I dragged myself up from the bed that morning feeling really cranky. By my calculations, I had slept for about six hours but somehow, it seemed like just two. I was sweating profusely and the bed seemed sticky.
I couldn’t remember having a nightmare so it was a wonder that I was feeling that irritable.
Then it hit me, PHCN denied us power supply throughout the night. sighs! Nigeria!
Upon discovering the reason for my grouchiness, I hissed a “na today?” under my breath and pushed up to take a bath, hoping that would lift my mood.
I had barely spent two minutes in the shower humming my favourite Frank Edwards‘ song when the water gradually stopped running.
I stared at the shower head in horror, wondering if the day could get any worse and I had to ask myself what I had done wrong to make the day begin on such a bad note.
Since I had to get to school early for my clearance, there was no time to ponder on what I could have possibly done to piss Nigeria off.
Thanks to the keg of water that we keep in case of situations like this, I took my bath and proceeded to prepare.
As I was applying my makeup, I resolved not to let anything ruin my day. I was going to enjoy the day no matter what happened. I was after all a graduate on the verge of getting her certificate, I should be joyful not sulky.
It skipped my mind though that making resolutions were easy; keeping them was a different matter entirely.
I was walking happily to the bus stop when I sighted a beautiful creature of God. I decided that there was no harm in appreciating the work of God; after all, one did not see such creatures everyday.
Luckily for me, he was close to a signboard and so, I just pretended I was looking at the advert instead of at him.
I was so engrossed in my business that I did not notice the car till I felt the cold substance on me.
I looked down at my dress with dread because I knew what would behold me even before I saw it.
Great! I was not only soaked in muddy water, it had to happen in the presence of the last person I wanted to see me like that.
Acknowledging his sympathy with a brief nod and a tight smile, I turned back home to change. I thought it was a good thing I was still close to the house, choosing not to admit that if I had gone my way instead of ‘appreciating’ a total stranger, I probably would have escaped the ordeal.
But of course, Nigeria was at fault again. If only the government would repair the roads, there would be no cause for worry.
By the time I finally got to the bus stop, my resolve to remain happy despite all odds was hanging on a thread.
The trip to school did not help matters as the road bumps resulted in giving me a headache.
As if things were not already worse as they were, I was asked to drop “kola” before my clearance form would be signed.”
Are these people serious? Can’t they see I need the certificate to get a job?
Can’t they see allowance stopped coming in immediately I wrote my final exams? Why are they trying to embarrass me?
If only Nigeria were paying unemployed graduates to take care of themselves before they get a job, life in this country would have been better.
All these thoughts stumbled through my mind as I gave out the money I had budgeted to fix my nails.
Nigeria had done it again.
It was a good thing it still had the chance to redeem itself at the football match against Iran later that day; a match I was so sure we were going to win.
Imagine my shock when the game ended in a stalemate.
At this point, my frustration towards and hatred for this country could not be overemphasized.
I just couldn’t get over why God would make me a Nigerian. I mean, I would have been better off an American. I must have done something terrible in my former life, assuming there was something like that, and being a Nigerian in this present life is my punishment.
However, it finally struck me that Nigeria is like a love-starved child that sticks to rebellion to attract attention; hating on that child will only worsen situations but love always does the trick.
No matter how much I hate on the country, it wouldn’t change my nationality.
I could change my citizenship by neutralization or marriage all I wanted; it wouldn’t change the Nigerian in me.
I could support Netherlands for defeating Spain all I wanted, it wouldn’t make me Dutch.
I could speak “je déteste Nigeria” all I wanted, it wouldn’t make me French.
I could prefer Apple pie to Amala and Ewedu soup all I wanted, it wouldn’t make me American.
Destiny is location sensitive and there is a reason I am here.
Not accepting my identity will only frustrate me more. So instead of wishing to be something I am not, I could try to love what I am.
What made those countries enviable in the first place is the sense of patriotism and nationalism of the citizenry.
Although Nigeria is undeserving of my love, I could nonetheless contribute my loving quota the little way I can, instead of blaming the government for my every woe.
And just maybe, my attitude will be contagious and the people around me will do the same while in turn affecting those around them.
This way, we can create the Nigeria we want.