What is our history?
Where do we come from?
Who are we?
Why are we here today?
Our lands and kingdoms were divided amongst foreigners even before they met us
They called it expedition
Whereas it was an exploitation in disguise
How many millions of us were taken?
Tortured, beaten, enslaved
And today we still suffer the consequences
Our brothers and sisters dispersed over the world
Barbados, Jamaica, Brazil, the States…
Stolen identities, cultures and histories
Was Lord Lugard a hero or a tyrant?
Was the amalgamation to merge distinct kingdoms with tribal differences ‘for the greater good of all’
or to expand a business?
He gave us a name ‘Nigeria’
What does that even mean?
Oh! the pain and realization that we have been lied to
Yes, by the colonial masters
But more heart-breaking, by those we were told are national heroes
Ha! Heroes indeed!
We celebrate the wrong names
Because we know not our history
We claim they fought for our independence
“In what way?”, I laugh in pain
Did Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and the rest actually fight for our independence?
Or did they establish yet another business transaction?
To fill in the holes in their pockets
To feed their lust for power
And fuel tribalism and nepotism
Greed! Greed!! Greed!!!
The Aba women of 1929
Who gave their lives to fight the oppression of the British
Pelewura, a market woman who spoke out fearlessly against the colonial tax policies
Imoudu and the railway workers of the 1945 nationwide strike
Herbert Macaulay, a true Nigerian nationalist
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti who led women to financial freedom
These are the ones I call the heroes and heroines of nationalism
I call my heroes, the youths of today, who in the face of danger, boldly hold a corrupt government accountable
Whose actions will birth a new Nigeria of my dream
I call my heroes, Jimoh Isiaq, Ayomide Taiwo, Chibuike Anams…
Whose struggle for a new Nigeria have cost them greatly
For them, we will continue the struggle
My fellow Nigerians…
Know your history!
Only by knowing the thorns in our past can we know the reasons behind our pains of today
And only then can we define our future.