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Cisi Eze: Nigerians, Let’s Raise Our Glasses to…

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Still basking in the warm rays of Easter, I have decided to make a toast to us. Seeing how my posts irk World People, I’ve decided to write something “sweet”. In the absence of wine, vodka mixed with soft drinks will suffice. This mix is life. Mix, taste, and see that I kid thee not. I have my own recipes for different cocktails. Yea, let me brag small.

(Raises glass) Cheers to all of us, Nigerians. We are a resilient people. Many things have tested us through the decades, but we stand strong. Many times, we have been pushed to the wall, but here we are! We’re thriving gracefully in those walls after we carved out spaces in them.

Cheers to those of us that live in areas with poor electricity! We could arrange for solar panels to power our houses, but we are going to wait for the government. Responsibility is such a big thing to take on.

Cheers to those of us that live in areas with bad streets! We all could contribute and work hand-in-hand with the local government council to fix these streets; however, we won’t because it is none of our business.

Cheers to us that keep waiting for the government to fix the country! We keep waiting for snow to fall in a desert. We vote in people that steal from us. What does that make us? Victims or accomplices?

Cheers to us for our pessimism! Do you want this country to be better? Of course, you do! But you believe it is not possible. You have accepted and settled for the fact that things will never get better. Nevertheless, what are you doing in the space you control?

Everyone has a platform. The woman selling fish in the market, the boy hawking sachet water in traffic, the lecturer in that university, the primary four pupil, the cleric, that broadcaster, that senator, that girl in SS2, the boy that lives down the street – everyone has a space they control. What have we, as individuals, done to contribute to our national growth and progress?

We do not necessary need a protest. What we need is everyone making a conscious effort to do better, but we love blaming the government for everything.  This blame game must be fun, I wager.

We don’t want to look within. We are not ready to transform ourselves, change ourselves. “Let everyone sweep the front of his own door, and the world will be clean.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Until we all make a conscious effort to do better, things would stay the same. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect change. Let’s let go of habits, behavioural patterns that do not let us grow. We owe a better Nigeria to our children.

P.S. Because I am petty, I gotta add this. Haha!

Cheers to us for being a country filled with hypocrites. If we were not hypocrites, we would not be a religious country that had a high rate of corruption.

Seriously, with all the prayers, fasts, and vigils one would expect that things would get better. Are we praying wrongly? We have more religious centres than factories. There are more well-furnished churches than well-equipped technical schools. Our educational system has not been changed to suit our current needs. Students in secondary school are learning “Shorthand”. Our legal system, which would have effectively fought corruption, is one of the greatest enabler of this social ill. Our healthcare system is warped! How many of us have health insurance?

So many things are going awry, but we have allowed religion to be an opiate to us. We keep waiting for a deity to make things better, but we are not making an effort. What have we done in the spaces we control? How have we contributed to community development?

P.P.S. (Raises glass) A toast to everyone that ambles through life wearing uncomfortable shoes and itchy mask! Cheers to everyone that has to pretend in a bid to conform with society’s standards.

Living your truth is a chore, I understand. You have covered yourself with several layers of lies, and it is okay because you have to protect yourself. If you ever get bold enough to live your truth, you will vex many people. Truly, you need courage to be honest.

Nevertheless, do not go about throwing mean words at people that are honest about themselves. When you get hostile, some of us are wont to think you are jealous. Jealousy often sublimates into hate.

It is painful how society makes most of us live lies, not lives. We are compelled to lie about ourselves to fit into certain people’s definition of us.

Has it occurred to you that we lie to people who have to lie about something? Everyone of us has a side that has been branded as vile, ugly, filthy. No one is without sin, but with the rate at which people are judgmental, it seems as though everyone is saintly. As I always say, judging people will not absolve you.

Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

55 Comments

  1. Nitomeya

    April 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I ate basmati rice and stew this afternoon and it was lovely. please continue the thread.

    • Elclasico

      April 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      I am currently watching the el-classico and expect Barcelona to win.

    • Anon

      April 23, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Magnificent Messi!

    • Ify

      April 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      I’m currently reading Harry Potter for the third time. Dumbledore died and it still hurts me everytime.

    • Eni

      April 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Me and you!!! I’ve read and read all the books uncountable times. I read all 7 books at least once every year.

    • AceOfSpades

      April 24, 2017 at 11:11 am

      There is no good or evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it – Lord Voldermort

      Harry Potter is everything especially when you are sipping Lucozade mixed with gin while reading it

    • Red

      April 24, 2017 at 5:41 am

      It was my birthday yesterday! #Major milestone -Thaaaaarrrtyyyyyy!???????

    • sun shine

      April 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Happy birthday red. Wish you fun, fun, fun as you turn thirty!!!

    • FasholasLover

      April 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      You guys are wicked. What is not good is bad. By the time l got to @Red who turned Thaaaaarrrtyyyyyy I got the drift and l could not hold it any longer! The laughter was belly aching. Haba Bellanaijarians what has Cisi done to ya’all????

    • Seriously ?

      May 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Wow! The comment section is quite sad and pathetic. Do y’all have personal issue with Cisi or just don’t want to hear the part to take a look at yourself.
      The government Nigerians love to curse so much, guess what it’s a reflection of all of you guys. The behavior you guys displayed is also part of the problem.
      Nigerians think they are perfect, search your heart.
      Yes, it’s the government’s responsibility to fix the country but it’s also individual to make change in small and big ways.
      I’m convinced Nigerians don’t want change just love to hear themselves complain. Good luck as your country continue to deteriorate.
      I guess, kudos to the FEW who chose to make a difference.

  2. john

    April 23, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Has it occurred to you that we lie to people who have to lie about something? Everyone of us has a side that has been branded as vile, ugly, filthy. No one is without sin, but with the rate at which people are judgmental, it seems as though everyone is saintly. As I always say, judging people will not absolve you.????????????????????

  3. debutante

    April 23, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I had beans and plantain with smoked chicken. It was really good. .

    • The Cake Lady

      April 24, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Smoked chicken? Never heard of that. Wonder what it’s like. Can you please describe it?

    • foodie

      April 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Smoked Chicken is wonderfully moist and flavorful, it doesn’t need added embellishment. Zartech has the best-smoked chicken in Lagos.

    • missnk

      April 24, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      it’s really nice, it’s usually well flavoured depending on the brine and has a smoky bbq flavour

    • Narcist for a minute

      April 24, 2017 at 10:30 am

      all time fav

  4. Bad gang

    April 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I just had garri and groundnut and milk soaked in very cold water…omg!

  5. Ben

    April 23, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Real Madrid chose to lose to barca thereby ruining my night.

    • Laila

      April 23, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      I guess Karma caught up with real Madrid. So sorry about the loss though.

  6. ButtercuP

    April 23, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Messi is such a beast!!
    I had golden morn this night, this pregnancy craving is out of this world

  7. appy

    April 23, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Dodo and egg doesn’t agree with my system,yet i eat it at least thrice in a year,….now i cant sleep …system. trying to .digest fried food …..

  8. Nakoms

    April 23, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    The Scarlet pimpernel

    “They seek him here, they seek him there
    Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
    Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
    That demned elusive Pimpernel”

    • Smokan

      April 23, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      I had to search for the Scarlet pimpernel. I eventually found him on Google.?

    • June

      April 23, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      The best adaptations are the ones with Leslie Howard .lol I finally figured out what to do with my hairrrrr!

  9. Spunky

    April 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    What’s going on here? Me, I had 5 shots of PRAVDA!

  10. funmilola

    April 23, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Oh boy!
    I had a delicious bowl of hot and spicy catfish pepper soup and I’m watching a football match now.
    Thanks nitomeya

  11. Nikky

    April 24, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Currently starving / hungry.
    Barcelona cannot ruin my day, I’m still gingerd from Chelsea’s game yesterday.
    Dope article.

  12. Tola

    April 24, 2017 at 2:16 am

    I had my mum’s delicious jollof rice this night. Watched two not so horror movies. I mean, they were meant to be horror but they turned out to be low budget. Couldn’t finish the second. Sorry I missed the football match. Should have watched that instead. Anyhoo, I’m off to bed now.

  13. A Real Nigerian

    April 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Well this is a messy and confusing comments section.

    • californiabawlar

      April 24, 2017 at 4:28 am

      Much like the article eh? lol.

      I just had my first and only meal…. good food washed down with some sketchy orange juice. I’ll find out in a few hours if I have let stingo of not wanting to waste food finish me.

  14. Manny

    April 24, 2017 at 3:17 am

    I raise my glass to all of you!!!!

    • happy

      April 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Cheers.

  15. Greatness

    April 24, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Nice read. Wow! The comment session so “savage”.

  16. Vee

    April 24, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Lmao….loving the comment section

  17. Yellow sun

    April 24, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Savage comments…aunty plzz go back to where ure coming from where the citizens do the government duties segbo
    But sef…what is a government???

  18. Going to make a difference!

    April 24, 2017 at 9:45 am

    It was a very happy sunday for me. Arsenal reached the FA Cup final, Barca beat Real at the Bernabeau! Them I read this article, and started having a bad day!

  19. bam bam

    April 24, 2017 at 10:20 am

    i like Milk I really do….. but i get the runs every time I take it!
    damn you lactose intolerance….

  20. Narcist for a minute

    April 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I just had Garri and Groundnut mixed with cold water and enough milk. Life is good

  21. fee

    April 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Chei…you people are wicked.

  22. Asa

    April 24, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I just finished a hot bowl of spaghetti with corned beef (my version of minced meat abi na meatballs)! Back to work!

  23. My friend go and sit down somewhere

    April 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Please i had to come and look at the comments to make sure that you people are reading what i’m reading too. Im glad we all agree that this is a trash write up. It is not enough that Nigerians are tax payers, we should also do the work of the government while they are enriching themselves with the nation’s money? Some of you will just be writing nonsense to submit on here. My dear writing is not your ministry. Keep your glass down, drink your wine jeje and leave Nigerians out of it.

    That said, Is it bad if i eat fufu this morning?

    • otito

      April 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      There is a reason fufu is called 6 to 6. please go ahead and eat that fufu, it will keep you energized all day.

  24. Yetty

    April 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Lmfaoooooo…bhet why are u people not supporting her write up na…Shebi she wrote The average Nigerian article…and most of y’all were supporting a condensending article…una eye Don clear now abi…deluded purzons!

  25. Jezebel

    April 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    ?????????? Cheers Cisi. Let’s keep doing our bit until they catch up.

    P.S: now I’m actually parched. Drinking on Monday evening na im gat me ?

  26. nunulicious

    April 24, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    hahahahahahaha.

    hahahahahahahahaha

    ahhahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Gosh Bners, ya’ll made my day.
    Trying to diet but this milo and peak milk just won’t let me be.

  27. mela

    April 24, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    When BNers decide to make you irrelevant they do it with Class! Kia can’t stop laughing???

  28. john

    April 24, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    You women are wicked…u guys can poison somebody..cisi , I would love to support u bcos I am very good at this me vs the world type of situation and I can still do it and turn this comment section upside down but I got to admit this shunning is damn unique…lol..this is dibolically personified…now I truly and honestly understand why one of my female friend said she avoids her fellow women or avoids working in an environment filled with women .. I dont get it before but I do now…this is savage

  29. aj

    April 25, 2017 at 3:40 am

    lmaoooooooooooo why did yall do cisi like that?! I saw 45 comments thinking I was going to read better thing and you all turn it into something else! maybe what turned readers off is because you blamed them for Nigeria’s problems and you said some deity. On that note I had some crackers and caramel chocolate for food today…pathetic.

  30. o

    April 25, 2017 at 4:16 am

    When you refer to BNers as “world people”, the above is what you get ??????

  31. Buki

    April 25, 2017 at 11:03 am

    It’s beautiful article… Thanks Cisi

  32. a

    April 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I stopped reading the article when I got to the part about buying your own solar panels. The comment section made me proud to be a Nigerian! You guys did it very very well and deserve all the stars and likes!

    BN needs good editors abeg! From spelling/grammatical mistakes to poorly written articles. Na wa oh

    • VOOM

      April 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      LOL so freaking entitled. You want everything handed to you because you have convineintly forgotten that Innovation doesnt spring from mediocrity, nonchalance and laziness.

      Funny how the qualities the OP is trying to encourage are the same qualities we laud in the western world. But to exhibit same qualities here? Mba.

      Bunch of repressed scallywags.

      Tueh.

    • Vuvuzala

      April 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Cheers Voom, I raise my glasses for you too. ?

  33. VOOM

    April 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    You Nigerians are your own enemies, tueh.

  34. Pathetic

    May 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Our leaders are a reflection their followers. Now we see why our leaders do not perform. When you

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