Thank God I Am Nigerian!

Posted on 23/09/2011

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A lot of emotional animosity has recently been generated between Nigeria and Ghana, two nations with traditional history of rivalry dating back to pre-independence days, all over a Ghanaian hit song recently released by the Ghana-based group called the FOKN Bois. It is a song that totally disparages Nigeria and most things Nigerian – our culture, tradition, music, politics; nothing is spared. The title of the song says it all: “Thank God, We Are Not (A) Nigerians. (sic)” Perhaps the song was produced as a publicity stunt – inclusive of the grammatical verbiage! The FOKN Bois have been touted as the Ghana version of Nigeria’s Maintain – often employing parody and satirical comedy in their songs. However, this time around the boys seem to have bitten off more than they can chew. If you have not yet listened to the song since it went viral, permit me to reprint the lyrics.

 

“Kofi is a common name, that’s what even I say
But a Ghana man will never call a child Friday.
Thank God we’re not Nigerians.

 

Always shouting very loud, don’t know how to whisper…
And why say Mistor, instead of Mister?
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

You like school more than any African I’ve seen
Simple thirteen, you still say tharteen
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

They ban the whole team, you can’t even play
Can’t you just say Hi, what is ‘Ki lon sele?’
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

You barely qualify, then get stuck
President Goodluck but you still suck
Thank God we’re not Nigerians.

 

Instead of Hamburger or Pizza with ham,
You eat Egusi with pounded yam
Thank God we’re not Nigerians.

 

Always trying to show off, even when you eat
One soup, no vegetable but twelve different meat
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

Fela was a great Musician, yes of course
(Inaudible) something drugs
Thank God we’re not Nigerians.

 

You created Nollywood, yes more of it
But too many witches and wizards in your film
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

Always in traditional wear everywhere
Haven’t you hear of Armani wear (sic)
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

For example, shining five-piece agbada
You can look very good in Dolce and Gabbana
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

Not going anywhere fast, let’s just stroll
Traffic everywhere, many bad bad roads
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

No street light from Oregun to Ikeja
Four-four, join-join two-two on Okada
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians.

 

Extra page in your passport to pass and go
You have learn very well from Obasanjo (sic)
Thank God we’re not Nigerians.

 

Email fraud, Pyramid, 419
Oh that’s not fine
Thank God we’re not a Nigerians
But at least you are better than Liberians.”

 

Comedy, satire, ridicule, insensitivity…or plain stupidity? From a professional viewpoint, an artiste can claim creative license and lyrical freedom to a large extent. The choice of what to sing or write about is the individuals, and boundaries can only be decided by legislative restrictions in the case of extreme morality or politicization issues. Where would one place the FOKN Bois? Is there a need for a diplomatic protest across borders? Or is this just one of those things the diplomats laugh about over a little cognac, Cuban and back-slapping?

 

If one understands the Nigerian spirit one would dare the FOKN Bois a trip to Lagos. Despite the perambulation of our political fortunes and derailment of many hopes, desires and dreams by serial maladministration and repetitive leadership ineptitude, Nigerians are a proud people who are extremely sensitive of their nationality and very defensive about their ‘Nigerianess.’ I can’t remember who first said it, but you can’t put a good Nigerian down. Nigerians have a die-hard, never-give-up ability that all of Africa, nay the world, admires. The ‘others’ just can’t understand why we haven’t keeled, given up or broken up, yet. Why despite existing within a state of malfunction, we are often touted, ‘the happiest people on Earth!’ The FOKN Bois are going to find out why, pretty soon.

 

There is a reason why Nigerian movies are determining Africa’s place in Tinsel Town; it’s no fluke that Nigerian songs are the DJ’s choice on dance floors from Banjul to Blantyre. Are you any surprised that a Nigerian has won the last three editions of Big Brother Africa? In Nigeria, there is nothing wrong with eating Egusi, having an accent or being called Friday. There is a reason for everything. Besides if only our young Ghana friends knew, we have over a hundred different accents – put a Calabar man in the same room with a Bini, Ibadan and Kano person, the average non-Nigerian would be amazed at how they understood each other’s spoken English, perfectly. And it’s ok if the Basketmouth’s and Julius Agwu’s make a mickey of it – trespassers are not allowed!

 

A number of Ghanaian friends concerned about the foray, although apologetic, insist that the song was just a joke and that the FOKN Bois are famed in Ghana for their unconventional politically incorrect music. Some Nigerian colleagues are also laying much of the blame of this happenstance on the doorsteps of previous Nigerian administrations, which have seemed helpless in providing a venerable game plan towards national resuscitation. It is fact that our national morals and ethics have been greatly devalued over the years. Some say that he who calls his plate dustbin is the one who invited people to throw dirt into it. Many Nigerian professionals, businessmen and celebrities are leaving Nigeria in droves and resettling themselves in places like Accra and Johannesburg – places where our Nigerian ‘showmanship’ have always been envied. Nobody loves to be the butt of a bad joke, but perhaps this could be the wake up call to all Nigerians to demand better performances of their leaders. By the way, when last did you eat a really good plate of pounded yam and Egusi stew? Okada! Kate’s Kitchen. How much?

 

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Posted in: Features