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Ivy O.: Nigerians, Please Stop With the Comparisons

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Dear Nigerians,
Please stop the comparisons. I believe I am not the only one tired of them. Why can’t we let other people have their moments without making it about us?

Last week, Sean Tizzle voiced out his opinion about the Hello song. I fail to understand how someone can sing a weak version of their own song, least of all, Adele. It hurts because Adele is actually one of the few people who achieved success based purely on talent. No scandals. No body exposure. No drama. Just talent. Then after a few years hiatus, comes back and still tops chart because of that same talent. Then he goes on to say we Nigerians don’t support our own and some other gibberish (I have never met a Nigerian who doesn’t like Omawumi’s music between). Don’t get me wrong, I love Omawunmi’s cover too. But that’s what it is. A cover. It is possible to like both Adele’s and Omawumi’s Hello. It is not a competition. It is just simply preposterous to say that someone who wrote her own song and delivered a rendition, did a weak version. It is not even a version. It is the original material. And if it was as weak as you claim, Omawumi wouldn’t have done a cover. So you don’t simply go about saying we do not support our own. I can like Adele’s Hello and Omawunmi’s Hello at the same damn time! You don’t have to put one down to uplift another.

My next issue is the Paris bombings last week. Of course this is the age of social media, news travels fast so the hashtag #PrayForParis was generated. Some people however have a problem with this. On twitter and Instagram, I’m seeing things like “Hundreds are blown up everyday in Nigeria but you people care more about Paris” etc. This is one of the most flawed logics I have ever come across.

If you don’t want to pray for Paris, then don’t. If you don’t want to show solidarity then don’t. But don’t criticize those who want to. Some of us even have family and friends who are in Paris right now. Of course we know that people die in their hundreds in the North due to terrorist attacks. Of course we know the media doesn’t give enough media coverage to Non-Western countries. Of course some people went as far as posting flags and pictures on different social media (whether to join the bandwagon, or in true heartfelt sympathy, whatever their intentions, I do not know). I just have a few questions to ask. So does that mean that when tragedy strikes there we should ignore and not show sympathy? How many bombings did AIT or NTA or Sahara reporters report last week from the North? But did we not hear of Atiku’s children’s weddings or Dino Melaye’s reported new ride or something FFK posted about his babe? Isn’t it when we take ourselves seriously that other countries will take you seriously? Did you start a PrayForNigeria hashtag before the Yola bombings?

Why is it when there was #PrayForParis hashtag that people remembered we don’t have a hashtag? Were you not happy when the world stood in solidarity for the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, including the western world and even celebrities? Must you put down one to bring up another? Do you think the other countries that showed solidarity with us didn’t have their own problems at that time? Can your prayers not accommodate Nigeria, and Paris, and Beirut, and Japan, and the rest of the world? Is there any need for a competition of who gets the most sympathy especially media-wise? I understand the logic that you are supposed to “Pray for your own before others”, but in all honesty, we are gunning for world peace.

I had a talk with someone who was angry about Nigerians using the #PrayForParis hashtag. I asked him how many people he knew affected by the bombings in Borno and other states in the North, he said he didn’t know anybody. I asked him if he knew anybody in Paris, he said he had a few friends there. So is it wise to only care about Nigeria, due to “obligation”, then ignore Paris even though he has friends there? Can he not have sympathy and pray for both? That being said, another person’s prayer point is not your business. If you do not want to show solidarity with or sympathy for other countries, then don’t. But when others do, it’s best to SHUT THE HELL UP!

PS: The attacks in Mali… how many news agencies in Nigeria and other African countries have hammered on it rather than talking about it in passing? Our news media is one of the major problems, but that is another story for another day.

#PrayForMali, #PrayForNigeria, #PrayForParis, #PrayForTheWorld

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Robert Lerich

Ivy is a certified nerd who is terrible at writing bios and great at taking selfies. When she isn't eating or studying, she is most likely to found on Twitter

33 Comments

  1. Kenechukwu

    November 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    The author of this piece claims to be a certified nerd. How does anybody become a certified nerd?? Strange

    • Mamacita

      November 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Africans are blind followers! This same Adele that is a racist is who Nigerians are copying and fighting for. Last year she was asked, along with a number of other UK artist/stars, to sing the year’s version of ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’, the proceeds of the song usually go to charities especially in Africa. everyone, other than Adele, that they asked took part, even drama queen Sam Smith.

      en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_Aid_30

      The one person that refused to take part was Adele! The organiser at the time (can’t remember whether it was Geldof) went on radio to say how disgusted he was at her behaviour. Now her album is out I bet she is not discriminatory about who buys said album. #Spits on Adele’s face, write an article about that.

    • Leila

      November 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Bravo to her for not taking part! That song and that whole business with Rob Geldorf is incredibly patronising and irritating. I cannot describe how annoyed i get when I hear it. Why will Africans not know it is christmas because there is no snow? Abeg FOH with the lyrics to that song!!
      And by the way Adele was not the only person to turn down participation. Read Fuse Odg’s reasons here:
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/19/turn-down-band-aid-bob-geldof-africa-fuse-odg
      It really says all there is to be said. Thank me later.

    • DD

      November 22, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Leila has said it all. Bob Geldof’s campaign might have been well-meaning but it was also patronizing and tokenistic, reinforcing negative stereotypes of Africans as helpless, voiceless, disease-riddled and lacking in autonomy and self-determination. I don’t blame Adele or anyone else for turning it down, and her refusal to participate certainly doesn’t make her a racist.

    • Me

      November 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      I’m not surprised, she sounded so ghettoish in an interview yesterday, I found it so hard to watch, I just changed the channel. Lool.

    • Mee

      November 22, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      But is it by force for her to sing for charity? She is very private and barely songs outside of promoting her album while the others a lot more “out there”… It makes sense that she will refuse.

      That’s why your boss asking you to give up 3 days of your personal vacation to do something for charity. As great as that maybe, it’s not by force. What if you already make personal donations or your time and resources?

      Ps: we should be ashamed that people are being asked to sing to raise money for us.

    • mamacita

      November 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

      £2 per song is better than nothing! Since fuse odg refused to take part 10000 people died in Liberia alone. I hope he found another way to help!

      Who should be responsible for the images the west sees of Africa? Surely not Bob Geldof?

      One minute you are blaming Geldof for the lyrics of a song which describes exactly what Ebola is about, the next you are condemning the west for not “painting their pictures in Nigeria’s flag colours on Facebook” during bomb attacks?. Abeg which side are you on? They are damned if they help and damned if they don’t. Numerous west Africans were demanding that the same west give them the trial treatment for Ebola! Why? What does that portray? If Adele was asked to sing for a dog charity do you think she would have turned it down?

      Lyrics to the song:

      azlyrics.com/lyrics/bandaid30/dotheyknowitschristmas.html

      Because the reality of the situation wasn’t every west African’s reality did not people were not dying and suffering as a result of Ebola. If not for late Dr Adedevoh who knows what situation Nigeria would have been in. People like Angelique Kidjo who went and sang, is she reinforcing negative stereotypes of Africa and Africans? What if Fuse Odg sang and insisted they used some of his “pictures” to portray Africa in a positive light? Did you think of that?

      I happened to be in Nigeria during the Ebola scare and even though I was in the far North everyone was terrified! So how were the lyrics a lie? If the incident had happened around Christmas my family would not have gone to church! Not have entertained or done so many of the “Christmassy” things to avoid contact with the “infected”.

      Recently the Saudi Arabian rep to the UK issued a press release which castigated the UK authority for the way in which his country was spoken about and a few silent threats about business relationships were issued! On radio for not just the government to read/hear but its citizens too! What have our leaders done to redeem our image internationally? Yes, Geldof’s idea like Michael Jackson’s we are the world won’t do much but like Tesco says “every little helps”.

      Not proof reading so forgive typos, grammatical errors and badly typed arguments.

    • Anon

      November 22, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      When she isn’t eating or studying. Studying being the operative word.

      Certified nerd characteristics – done a zillion IQ tests and results came out high, probably went to some school for the gifted, at 14 did MOCK exams for Cambridge, MIT, Oxford, Yale, Princeton or Stanford and passed, an all rounder in all subjects/A*, very good with abstract and cryptic things and one who has a plethora of courses to choose from. They are notoriously anti-social.

      I have come across a few certified nerds in my life and in my family. 🙂

  2. Destined for greatness

    November 22, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    My sentiments exactly. Very well said.

  3. cindy

    November 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I agree with your first point but the second, you just sound defensive o jare. Did you change your facebook profile and someone called you out? Pele ehn. Here, have some cookie.

  4. emma

    November 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    All these people attacking people who were attacking them for posting stuff about the France attacks are funny. Most of you people did it just to feel among. If Facebook had asked all of you all to donate a dollar to post the France flag on your profile pics, non of you will have the flag as your profile pics. Yes I do feel bad for France,but this happens everyday in other parts of the world, not just France . It is because France is a western country that is why this incident is receiving so much attention in the media. If this happened in a country with minorities or a 3rd world country, the way the world would have reacted would not be the same.

    • Maguim

      November 23, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      But is France responsible for the fact that african countries don’t know how to “take care” of themselves?

  5. goody

    November 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Yawn!!! I think the Bio is more presumptuous than the article.

  6. Tinuke

    November 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    This article is what happens when a shallow person has a platform. Baseless and thoughtless reasonings.

    • Leila

      November 22, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I enjoyed the article and thought she made a whole lot of sense. It is not everything we Nigerians must rant and rave about. This Nigeria that you are all carrying on your heads, what has it ever done for you? Meanwhile many of you and your relatives have been direct beneficiaries of scholarships,education, opportunities to improve your life, work, etc from European countries.
      Dont get me wrong oh! I love Nigeria die but my heart is big enough to show compassion for it and for other countries as well. And how about those of us that actually live or lived in France or who have direct ties to the country through family and friends? Is it not possible that we love both countries (France and Nigeria) equally?

    • Cindy

      November 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Y so defensive? If u really have loved ones in France then it is not u ppl are mad about. O se wa n ta e lara bayi?

  7. maryjane

    November 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Writer please take several seats biko. Nigerians like anything western. Copy copy, borrow borrow, follow follow . Over sabi Nigerians. Na only una sabi prayforparis?. French men and women don pray for una? You get friends for paris, you no get any friend or family member wey dey live for north? I too know dey kill Nigerians. Abeg, make we hear word. This pidgin wey I write now, dem go say e too local. Mtchew

    • Leila

      November 22, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      You too maryjane, please take several seats. I dont have family or friends in Northern Nigeria but I have family and friends in France. Sue me!
      Not everyone is the same. People should learn that we are all different. Why is it peppering you all so much that we want to pray for paris? Na wa for una!
      I dont know the writer but all you sworn defenders on behalf of Nigeria just irritate the heck out of me with your hypocrisy. Suddenly, you all now care about Northern Nigeria when most of you were saying before ‘as long as they dont come and bomb in the south’, east, etc. How about you just shut up and live and let live like the writer said? Why e dey pain una so much? I dont gerrit!!! Oshi o da!

  8. Cindy

    November 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    *yimu* na u be hypocrite. I can see that it is paining you. You need a cookie too? ?

    • Smh

      November 22, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      YOU are everywhere on this post. I think you might just be the one who’s pained. Girl, goodbye and good riddance.

      This article is spot on. A lot of people are salty because you were referring to their silly behaviours.
      Still don’t understand why Nigerians always turn everything to a competition. You tell someone you have a headache, that’s when they remember have migraines, ulcer, cancer and their pet dog died. SOOOO IRRITATING.

    • Cindy

      November 23, 2015 at 12:11 am

      Yes o I am everywhere on every Bella post these days cos I got free time. It is nothing personal. Deal with it. ??????

    • Leila

      November 23, 2015 at 4:36 am

      @ smh, please dont waste your time responding to Cindy. Not worth it. She lost me the day she decided that the only appropriate comment to make on a bn article about recovery and rehabilitation of the chibok girls was about how shabby the weave on one of the girls looked.
      She is a clear example of the hypocrisy I mentioned earlier. The girl is definitely salty but it is due to something outside of these pages.

  9. Oluwatosin Oludare

    November 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    God bless you Ivy O! You just echoed my sentiments really.

    I have no hard feelings towards my Nigerian people in fact I pray for Nigeria every day but being sympathetic towards the terrible event that occurred in Paris, Mali or any other place in the world doesn’t mean that I love Nigeria less or I am a follow follow.

    People should learn to be realistic!

  10. Me

    November 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Oga kene that is not really important in relation to what she’s just written about……
    I’m actually scared of humanity you know, this lack of compassion and giving hatred for hatred is what is causing most problems in this world; Igbo hates Hausa, whites hate blacks, Indians suck up to anything white and deem anything dark ugly or evil, the rich hate the poor, Muslims hate Christians as in I can go on and on (vice versa in each situation)… May God help us, we should just love one another and be freely allowed to pray for each other.

    • ElessarisEllendil

      November 23, 2015 at 3:09 am

      “Igbo hates Hausa”: Wow!!!! have you ever been up north to see the thousands of Igbo who speak Hausa, are friendly neighbours, marry Hausa girls or even convert to Islam??

      “whites hate blacks”: *Sigh* I can’t even, let me just put this way, if whites hated blacks, they’d kill us all and they’d be nothing we would be able to do to stop them. All people of African descent exist simply on the pleasure of Caucasians and Asians,

      “You must know some terrible Indians, Pele!

      “Muslims hate Christians ” They’re 3 billion of us, if we hated each other, there would far more bombings, plus you know we’d exterminate all Muslims, the most powerful countries in the world are largely Christian.

      I’m glad to have welcomed you back to reality.

  11. Joseph

    November 23, 2015 at 12:01 am

    This article lacks depth. It has the logic of a primary 3 student written. Honestly, what does it take to write on BN? Articles like these should not even make it through your editorial reviews.

  12. ElessarisEllendil

    November 23, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Ivy O says: Nigerians, Please Stop With the Comparisons!

    Last paragraph Ivy O compares the sympathy levels on the Malian attacks.

    Hmm, my irony sense is tingling.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      November 23, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Lol! I shaa noticed it, but then, I believe its Ivy’s opinions, sometimes our thoughts conflict.

  13. Cindy

    November 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Can you imagine? @leila so because I wished the girl was given a proper hair do for the interview, I’m an hypocrite? I was looking out for the girl. How does your statement even correlate? This happened months ago and it is still paining you. Please stay pressed till eternity o. Can you imagine? And I even didn’t know you existed. Hmmmmm……..I must be a celeb?

  14. Brownchocolate

    November 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Ok na. In another related matter. Onions and tomatoes don cost for market now. The insurgence in the North is affecting every dependents of farm produce from the North. Senseless killings! How I wish we would all go on strike and insist they are completely wiped out. Only me no fit do am.

  15. Fume

    November 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you for this write – up . Nigerians can be very hypocritical. The world joined us for bring back our girls, for subsidy but when some decided to join Paris,some Nigerians couldn’t stomach it. What annoys me the most is that we decided to get angry or should I say jealous over the attention Paris was getting for their dead. Dead people O, not a straight outta Compton trend. Dead people. These same people would be the first to share the #prayfornigeria thread foreign celebrities put up like those ones don’t have trouble of their own. Black boys are being killed everyday in the US how many of you have joined them in prayers. Yet, you don’t mind their citizens praying for you. Just because you lost a loved one doesn’t mean you cannot empathise with your neighbour .

  16. Maguim

    November 23, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    It is not only nigerians ooo… It seems to be an african trait…. I live in france, not in paris tho…..when the bombings happened the news were first on french tv, and then relayed all over the world….. But we tend to forget one thing….. Their media, their news…. Their media becauseo what most african channels are good at it just “copy &past”….. Few days later when it happened in Bamako i rush in front of the tv just to see how african channels would relay it….. Nada…..nothing….Rien….
    RTI from ivoiry coast: some random program with Koffi Olomide as a guest
    RTG from gabon……. Silent
    Same for RTS from Senegal, RTG from Guinea……. And not the talk about ORTM from Mali…. Can you imagine…….
    We should please stop winning about the western world carring about itself and start wondering how to really improve our continent….. Their media…..their news….. We are not even ashamed that sometimes they carry our news faster and better than our own channels, which only have time for Sarojini &co…..

  17. molarah

    November 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    The author, and several commenters, are missing the point.

    This isn’t about how many people you know in Paris or even in the North, it’s just the bandwagon-y way we Nigerians go about these things. It’s nauseating, to say the least. There is almost zero value for human life here – no real sense of outrage when tragedies occur (and social media sympathy does not count), and when an international event occurs, weep more than the bereaved. There should be online AND offline protests when these Boko Haram incidents occur from every corner of the country against the incompetence of our security personnel, we should be putting pressure on our elected representatives to do all necessary to improve security, we should have massive donation drives to assist IDPS: there are several ways we can put our concern for national issues to action. Do we do any of these? Nooo. But if its to put French flag as dp, we dey kampe. If you can’t see anything wrong with this, then I really don’t know what else will convince you.

    As for your first paragraph, I believe the appropriate place for that comment is on Sean tizzle’s Facebook/twitter wall. Every Nigerian and his dog already agrees that that was a ridiculous comment to make.

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