Over the years in my course of searching for Knowledge and “Truth” ( I do not know if I will ever get to the point of knowing what truth is), I have stumbled on several misconceptions, half-baked truths and different misguided principles and values of what really makes me an African.
I grew up in the 80s in the city of Lagos, Nigeria (best period so far…please do not be jealous). Those were the days when values and morals meant something. My parents gave me the double side of life-I had the affluence of living in a city and having the best of everything. I also had the unfortuntate privilege (unfortunante because I hated it) of staying and living with my paternal and maternal grand parents all under the same roof. My paternal grandmom was a real piece of work—shetaught me the values of hard-work and respect for the community and the importance of family. My maternal grand parents were from the royal family. They imbibed in me service to customs, traditions, and values that make you stand out as a man in your community. Several visits to the Palace and to the Oba also gave me deeper insight on how life should be about family, religion and service to humanity, which as my first responsiblity was to be an African, and then a Nigerian.
Over the years, the quest of our nation attainiing different world goals and mordernization has caused a huge gulf between who we are as Africans and who we are trying to be. Truth be told, we will only cause harm to our cultural fabric by trying to be who we are not. Whatever happened to the pride that flowed in our body as Africans? I am sure Mariam Makeba knew what she meant when she birthed the “BLACK AND PROUD” phrase.
These days our youths are losing their morals and values to new trends that are not in us in a strong bid to be like the westerners. They have lost the originality of what makes us Africans! Less attention has been given to our cultural heritage, values, morals and the true spirit of Africanism. It is so bad that people are now beginning to accept these trends as the new “norm” or the “trend”, with corprate brands and the goverment giving less attention to those factors which would re-birth or ressurect what the real African spirit stands for.
I can go on and on…,but the immediate change I seek I cannot get. Either way, if I start like this and through whichever medium I use, change will surely come some day. My path is the resurrection of the Nigerian cultural heritage and values which ensures bringing back those stories that tell tales of great exploits of great men and women of African/Nigerian descent who laid down their lives, broke down rules and boundaries for the self course they believed in. Bringing back those juicy African/Nigerian stories that will cause ears to tickle all around the world and let the world know that good things can and will still come out of Africa and Nigeria regardless of what the media says.
Therefore, my first and only responsiblity is to promote Africa and Nigeria in the best way that I can to inform and educate the world about what they do not know and the truth about us. Gone are the days of misconceptions on ethical typos and hear says–it is time we let them know the real story!
At the end of the day, our cultural heritage, values, morals and strengths is all that we have.
Ladies and Gents all around the world, I welcome you to the world of ASIRI.