Nigeria gained its freedom on Oct. 1, 1960, which will mark exactly 53 years of independence next Tuesday.
So, as a patriotic citizen, I decided to reflect on the happenings of my country since its origins.
The medical infrastructure has been greatly improved, the transport system has become more efficient, and we are beginning to have better electricity and water supply.
Unfortunately, reaching over to this side of the world, I discovered that not many people think of Nigeria – and Africa in general – the same way as I do.
Most people see Africa as a dark, mosquito-infested continent where people toil in the pool of poverty with little to eat. But this is really not the case.
Yes, there are still a few places in Africa and Nigeria that are less fortunate, but I believe every country struggles with issues like this.
Africa is not all poor, malaria-infested and ill. There are a lot of other positive aspects to Africa.
It’s rich in resources. That was why, in history, other countries came to Nigeria – to exploit the untapped resources.
Second, a great advancement is being made in the educational sector, as more universities are being built and constructed.
Also, the medical sector is not lacking. Sure, it might not be as sound as the medical practices in America, but at least it is up and running.
There is an endless list of great things about Africa as a whole, but not many know about them. It’s not their fault. The statisticians are probably to blame.
Various statistical reports show a high incidence of death rate and the increase in poverty and certain illnesses, but not many show evidence for the gradual progress that is being made in Africa and Nigeria. We definitely have not been stagnant for 53 years.
Some of these misconceptions, though, could just be products of stereotypes. But at one time or another, I believe everyone has dabbled with stereotypes and ignorance. I have had mine, too. I thought of America a little differently than what I found it to truly be.
Hollywood might be to blame for that.
Trust me: Africa is really a great place to be, especially Nigeria.
I know it’s not as cold as here, and there aren’t as many restaurants to choose from. But hey, food tastes so much better with little fats and oils anyway.
Congratulations to Nigeria, my country, and may we continue to advance for another 53 years.