#Imagine Nigeria, through the lens of Ogenna

Ogenna

Hi. Ogenna here but I refer to myself as Sunshine, not because I’m yellow, but because I’m hoping to touch the entire world before I burn out.
You know stars don’t fade away, they do the afore mentioned.
Model, Student Engineer (I mean there are student doctors), Part time mother to my brothers, Writer and last but most important Dreamer.
Nigerian. African.

Blank slate.
That’s all I want really.
Hope.
That’s all I have truly.
Faith in the unfaithful.
That’s my mantra
Peace.
That’s what I dream of daily.
Chanting prayers like a war cry.
Like a little child waiting on Santa’s delivery.
I wait for the world to become one.

Back it up, let’s start from the top.
Let’s imagine this.
Zoom out of your map, way further, further out.
Do you see any borders ?
No ? I don’t too.
So why are we killing our brothers ?
Because I was under the impression that he who shares land with another,
They become one, just like the land they live on and toil on.
So tell me, why. Are. We. Killing. Our. Brothers ?

Let’s cut out religion
Cut out the fear of hell or heaven.
Do we have to choose ?
Muslim ? Christian ? Buddhist ? The rest ?
Let’s paint a picture and blur out the edges.
Cloudy. No hard lines to separate us.
No paper in the form of spiritual books to sway us.
Let’s imagine a world where there’s no divide.
You can say it’s just imagination.
But the earth was built out of nothing.

Black and white.
Imagine if there was no black or white.
And the whole world was grey.
If there was no Nigerian, American, Somalian, Pakistani, oh. The list is endless.
Picture if we were all grey.
With no colors to separate us.
We wouldn’t have to put our hands up all the time.
We would actually breathe.

This list is endless.
The hopes are rising.
You say I’m a dreamer.
You say I’m just a little girl.
But I’m an African little girl.
A Nigerian, an Igbo.
Would you like to hear some Igbo ?
It beats you asking me to “speak some African” when you see I’m black.
Tell me the capital of Africa.
I’ll wait. No answer ?
AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY.
Read a book. Educate yourself.

I’m coming down home.
So I don’t have to “Raise my hands” every time I wear a hoodie.
So I can run in the cold and not be termed “man on the run”
I’m coming home so “I can breathe”
But I’m home now.
And Mr police officer stops me to ask “anything for the boys”
The sales girl gives me a blank stare when I ask “why’s petrol so expensive”
The NEPA officials laugh when I say “there’s been a blackout”
I’m home and I drive like a drunken man to avoid these pot holes in my road.
How am I supposed to maintain a vehicle on these roads ?
I’ll buy another then.
But when I’m done with petrol for my generator.
“Something for Mr Police officer and his boys”
“Buying goods that are imported but could have been made here in my home”
“When I am done providing basic amenities the government should provide with my tax”
“When I’m done providing my tax”
What will I have left ?
Then I’m home and these explosions are going off in my head.
But they’re not in my head.
They’re here. In churches. In Mosques.
Why are these places running red with our blood ?
Shouldn’t they be the sanctuary we seek ?
Shouldn’t they be the getaway when we want to get away ?
Between the government and the BH boys,
My country slowly becomes uninhabitable.
Is this where I’m coming home to ?
Where I can’t even call their names for fear of the next explosion tearing me apart ?
Where my voice can’t be heard over the screams of my people.
Where my tears can’t be seen through their blood.
Shall I hang in the air now as the obodo oyibo isn’t good but ala nna’m is horrible ?
Where racism rules the former and tribalism, corruption and you name it rules the other.

I want to imagine a Nigeria without boundaries.
I want to imagine my baby girl happy as she used to be.
I want to imagine our baby girl prosperous.
Because Nigeria is our girl.
Our baby girl.
And we must come together as a family to protect her.
We must hold hands together and stand at her boundary and keep her safe from them who seek to destroy her.
Regardless of color, tribe, religion, language.
In our diversity we must become one.
I imagine.
A beautiful Nigeria.

Ogenna.
Sunshine.

***

I have known Ogenna all her life, she inspires me a whole lot. I doubt if she know’s what an amazing talent she’s got. The world hasn’t scratched her surface yet. I am a dreamer too and someday we’ll behold the Nigeria of our dreams. By the way I’m blessed to have her as a Sister. Loads of love

N/B Obodo oyibo – Is an Ibo word for The White Man’s land

Ala nna’m – Is an Ibo word for my father’s land

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