Secondary School geography says America is the name of two continents, North and South America. In real life, it’s the United States of America.
America owns much of the global news lately. There are minorities, most especially black people, who have gone from citizens to walking targets. Well, they’ve always been target practice, but now there are cameras to catch it on tape and make us go crazy.
That’s not all. They have to choose between the arrogant/elitist/racist-but-I-have-black-friends bully we all hated in primary school, and an elitist/corporate capitalist/I-have-black-friends-too bully as their next President.
But when all these things fade out of the news, one thing will still remain; the American arrogance deeply ingrained in ignorance.
Lagos and America are birds of the same arrogance.
We know Lagos is doing fine, compared to the rest of Nigeria. The GDP of Lagos alone is Kenya’s sugar daddy goals. We are the rich uncle of West Africa, and clearly, an African culture powerhouse. Heck, there is a thing as ‘Nigerian accent’, ask Sauti Sol.
Lets play a little Game of Compare.
Some guys in The Abroad did a poll; they were asking if America should go bomb Agrabah. 57% weren’t sure, but 30% were like BOMMBBB THEM!
Here’s the fun part. No real person lives in Agrabah. That’s because Agrabah it’s where Disney’s Aladdin lives. Duh-uh.
The Lagos arrogance is not that different and looks like this tweet.
But its a free world, so this person has the right to their opinion. Never mind that Prof. Umar Maryah of University of Maiduguri has tried to get it into our thick skulls that Sambisa is the size of Lagos, sixty times the size of Lagos.
This is the arrogance that makes you forget that Nigeria doesn’t begin and end in the smallest state in Nigeria, or the type that makes you forget that Ibadan is only 11% of Oyo State. Or the one that makes you think everybody after Ore in Ondo State is Igbo. Or the type that makes you forget that the North is not Hausaria.
There are talented people outside Lagos too, and not all of them come to Lagos to blow. There are designers, artists musicians, programmers, and everyone else you can imagine.
Ah, the immigration part.
America is the land of opportunity, like Lagos. Donald Trump, whose ancestors are German, thinks some people like him have more right to America than he does. How familiar.
Remember last year when some people thought it was a great idea to throw people in the Lagoon if they worked against what they perceived to be the “best interests of Lagos”?
Remember recently when some people thought hawkers should be kicked out of Lagos because they can’t follow all of Lagos’ rules and perhaps “aren’t really Lagosians”?
Here’s the fun fact; most of you are as Lagosian as Trump is American. Most of your grand-daddies and mummies came from their little villages looking for greener pastures in Lagos, like a huge chunk of those hawkers, who were probably born in Lagos.
And if you think being Yoruba gives you some right to Lagos, you better be Awori, because they were here long before you got here. Back when they still had to pay taxes to the Oba of Benin, who sent his son down to rule Lagos as the first Oba.
While this arrogance is not so with all Lagosians, it is ingrained in its institutions. Its in how you look at JJCs, how you think it can’t be good if its not Lagos-certified.
Lagos, like America, was built by all types of people, from all types of places, including those places we think less off. So yes, maybe Lagos really is the Centre of Excellence where all the greatness is Nigeria is born and bred. But my people beyond that Berger bus-stop, there’s a whole new world out there, and while you might be shocked to know this, its not all bush.
There really is a world beyond the noise, heat, crowd, and traffic.