The Love of a Nigerian! By Akpan Udeme
There is more to life than satisfying ourselves and being happy, there is more to life than accomplishing great missions and fulfilling heart desires, there is more to life than having excellent and outstanding accolades which places us in great height and grandeur. Life is a gift from nature; and nature itself demands something in return. The essence of living is not solely for ourselves; but for others. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well……
Love is a compound feeling. It is one of the greatest virtues of life that brings people together and shows you care for them. There are various kinds of love, but in this context, I am talking about brotherly love. I am a Nigerian. I was born and bred in this loving country which is located in the Continental shelf of West Africa. I have lived in Nigeria for more than two (2) decades and I would like to spread the good news to the world about what genuinely makes Nigerians kind, cooperative, tolerant and well-meaning towards one another and humanity.
Every Nigerian anywhere in the world possesses a special kind of heart called the ‘Golden heart ’.
What is this ‘Golden Heart’?
A ‘Golden Heart’ is a magnanimous heart that drives the inner-man to be Selfless by showing care towards other human beings to a point of Sacrifice. The genuineness of ‘Naija love’ specially originates from this ‘Golden Heart’. This is the kind of heart that is found in one form or another in every Nigerian—man or woman; young or old. It is this ‘Golden Heart’ that produces a genuine Nigerian that can transform Nigeria into a new one.
Firstly, who is a genuine Nigerian?
A genuine Nigerian is a person that originates from Nigeria. He/She may be residing in or out of Nigeria; but still a compatriot. A genuine Nigerian is not a racist; but loves and appreciates other nationalities without prejudice. A genuine Nigerian believes in his/her country for a brighter tomorrow. A genuine Nigerian will never forsakes or deny his/her country but stands to face its challenges so as to re-create a better place for all. A genuine Nigerian respects the National Coat-of-arm of Nigeria and would represent his/her country honorably anywhere he/she finds himself/herself. A genuine Nigerian is not a terrorist. A genuine Nigerian has respect for lives and properties. A genuine Nigerian has love for one another irrespective of race, colour, tribe, culture, religion and traditions.
There are nine (9) vital characteristics of this ‘Golden Heart’, which is formed from each letter of the word: NIGERIAN. Each letter forms a magnificent acronym which is stated as follows:
I– Inter – Cultural
G — Greatness
R — Religion
A — Adaptability
Every letter in the word ‘Nigeria’ represents a strong significance which creates a drop of uniqueness in every Nigerian.
Let us see what each letter holds …
Ever since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, she breeds citizens who are nationalist. They possess the feeling of being proud of their country–Nigeria. This unites the people, thus instilling in them a sense of belonging, a sense of belonging to one another, and sense of being at peace. Love amongst such people can never be far-fetched so long as they are proud of themselves …
Nigeria is made up of people of various cultures and traditions bounded together in one piece. This nation comprises of more than 250 ethnics groups and the acceptance of people from other culture and race bind them in love. These ethnic groups have been living together for centuries and the feeling of being one people creates the unconditional love and cooperation amongst them. Nigeria’s inter-cultural disposition is seen in FESTAC ’77, also known as the second World Black and African Festival of Art and Culture which took place in Lagos, Nigeria from 15th of January –12th of February 1977. About 16,000 participants representing 56 African nation celebrated African culture and showcased to the world: African music, Fine Arts, Literature, Drama, Dance, and Religion. This is why Nigerians will always respect and treasure humanity not minding the continent or race.
Great people make a great nation. Despite the facts that Nigeria is blessed with numerous resources with beautiful landscapes, Nigerians are gifts to Nigeria. There is a drop of greatness in the life of every Nigerian anywhere in the world and they appreciate themselves. A great nation harbors great people who possesses great heart—‘the Golden Heart’. This great heart beats and yearns for his/her neighbor, friends and loved ones. I can never be lost in any part of the world, because I know there will be a Nigerian somewhere out there that will give me an out-stretched hand of love…
One strong aspect which describes the genuineness of what makes Nigerians a loving set of people is their sense of equality. Just take a look at the ₦50 note, in it you will see a Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo tribe (WAZOBIA) standing together in it—a symbol of unity in diversity. This act shows that we are equal and in togetherness share, revive, instruct, contribute and sacrifice our all for one another, be you a Nigeria or not…
Nigeria, the most populous African country with a population of over 170 million people is nearly equally divided between Christianity and Islam. 2008 Measure of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) found 53% Muslim, 45% Christian, 2% of other religion. Even since these religions were introduced in Nigeria, the people of Nigeria are in one way or the other morally inclined. The teachings in the churches and mosques portray a healthy co-existence, love, and impartiality amongst people. One of the books of the Bible for Christians commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The ‘Golden heart’ that Nigerians possesses is clearly seen here as it makes us represent moral standards which are being passed from generation to generation…
It takes an intelligent person to think uprightly and rationally. One of the distinctive features of this ‘Golden heart’ is its intelligence. In Every walks-of-life, you must find a prominent Nigerian excelling in one field or another. Nigerians believe that they are differently gifted to create a balanced Nigeria, hence adore and believes in themselves. This uniquely develops cooperativeness amongst Nigerian.
Africans are originally created to be adaptable to any circumstances. Nigerians can easily adjust to changing economy, government, markets, seasons and conditions etc. This adaptability in Nigerians opens doors to ‘accommodation’ and ‘acceptability’, which makes it easier for Nigerians to live peaceably with other people, race, tribe or state. This feature instills in us tolerance, which is a product of their ‘Golden heart’.
Nigerians are noble. This nobility makes us honest, unselfish, brave and kind. This aspect of the ‘Golden heart’ is not popularly known by people of other continents which is why I will like to tell the world about it: “Nigerians are noble people full of integrity and optimism…”.This noble nature kindles the courage to help others irrespective of who they are or where they come from.
Nigerians have survived trying times. They have survived war, hardship, National crises and anarchy etc. Regime after regime, Nigerians have survived the strangulation of the rule of different government. Right from the colonial era till date, Nigerians still climbs the crooked mountain which leads to hope for a brighter tomorrow, one day we will get there. The resilience, tolerance and mental toughness of Nigerians are as a result of our survival. The Europeans call Africans ‘black people’; but we don’t have ‘black hearts’, we have a ‘Golden heart’ which radiates compassion, love and kindness…
The ‘Golden heart’ is what genuinely makes Nigerians kind, cooperative, tolerant, and well-meaning towards one another and humanity. I am not ignoring the fact that my beloved country is not absolutely at peace. Governance, religious disparity and inter-tribal conflicts seem to put the nation in a state of turmoil and confusion, but I am positive in my approach for a better tomorrow, I believe in myself and in every Nigerian. The present state of Nigeria obviously negates this essay content, but every genuine Nigerian should learn to look above the present challenges of the country and focus on the Golden price–which is to create a better Nigeria for future’s sake through the act of LOVE towards Nigerians and non-Nigerians—Naija Love
How do we accomplish such feat?
By making LOVE and UNITY, PEACE and PROGRESS our watchwords…
Be a genuine Nigerian!
Have a Golden heart!
I am a youth advocate with a passion for creative writing.
My hobbies are: writing, researching, watching movies, travelling, playing board games, playing lawn tennis and cooking.