Happy Independence Day Nigeria

October 1st marks Nigeria’s Independence from British rule on this day in 1960.

This article is intended to highlight those attributes that Nigerians should be proud of and I set out to ask individuals both in and out of Nigeria, Nigerians and Non-Nigerians what in their opinion makes this great nation. It was not easy as most people I interviewed were more concerned about the things not working in Nigeria. “There is a basic law that like attracts like. Negative thinking definitely attracts negative results. Conversely, if a person habitually thinks optimistically and hopefully, his positive thinking sets in motion creative forces, and success” – Norman Vincent Peale. We are all about positive thinking and as such this article would only project those things that make us great.

Before we dive into the opinion of our friends I would like to share a little history. Pre-colonial Nigeria dates back to 11,000 BC and there’s hypotheses that some settlements were created even earlier. The Prehistoric tribes developed in their own way, gradually forming up the current ethnic groups which we have today. Historians state, several African civilizations such as the kingdom of Nri, Benin Empire, Songhai Empire, and the Oyo Empire had once settled in the country.

European influence in modern day Nigeria began when in the 16th Century the first explorers from Spain and Portugal began trading with locals, leading to developments of Ports such as Lagos. The British became an increasingly dominant influence in the region in the late 19th Century after invading the region. In 1914, the territories under British rule combined to create the colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, which forms the borders of modern day Nigeria.

Many aspects of modern life in Nigeria were established under the period of British rule, but by middle of the 20th century, the call for Independence sweeping across Africa and the decline of the territories in the British Empire led to Nigeria being granted Independence on OCTOBER 1st 1960.

Today, 60 years after, a fully Independent Country, we are the most populous Country in Africa with around one in every five Africans being Nigerian. What should we truly be proud of? Here are the opinions of some friends of asterixexx.

Victoria Uwadoka, a Nigerian. Communication professional with over 20 years of experience across West and Central Africa. Her career spans across various industries including logistics, entertainment, beauty, healthcare, ICT, food and beverages. Currently lives in Lagos and is Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Nestlé Nigeria @victoriandee21

For me it is all about the people…Nigeria has the most resilient of people who have the super power of finding joy in the midst of challenges and pain. This superpower gives us the ability to keep thriving and smiling despite all the challenges. That has kept Nigeria going this far. We have strong faith that tomorrow will come…as we say e go beta.

Nigeria is rich in resources, we need to look beyond Oil and look towards Agriculture, its people, its industries… We need to look beyond just being happy and put effort to tap into our numerous resources to make a positive change. We need to start demanding more from ourselves and our leaders.

Rafer Johnson, An American. Entrepreneur, Community leader and world traveler. He is a 2009 leadership Atlanta Alumnus, former Chair of the Board & commissioner for the Housing Authority of Fulton County, Georgia USA. Currently lives in Atlanta @raferjohnson.us

As a foreigner whose DNA is mostly Nigerian, a frequent visitor, business owner, friend and family to many Nigerians, it is my honor to offer a short perspective of ‘Nigeria’ beyond 60…

This land and its people are rich in resources and opportunity. Nigeria is one of the greats of Africa and the World but its time to use its gifts to Lead by Example or get surpassed. I travel the world and i see much poorer countries where the people enjoy better quality of life. I see a future where my ‘Nigeria’ is doing it even better!! This country can be the jewel of Africa, but its people and its leadership have to want it, truly want it to be better than the rest – not just talk it but be it.

The beautiful colours of the Ankara, the flavours of Jollof, the intelligence, passion and pride of its people are all the things that I celebrate. But dream with me for a minute.

I would LOVE to see the economy and quality of life enabled by 24/7 power, smooth roads, better mobile networks and internet. Just these 4 simple things would free up the great talent of its peoples, so they can share their gifts with the world and take their place as leaders.

  • the ride from the airport to Lekki in 30 mins on a regular with smooth roads and traffic patterns on a regular basis!! Abeg.
  • Power 24/7 – so that everyone can sleep and rejuvenate to wake up fresh and ready to contribute to this great land. Beyond that, it would have our children and parents breathing fresh air, not fumes of generators that may cause health challenges. BIG, BIG, ABEG!
  • One call vs 10 to get the same thing done – it would free up the networks and again the resources of the people

As we look out at BEYOND 60 towards the NEXT 60 – I ask you to consider changing the name of this wonderful land to one that reflects a unified people, regardless of tribe, color, height or social status. One chosen by its people, not one given to it. These Kingdoms that make up what is ‘Nigeria’ deserve more than that. I look forward to being part of that future.

Silverline Okoroh, A Nigerian. Currently lives in Atlanta, USA. Blogger and YouTuber, CEO of Silverline’s Beauty Playbook @ms_steal_urgirl

Nigeria, to be honest, will always be a place of great potential even with how unstable it appears to be to the outside world. Honestly, as a young immigrant walking the streets of Chicago in 1998 at the age of 12, I never saw Nigeria as a place I could be proud of. I strongly denied home even with knowing how good home had been to me and my upbringing. Its pure struggle when you know you come from a place of greatness but can’t find the words to truly describe it, especially to those who see us differently.

Music has always been my safe haven, and with the rise of Nigerian music and artist, its been a source of inspiration. Nigerian music has broken grounds and effortlessly changed the way many people see us. Watching different people experience the greatness in Nigerian culture through music, has been pure joy. I never hesitate to say now that i am Nigerian in any setting.

People come to me now to tell me how their DNA results reveals that we are now related.

As Nigeria turns 60, I see us growing into a Nation that is globally recognized as a power house and a strong contender not only in music, but in other avenues.

David Dagat, A Nigerian. Curious quadragenarian. Ageing gamophobe. Service Pro with over 15 years of experience. Currently lives and works in Lagos @zwancd

Nigeria is home to the most disparate, buoyant and dexterous people. Now more than ever, I am proud to call her home. Living in Lagos (her most populous state) has helped inform me of the gems of our country, be it in art, entrepreneurship or simply “‘how to make it through the day’ for dummies.”

The amount of talent that was once disregarded, but now sought after and promoted, is continually increasing by the minute. That in turn gives hope to every person with a dream, believing they are worthy of succeeding in life. Amidst the hardships, which are present in every environment across the globe, many Nigerians persevere on the daily, carpe diem style. 

Although the heterogenousness exists, people can also find common grounds that unite them, be it through corporate or social outlets. 

These are what make Nigeria special to me.

Dr. Fatimah Olagunju, A Nigerian. Medical doctor by profession, Marketing Professional with over 14 Years experience Across Africa. Currently lives in London and running an MBA program with the London Business School. @remawaolagunju

Happy Independence Day my country Nigeria.

What do i love about thee… I love the many different cultures we have which brings texture and flavors to our lives. The flavors include the very many different dishes we can make in our homes and get in our restaurants irrespective of culture. I love White soup and Edikang-ikong from the South East, Gbegeri and Ewedu from the South West and Taushe and Kuka from the North. Diversity does add flavor to our lives!!

Nick Smith, A Jamaican. Currently lives in USA, Software Engineer @hammersmith876

As Nigeria turns 60, the country still has significant potential to become greater. With a booming population and Lagos projected to be one of the worlds largest cities by 2030, expect a country that will attract massive external investment.

However, there are some key goals that the Government of Nigeria have to accomplish to realize this potential; they must reduce corruption both at Federal and State levels. They also need to diversify the economy and stop relying so heavily on oil revenues. If these issues are not addressed, growth will be stunted and the country will not significantly advance. Nigerians have developed a heavy appetite for imported luxury goods, the foreign exchange will be in short supply to sustain this type of demand.

Henry Esiaba, A Nigerian. Brand Expert…trend setter….Go-getter Lives and work in Lagos @henryafterwork

The people make Nigeria… Nigeria is full of talented and creative minds no wonder the world can’t get enough of us.

Image credit @mr.avid

I would like to know your own perspective of what makes Nigeria. use the comment section to drop your views. Hope this was a good read?

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