Happy Birthday, Nigeria

Ndewo nu. Ekaro. Sanu. The land of my birth is 45 today. No be small ting, oh! Thrown together as we were by the Beasts of no Nation, it would have been prodigy enough for the nation to have lasted a decade. It very nearly didn't. As it is, it looks as if we're intent on fusing our identity into the global fabric as a set of intriguing personalities with exotic names rather than as a nation. Just yesterday I watched Chiwetel Ejiofor put in his usual smouldering performance in the geek event of the week. I'm wondering when Wole Soyinka or Chinua Achebe will next be in my neck of the woods so I can see the great men speak. I scour the local bookshops for glimpses of anything by Abiola Irele. I grin at the rave reviews for U.S./U.K. published novels by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helen Oyeyemi and Chimezie's great friend Nnedimma Okorafor-Mbachu. I wild out when Oguchi Onyewu and Amaechi Igwe play strongly for the US national soccer team, Ogonna Nnamani for the US Women's Volleyball team, Emeka Okafor for the US Basketball team. Heck, I wonder whether Emmanuel Olisadebe will have a good run now that he's been reactivated to help Poland through the 2006 World Cup qualifiers (yeah, that's right—Poland). My son Osita and I try to catch the New York Giants (a team I've traditionally ignored) so that we can check out his namesake Ositadinma Umenyiora's skills at work in the American brand of football. Hmm. There's a broken lens somewhere behind this picture. Ah well. In a less somber observance, I've added Nigerian Blogs Aggregator to my sidebar. And I hate to wish anyone ill, but I just have to spend a moment today invoking the banana peel for Angola in the final African group four World Cup qualifier round so Nigeria can join the U.S. in booking tickets to Germany.

Nna man, men. 45 years, abi? We see wahala no mean say we no fit celebrate. E je ka jo O!

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia
7 responses
Thanks for the post.  I always feel like African nations fall off the map in American minds (including mine) and I like the excuse to look a little deeper.  All it takes is a kernel, a question and then you follow where it leads.

So what is wahala?  First reasonable hit on google:


Ah!  So wahala is trouble.  Then I had the misfortune to come across:


Now I am confused.  But I learn a little more about the area (albeit from an aid workers point of view which is likely to be darker than a average person's view).  More reading...

Gary Godfrey

Austin, TX, USA
Wahala is indeed trouble.  It comes from Hausa, but it's now pretty standard in pidgin throughout Nigeria. I didn't know the Urban Dictionary covered Nigerian pidgin. Nice.
Examining my own mental map, I find that Nigeria is one of the only two countries in sub-Saharan Africa (the other being South Africa) that has a fairly rich node with a lot of interconnections.  It seems like a place to me, with Nigerians, as opposed to other African countries which basically contain Africans.

This is obviously influenced by the fact that I know several Nigerians, but I don't think that can be the whole story, though I can't exactly explain why.

"Nigeria is the _______ of Africa":  fill in the blank.
Ke du ka imare?:)

i just stopped by, googling for the lyric of "sweet mother" by prince nico(this is my favourite song). This song reminded me that

october 1st was the independence day!

so happy anniversary nigeria! and God bless.

am japanese but my husband is from nigeria and we live in japan.

seems like this blog is really interesting, you wrote something about hiphop right?

anyway, have a nice trip!(going back to nigeria)
The more I learn about the variety of music from Nigeria, the more I realize I still have to learn, but I thought I'd point out  http://www.naijajams.com for those who are interested. It's a weblog about Nigerian music covering highlife, Fela, Fema, recent hiphop stuff, and more. Usually there's an MP3 to go

with each entry.

O di qua mma.  Gi, kwanu?  So your Igbo is good and your English is great.  Excellent.  What are your husband's impressions of Nigeria?  Has he learned the language?  Did the tonality of Igbo help in learning Japanese?  (I know that Igbo has fewer tones than most Asian languages, but I figured it might at least help with the concept of tone when learning such languages).

And yes, I write about hip-hop all the time here.


I guess minds of some sort think alike, eh?  :-)  I mentioned Naijajams in the following entry.  I love that site, too.  You might also want tot check out "chromegat"'s Webjay play lists.  He always at least has good, thinking person's hip-hop, and sometimes he has good African stuff mixed in as well.


Ngeria has indeed given birth to potential.Ok, Nigeria is itself a potential in all ramification.But what is happening to our economic,social and political institutions is disheartening