elite101

      May 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      I can see the point you are trying to make here @ aja , but i can also see that your understanding of tribalism in comparison to racism is fundamentally flawed. Tribalism in the real sense of it has got nothing to do with deep rooted hatred and intolerance unlike racism, but is a strong feeling of identity or affiliation with – and loyalty to a particular tribe or group, while racism as you indicated and i concur is a feeling of superiority to others races but which in turn leads to unfounded hatred and aggressive or abusive behavior towards a member of another race. In relation to Alibaba post, why is that Donald Sterling singled out Magic Johnson and all other black friends of her girlfriend in the conversation. I say this to you my friend you might need to experience both situations to fully appreciate my argument. But in the meantime i hope the difference is clear to you.

    • jade

      May 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      I have also experienced both and I can tell you they are the same. Tribalistic people also feel people from other tribes are inferior to them. I have heard Igbo people make very derogatory remarks about Yoruba people and vice versa. My dear they are the same in fact I find tribalism very stupid cause at least you look like the person why discriminate against them based on some lame sentiments.

  6. Smyl4me

    May 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Oga Alibaba. Both Racism and Tribalism are offshoot of one word – Intolerance.
    Racism particularly exist in the diversity of races, mind you there are different human race -Negros, Hispanic and Colored. Cos i cant readily classified any race as ‘white’, thats another thesis on his own. If intolerance exists btw two race, that is Racism but if Intolerance exist among each races, that is tribalism ( different in cultures,belief system and way of life)

    Even among the the westerners, tribalism exist. If you have lived there you must have a practical onhand experience of that.
    For example even though Ukraine and Russia seem like from the same race, they are intolerance of each other, that is not racism but tribalism.
    In the Nigeria context, I think tribalism is so rooted on the average nigerian which is a result of passed down belief and mindset which mostly remain uncheck because of the imbalance of our cultures and traditions

    Until we begin to have an open mind about life and people, the festering sore of tribalism will continue to deeper

  7. John Bosco

    May 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    You said people have not died as a result of tribalism? Are we living in the same Nigeria. All the ethnic violences in parts of Nigeria, over the years. Didn’t people die. Tribalism and Rasicm are cut from the same cloth. You should hear what stereotypes certain tribes have created against each other. If I don’t date you or vote for you because you are hausa, efik, igbo, yoruba or idoma, it means I feel you are inferior to me. So racism and tribalism are very similar

  8. detribalised nigerian

    May 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Abeg Aja tell A.J racism and tribalism are the same thing.

  9. damsel

    May 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks aja, so who is the ignorant one among you @AJ and Alibaba.

  10. Non professional opinion

    May 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Maybe I’m racist and tribalistic, but while I would be happy to rent, work, play, eat, dance…whatever, with any person of any tribe, that does not include marriage. Culture, religion and race has seen the demise of many loving relationships and it’s not usually the couple, but family members who are determined to see the match fail so they can say “I told you so”. Marriage is intimate and personal, I don’t think political correctness should play a part. My child can marry who they like, my siblings and friends can marry who they like, but if I don’t want to marry a Fulani person, I think that’s is my choice. As I said ,I’m ready to be labelled tribalistic.

  11. Tincan

    May 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Definitely agree with Alibaba. I think the only difference is scale but other than that the sense of superiority and intolerance are still at the core of both issues.

  12. John Bosco

    May 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    The stupid thing about Tribalism is that you are discriminating, someone of similar skin color..Tribalism and Racism are both forms of discrimination and it is wrong

  13. Ossy

    May 15, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Alibaba spoke d truth na…d ting is corruption unites us…ur papa go allow u marry hausa if na dangote pikin but if na fulani herdsman pikin e go shout say y u go marry fulani……politicians share d money and laugh @ us na and dey play d religious and ethnic card to divide us and we remain united in poverty…america has a kenyan president but nigerians r still dancin around igbo/hausa ticket, muslim/xtian ticket…we jus dey carry bible but na d map wey dey inside allman dey read

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