I was asked to write about the life I imagine in Nigeria. I always thought I will be prepared to write about this. I have always imagined that when the time comes for me to talk about how I want my Nigeria to look like, that I will know.
The Nigeria I imagine? I am not so sure anymore. When I was a kid, I imagined a Nigeria where I could understand everyone in their own language. A Pentecost Nigeria not the Babel I knew at the moment. A place where I could go into someone’s house without minding where they come from or what they eat
I grew up a bit and took a few trips and realized, Oh! There is a different world out there where there is steady light, the taps work, cars stop for people to pass, people cared about people, and hospitals were efficient. My desires changed, I began to imagine that world being replicated here in Nigeria. I thirsted for a change. I preached the gospel and began to change my ignorant ways starting from not throwing out trash out the window of a car. I got happier and kept preaching but I was not satisfied.
Why? Out of every 10 places I preached that change, I met 9 hungry people, 9 sad people, 9 people without hope or favours, 9 who have never imagined a better Nigeria, 9 who looked at me the way I looked at people I presumed privileged. Then I began to imagine a different Nigeria.
What if there is a Nigeria that provides equity to all its citizens? A Nigeria where everyone will be given a chance based on merit? A Nigeria where the citizens believe that things can work without nepotism? A Nigeria that inspires hope? I began to imagine all possibilities.
I got ideas, I penned them down as furiously as they came. I believed strongly that my imaginations set me apart. I imagined that my government needed my help. ‘Of course, they did not have ideas. Now I have it and they can implement it and all will be well again’ I said.
I took my ideas to my government. I sat down daily and waited patiently but all I saw was the secretaries with the currency notes and the courtesies to the givers. I left and never came back after the third week.
I am older and my imaginations fewer. I imagine a Nigeria where my children will feel safe to come home without looking over their shoulders. I imagine a Nigeria where the resources will be able to feed me, mine and yours without recourse to illegality. I imagine a Nigeria filled with trust for one another.
That is the Nigeria I imagine at the moment.
Nana Nwachukwu loves to read and practices law at her spare time. She is the current African Regional Representative of ITECHLaw Association.
Reading this just send shivers down my spine. I don’t know when Nigeria will get to the level Nana Imagines but I choose to be hopeful