By Isa Obi
Nigerians are curious people; we have a knack for taking common words and transforming them into the most far-fetched expressions. Although this trait is strange, it is what makes us unique, and fun to be around. Most importantly, it’s what makes us smile regardless of our qualms as members of the ‘third world brigade’.
I confess, I’m not a fun person. I’m usually found with my nose held high, shaking my head at the things of our generation. The first time I heard the word ‘naija’, I wanted to throw my hands in the air and dance on dirt until dust stuck to the sweat on my forehead. You might think I’m strange but close your eyes, block out all thoughts from your mind…and slowly say the word…naija
- Naija, like the young men raising their beers to humid summer nights
- Naija, like the hum of danfos speeding along third mainland bridge
- Naija, like the noisy traders trying to strike a deal in oshodi
- Naija, like well fed children licking palm oil off their lips
Words like naija only come around once in a person’s lifetime. The wise man who said there’s power in a name is a man after my own heart. Just like a name goes beyond a tag to identify a person, naija is not just an abridged version for the word Nigeria, our beautiful country.
Naija represents a lifestyle; audacious, proud and dynamic.
Naija’ans are not afraid to stand out and proclaim the greatness of their country. Naija’ans would rather not have been born than to subject themselves to a unitary way of life. Naija’ans are not afraid to speak when the world tries to silence them with injustice. Naija’ans are boisterous creatures, the coolest people you’ll ever meet.
Naija goes against everything that is prudish and stern. Naija represents the many different ways we continue to push the boundaries of our growth and prosperity. Naija represents a generation of modern Africans whose blood refuses to stay warm; it is hot for life,reformation and innovation. Naija is a Nigeria we can all look forward to; a juxtaposition of unity, faith, peace and progress.