1. I know more about cultures around the world than of Nigerian cultures. Until the last five years, I knew very little about the dominant tribe I came from.
2. Many Nigerians display a repetoire of classifying another Nigerian they meet in to a tribe (or State).
Question: If you are a Nigerian outside of Nigeria… How many times have you met a Nigerian and one asked where the other is from immediately after finding out they are both Nigerians?
Question: If you are a Nigerian in Nigeria… When another Nigerian asks you “where are you from?”, do they normally mean your State of residence? (Wrong! if your answer is yes)
The Awkward Silence:
If you listen to it, there is a second of awkward silence when the questoiner finds out that other Nigerian is not from a similar tribe. And hardly any enquiry follows about that tribe, but you can almost hear the “ding” in the head of the questioner.
Two elders are talking about a third person. they are from LocalityY but the third is from a LocalityX.
Elder 1: where do u think elder 3 is from?
Elder 2: he is from LocalityX…
Elder 1: therefore we shouldnt invite him to the event BECAUSE their culture finds that inappropriate
Two young-generation-ers are talking about a third. they are from LocalityY but the third is from a LocalityX.
Young 1: where do u think young 3 is from?
Young 2: he is from LocalityX
Young 1: ohhh u know those LocalityX pple…..
(LocalityX and LocalityY can be substituted with any two tribal localities)
The reaction by the first elder has a clause that gives a BECAUSE phrase. The point is not in the presence of the clause but in its quality and the sympathetic character in it. Even if in the end, the third elder is not invited, the decision comes from an informed, even though judgemental, voice.
In the second dialogue, the same decision is made but it is made from a fearful, selfish and uninformed mind. The reason i didnt include a because part is that it is most likely a heresay that often comes out of the same lowly emotions. Bigotry is begotten and so it perpetrates.
This is the tone in many political discussion forums online. one would assume this is the feeling among most nigerians, even though the online community is not a good representation of nigeria. it is safe to assume that the online community are who we hope to be the future, probably the most prospective future leaders. On the other hand, there are the senior citizens who may or may not know how to use a computer, nor care about it; they may have retired, still in office or never had a white color job. My comparison is between these two extreme generations on the spectrum of probable future leadership of the Nigeria.
In imitating the older generation, younger generation of Nigerians judge tribes that is not theirs, despite lack in quality information about the tribes. They fill this void with cliches like the Igbo only thinks of money, the Yoruba cannot be trusted, the Hausa is a selfish dummy with power. The cliches lead to a dichotomy of Us versus Them.