Recently updated on February 15th, 2022 at 05:09 am
The Power Of The Nigerian Self-Esteem! By Felix Emmanuel
Good afternoon my viewers. My name is Felix Emmanuel. I am a Nigerian. For the next few minutes, I will be talking about the power of the Nigerian self esteem. Self esteem is simply one’s view of one self. It can be high in which case one sees oneself as adequate or sufficient to pursue any goal or purpose in life, or it can be negative in which case, the person feels negative about life and feels that he or she is inadequate to pursue goals and purpose in life. Self esteem plays a vital role in individualistic and societal well-being and progress. Despite the importance of self-esteem, there are disturbing facts and figures about global read of self-esteem. According to Dr. Joe Rubino, the creator of the popular self-esteem system, 85% of the world population suffers from self-esteem deficit but when one looks at Nigeria, the records are a little different. According to the World Happiness Rating in 2017, as reported by The Guardian online newspaper platform of 29th March 2017, Nigeria is rated the 95th happiest country of the world, but it’s not as though Nigeria is one of the best countries in the world. But what is actually contributing to the way which despite our challenges are still delightful about ourselves and progressive in our different engagements? It’s simply like the Afrobeat musician Fela said: “we are suffering and smiling.”
The reasons include: number one – our rich cultural heritage. The Nigerian culture teaches communalism – a collective way of being and doing, so that things like loneliness and depression, which contribute to low self-esteem are done away with and our existence are validated in our relationships with others and like the popular writer late Chinua Achebe said: “A man that has kinsmen is never poor”.
The second reason is our deep religious faith. Nigerians are highly religious – whether they are Muslims, or they are Christians or they believe in the traditional religion; they believe that there is a God that oversees everything and when they are faced with challenges that ordinarily should diminish from their self-esteem and make them look at themselves negatively, they say things like: “all is well” and Christians will tell you: “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”.
Another reason is our diverse experiences. We’ve experienced so much in Nigeria – we’ve come through thick and the thin such that when we are with challenges, we ask ourselves like we do always: “wetin wan happen wey neva happen before”. So, we brush it aside and go ahead – we don’t allow those things to throw our backs to the ground and begin to look at ourselves negatively.
Another reason is our deep sense of humor. In Nigeria, we make joke of everything whether people want us to believe that we are the poverty headquarters of the world or that our system has failed or anything, we still believe that we are positive and that we can go ahead and we crack jokes and then forget about everything. But despite this, there is room for improvement. We can improve our self-esteem in Nigeria by;
- Appreciating ourselves. Simi and Tuface in the track – Original Baby said: you can’t be anybody else, no matter the pressure just be yourself because in this life, everyone is a bonafide member.
- We must dispense with culture that promotes childhood invalidity – what do I mean? There are cultures that teach that a child cannot be correct so children are often shut up, told to sit down, never to talk when elders are talking. Those things affect the self-esteem of children because psychologist believe that children begin to form opinion of themselves between the ages of 5 and 6. So we must abolish those cultures.
- We must also do away with religious teachings that promote unhealthy conservatism and women subjugation. Those things affect the self esteem of people.
- We must also disregard ethnic bias and unhealthy criticism of others because those things affect the self-esteem of those people we are negatively criticizing.
I call on every Nigerian, myself inclusive to hold on to the flag of Nigeria, the proud of ourself, be proud of our dear nation because, if you feel negatively about yourself, and you feel that Nigeria has so failed that you are proud to be a Nigerian, I would ask you like Victor AD will say: “wetin you gain?”
Thank you so much!
*The transcribing of the video presentation was done by Cynthia Okpala.