by Wilfred Okiche
We understand what you mean when you conclude that maybe we have seen the best of times as a nation. The present feels depressing and the future seems bleak. Power is almost non-existent despite government many interventions, our brothers die, nameless and faceless due to the protracted Boko Haram menace and our president proved again on national television just how hapless he really is.
Yes things are sad but in the midst of these, there are reasons to smile. Otherwise we’d just be hopeless. We present 10 reasons to celebrate Nigeria at 53.
We are a country
We may be divided against every indicator known to man but since the amalgamation in 1914, through the independence in 1960 and the dawn of a republic in ’63, Nigeria has stayed together despite religious, ethnic, econonomic or political crises. We even survived a scivil war that took us to the brink of secession.
Nigeria still works
Nigeria is not working we are quick to say but that is mostly untrue. Truth is Nigeria still works in the most basic sysems and that is why we are still a country. We can enjoy some semblance of free and fair elections, if you are really inclined, there is access to decent public health care, government can afford to pay salaries, public schools still produce students with good grades and our universities can boast of genuine first class material. It is all a shadow of what is truly possible yes, but to give up now would be the ultimate failure.
We have a democracy
The battle for long lasting democracy is costly and remains ongoing today. We salute the efforts of everyone who played a part in wrestling power from the military and celebrate 14 years of this current dispensation. The possibilities are endless should we feel inclined to work towards greatness.
We are champions of Africa
Earlier in the year, Nigeria’s Super Eagles defeated Burkina Faso to emerge champions at the Africa Cup of Nations. It is a victory that trailed years and years of near misses and epic failures.
Nollywood has the capacity to make us smile
It doesn’t matter if it is the comic foolery of Aki and Paw paw or the Time 100 listing of Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. Whatever floats your boat really. But Nollywood has made us smile time and time again with their knack for providing serene escapism.
Our music is set to explode
There have been Fela, Femi Kuti and King Sunny Ade waving the flag for the country. There was a brief shut down but it is hard to miss the impact of 2face Idibia, D’banj and Wizkid on the culture. It makes us smile and makes us assume that indeed there will be more.
The future is here
Take a look at the crop of young leaders and even though some are set to repeat the mistakes of the past, there are those who inspire hope that maybe Nigeria can still smile through her pain once again. The Future Awards Africa has done a fine job of profiling some of these bright young minds and it pleases us to imagine what can be achieved inspite of ourselves.