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Our Nation_Funny Nigerians

I always read with amusement the various vituperations about all that is bad about our country – bad governance, bad leadership etc. (take your pick), from when I came of age, and each time this is ventilated, the leader is blamed.

It used to be the Sardauna, late Ahmadu Bello (not even the then Prime Minister – Tarawa Balew; or ceremonial president – Owelle Nnamdi Azikiwe!). Then it was the string of military interlopers, then Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, even Umaru Musa Yar’dua (despite his truncated tenure), Ebele Jonathan and now Muhammadu Buhari.

Everything that goes wrong (real and now often made-up through fake news), square on the plate of those leaders. Anything that goes right, it must be DESPITE those leaders!

My fellow compatriots, let us WAKE UP and SMELL THE COFFEE! Nigeria is what you and me make of it! Stop passing the buck. Yes! Stop it already. No leader misleads a vibrant follower-ship.

Stop accepting bribes (yes, that bag of rice, that N500 (🙆🏾‍♂️) to vote for people. Stop supporting anyone because his name is similar to yours, or he has the same ethnic origin as yours. Start paying YOUR TAXES IN FULL. Stop activities that ultimately destroy the economy you dream to enjoy (like importing banned items to make a buck, like selling fake and adulterated products). Stop conniving with foreigners to dupe your country. Let us stop cheating our own workers of their just entitlements. Let us stop all negative confessions about this country because what you see is what you get. Let us stop mistreating our spouses and children. Let us stop being mean to strangers and those ‘different’ from us because of geography.

That is only when we will get a nation that we truly deserve. On this occasion of our 59th independence celebrations, let us first remove the log in our own eyes! Let us stop being funny!

©️ Adewale Adeniji. 1st October 2019.

Passage: Robert Gabriel Mugabe (21/2/1924 – 6/9/2019).

Former Revolutionary. Prime Minister (1980-1987); President(1987 – 2017).

Husband to Sally Hayfron Mugabe (d. 1992) & Grace Marufu Mugabe.

Father to Michael (deceased), Bona & Robert.

As a student ‘revolutionary’ leader in the 1980s, Robert Mugabe WAS one of my African heroes. I voraciously devoured all materials I could find on him and Joshua Nkomo (both were Zimbabwe’s pre-independence heroes, albeit on separate divides of the struggle).

One had other revolutionary heroes (like Kwame Nkurumah, Patrice Emery Lumumba, Nelson Mandela et all) but because my youth situated in the era of his struggle, there was no competition as to who stood out for me!

My rooms in university could be described as a shrine to the guy. My close friends then did not find the ‘infatuation’ funny at all. But I digress.

Robert, but your life turned out to be a disappointment! We are cultured not to speak ill of the dead, but I am only trying to put the record straight, not malign. The western press has taken the cream on that.

At independence the world had so much hope for Zimbabwe, so much so that many established economies were willing to offer great assistance to the nascent democracy. But you had to behave archetypal as an African leader.

First was the needless and divisive competition with Joshua Nkomo that caused so much pain to ordinary Zimbabweans. Then the needless fight with Britain, which could have been better managed. The zenith was the unfair land appropriation that brought the economy of the great Mwene Mutapa (Monomotapa) empire to its knees! All because you couldn’t keep your revolutionary friends in check.

Anyone who had been in Zimbabwe in the 1980s will weep at the Zimbabwe of 2019 that will be organising your funeral rites! All because you had to be the classic African big man! What a waste, what a let down.

You had to be harangued out of office because you kept forgetting writing materials you had to go back for, rather than exit the scene in glory. Boys who once worshipped the ground guy walked on rose up to rubbish your legacy, all because you failed to put your nation before your ego.

Dear Robert, you will be remembered, not as the hero you ought to be but as a despot. And that is the sad commentary of your passing.

Fair thee well, scion of the Shona tribe. I wonder how the Ndebele would remember you? I know how the world would.

©️ Adewale Adeniji. 6th September 2019.