Saturday, 28 June 2008

Labyrinth

Pic of Rumoukorushi, Port Harcourt showing quite a contrast between the suburban shell camp and the surrounding district.


The idea that we are all,in some way, connected first hit me when I was about 6 or 7. I can remember walking back from school with my mother, who was quick to admonish me, on seeing that I played with a Naira note with my lips.
"Do you know where that money has being" my mother commented that day, with her eyes glaring the way it used to, before she realised that constant mannerisms like that, caused a distancing of her children from her. The comment triggered me into wondering where actually that money had been, right from its origins at the Central bank. I tried to imagine who had handled that particular note right from when I took it as change from the kiosk opposite my primary school. The always indifferent-faced woman at the kiosk might have gotten the note from some other student, who was probably handed the money by his pregnanancy-induced slouched mother, who herself might have gotten the money from her middle-class and thrifty husband, who just got paid his forty thousand monthly salary in two batches of 100, 50 and 20 naira denominations.

That idea of of us being all connected by some material thing or common emotional feeling has even intrigued more, with movies like crash, Babel etc. And it reoccurred to me a while ago on writing a non-linear story that chronicled certain troubled Nigerian individuals of different cultural, financial, academic and introspective differences all heading to Abeokuta city; which is the destination of their journey in search of a common desire and need. And I wondered what this common need or rather missing link, that these characters searched for, was. Then, I got transported into another realm of thought, where the idea of equating what connects all Nigerians together as a people to what connects these searching characters, occured to me. In as much as the inadequacies and annoying bustle of our country connects us all together-whether you are in Nigeria or the diaspora, I wanted some other fact or even idea that was more extrinsic and existential that binds us. And by extrinsic, I do not mean some trait in us that is as a result of our tribe or just being part of a geographical region, rather, I mean something that has being built or arrested in us and is a product of living in Nigeria or just being of Nigerian heritage. All I could come up with was the individual search of every Nigeria for self-fulfilment, regardless of our communal and sometimes repressive culture. But, I wasn't satisfied with my conclusion, as I felt the search for fulfilment and individual happiness is a common and universal one.
So, I put out this question to you bloggers or anyone reading, on what they feel connects us as Nigerians together, apart from the country's inadequacies and instability?

12 comments:

NaijaBabe said...

Wow, this is a tough one I think. But then again, I think alot of things connect us. For one, I know that Nigerians have the same beliefs in, be it politics, superstition or even places such as markets. In Nigeria, The market is the pone place where you find people from different social classes coming to shop, unlike in the UK for instance, where there are supermarkets or grocery stores where you would find certain types of people.

We have culture and thats one thing that connects us, I guess this ties in with common beliefs in ways of worship...etc.

I may be going on a tangent here, but this was quite a tricky one

Atutupoyoyo said...

LOL. YOur analogy of the Naira's journey is one that I asked myself many years ago, so much so that I wrote a small story on the life and death of a five Naira note.

Your question, I suppose is what is Nigeria's national identity? What defines or unites us as one? Cultures vary, languages change within regions, there is no national attire to speak of. I would have once said values, basic values of honour and decency. However we no longer have honour and we are far from decent. This perhaps leads to the greatest connection you can find: the desire for wealth and instant gain. It is now that which identifies us.

Afolabi said...

@ naijababe-- yeah I agree with you on that one-it's in naija, that no matter how rich one is, we'll still all shop in the shady markets, spend hours in traffic jams and not enjoy constant electricity.

@atutupoyoyo--I'm gonna go read your description on the story of the naira. Your comment is in contrast with naija babe, in that you that you claim cultures and etc vary. Which really describes how wierd and complicated naija is. Sometimes I feel nigeria is an amalgalm of counties like the US (the East and South-as capitalist as they come), Iraq (the north-mainly muslim-some extremist) and Britain (the west-these ones think they're superior to everyone). And buddy you got it, claiming our greatest connection is the desire for wealth.

Anonymous said...

http://chiomamom.blogspot.com/2008/06/your-man-bridesmaid-caught-in-act-day.html

Osondu Awaraka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oakleyses said...

chanel handbags, true religion, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, burberry outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, louboutin shoes, kate spade handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, nike free, michael kors outlet store, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, jordan shoes, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, red bottom shoes, longchamp outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet, nike air max, ray ban outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, coach purses, longchamp handbags

oakleyses said...

longchamp, nike roshe run, barbour, scarpe hogan, oakley pas cher, north face pas cher, ray ban uk, longchamp, nike air max, hollister, hermes pas cher, michael kors uk, guess pas cher, air max, burberry pas cher, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton uk, tn pas cher, sac michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max, ralph lauren, converse pas cher, timberland, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, michael kors canada, lululemon, sac louis vuitton, hollister, mulberry, louis vuitton pas cher, new balance pas cher, nike air force, vans pas cher, lacoste pas cher, longchamp pas cher, north face, sac vanessa bruno, nike huarache, nike free, chaussure louboutin, air jordan, air max pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike trainers, nike roshe, nike free pas cher, louis vuitton, true religion outlet

oakleyses said...

uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, soccer jerseys, rolex watches, ugg soldes, mont blanc pens, ferragamo shoes, birkin bag, ugg outlet, babyliss pro, north face outlet, north face jackets, p90x workout, moncler, moncler outlet, herve leger, reebok outlet, canada goose, wedding dresses, moncler, abercrombie and fitch, lululemon outlet, celine handbags, valentino shoes, ghd, jimmy choo shoes, insanity workout, new balance outlet, roshe run, uggs on sale, asics shoes, moncler, beats headphones, canada goose outlet, nfl jerseys, canada goose outlet, instyler ionic styler, mac cosmetics, ugg, canada goose pas cher, vans outlet, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, chi flat iron, ugg boots, canada goose uk, hollister

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin uk, cheap oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo outlet, uggs outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, nike free, prada handbags, burberry handbags, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses wholesale, jordan shoes, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, nike air max, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses

oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, north face, nike free run, coach outlet store online, polo lacoste, kate spade, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, hollister uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, north face uk, polo ralph lauren, lululemon canada, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, coach purses, michael kors, nike roshe run uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike tn, vans pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, coach outlet, sac hermes, jordan pas cher, nike free uk, replica handbags, michael kors, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, air max, nike air force, nike air max uk, new balance, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, hogan outlet, louboutin pas cher

oakleyses said...

nike air max, s6 case, ralph lauren, instyler, nfl jerseys, vans outlet, soccer shoes, oakley, iphone 6s cases, nike roshe run, iphone 6 plus cases, mont blanc pens, hollister, nike trainers uk, herve leger, iphone 6s plus cases, north face outlet, beats by dre, hollister clothing, chi flat iron, timberland boots, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 cases, iphone cases, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, insanity workout, babyliss, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, celine handbags, iphone 5s cases, mcm handbags, nike huaraches, ipad cases, p90x workout, reebok outlet, bottega veneta, north face outlet, hermes belt, wedding dresses, lululemon, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti outlet, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, baseball bats, louboutin

oakleyses said...

barbour, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, moncler, canada goose, hollister, louis vuitton, links of london, juicy couture outlet, gucci, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, supra shoes, ray ban, hollister, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg, pandora uk, moncler outlet, ugg uk, louis vuitton, moncler uk, lancel, converse, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, replica watches, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, marc jacobs, doudoune moncler, canada goose, nike air max, toms shoes, swarovski, wedding dresses, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, coach outlet, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, vans, karen millen uk, louis vuitton, pandora charms