When Nigerians Who Are Born Decide To Be Beautiful By Favour Benyin

When Nigerians Who Are Born Decide To Be Beautiful By Favour Benyin

Beauty is natural, but beauty can also be engineered. When a woman tends a flower garden outside her bedroom window, when an architect stands in front of his work table, waiting for inspiration to strike, when the people of a nation decide to take their fate into their hands; beauty is molded into shape.

When Nigerians Who Are Born Decide To Be Beautiful By Favour Benyin

In Africa, past generations describe their experience with some major form of ugliness. Older generations of the 19th century were enslaved; their younger in the 20th century were bitter about colonialism. To Nigeria’s delight, the wind of change[1] brought 1960[2] and they were finally free, FREE!

However, seeing that a Ghanaian author wrote the popular lament ‘the beautiful ones are not yet born’[3]; we can infer that things did not turn out so good. Nigerians still dream of travelling abroad and do travel to see the beautiful, the glorious and the unbelievably excellent. If indeed the beautiful ones are not yet born to produce beautiful things, why can’t they who are already born, fervently decide to become beautiful?

Consider C. S. Lewis‘ assertion that:

“Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children’s games are so important. They are always pretending to be grownups – playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits, so that the pretense of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.”[4]

Faking it, as an option, entails renouncing the recently popular chorus ‘I cannot come and go and kill myself’. Our situation is almost too precarious that we cannot afford to live care freely. After all, is distinction not a result that can only be achieved by going against a powerful resistant force? Will you not have to do some bitter fighting instead of avoiding the battlefield?

Faking it is Nigerians demanding more from themselves, by nursing the desire to know everything; championing the course to even formulate questions just so solutions can be sought! Faking it at international conferences, at research institutes, laboratories, libraries and educational institutions until that ‘spirit’ of innovation, origination and novelty begins to notice us and wonder about the intensity of our actions.

Everything affects everything. That the greatest ideas of science, technology, architecture and other arts have come from outside our borders confounds none of us. Perhaps, because we do know that the woman who wants to own a highly regarded garden does not wake up each day disgruntled by weeds without setting out to bend down and pull them out.

This present generation has put in a great deal of work, but not the ‘required’ deal of work. Work inspired by love, a deep fervent love of the country (as a whole) in spite of its flaws is required to cast brilliant lights on the future. This is the only kind of work that will prepare the way for established foundries, research institutes of world renowned, ideas that change the seven continents of the world and reveal the mysteries of God’s green earth.

The generations of the 21st century speak of their contempt for, but helpless surrender to neocolonialism. It was a similar case in China when Sun Yatsen realized that,

“…Never, never would imperialism give up its prey, that release could only be achieved through bitter fighting, inch by inch…Sun also saw that the instruments of foreign imperialism inside the country were the warlords, the militarists, all those who sold themselves to the West for money or power, and were then called ‘strong men’.”[5]

In Great Expectations, the following statement is a meaningful observation,

“What could I become with these surroundings? How could my character fail to be influenced by them?”[6]

For we can assume all we want that the future generations will do better, without considering that it might take too long or that they may even fall into the trappings of the surroundings we leave behind. The kind of perfect results we wish to see may then have managed to crawl its way into the country, but only at a time when this current age has passed. But thank God that it is possible for Nigerians who are born to decide to become beautiful and to create exquisite things!



[1] The “Wind of Change” speech was made on 3 February 1960 by the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

[2] Nigeria got her Independence on 1st October, 1960.

[3] AK Armah, The Beautiful Ones are not Yet Born (Heinemann 1968).

[4] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (William Collins 2012).

[5] Han Suyin, A Mortal Flower (G. P. Putnam’s Sons 1966).

[6] Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (Wordsworth Editions 1992).


Author details

Favour Benyin is a passionate pan-Africanist, researcher and versatile writer with a knack for crafting compelling narratives across various genres and mediums. She has a keen eye for detail and a deep love for storytelling. Whether it’s captivating blog posts, persuasive marketing copy, or immersive fiction, she brings ideas to life through words.

  • Contact email: benyinfavour@gmail.com
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/favourbenyin/

When Nigerians Who Are Born Decide To Be Beautiful is a guest post by Favour Benyin submitted to and published by PositiveNaija.

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