WAZOBIA _ Sourced from Google

WAZOBIA _ Sourced from Google


At the very rowdy bus-stop on a very hot afternoon, the rays of the sun penetrating my skin made me feel like I was roasting. Beads of sweat were building up on my forehead and then, dripping down through my temples down to my jaw line and my neck. To my dilemma,the noise of babies crying, the vehicles plying the road, the people chatting away and the pungent smell of exhaust gases began to make me feel sick. My legs could barely support my mass as it was the second hour of my wait for the BRT. The driver of the long-awaited BRT drove slowly towards us as he tried to make music with the horn of the bus. With enthusiasm, we all tried getting into the bus when suddenly noises were heard. I wondered what the turmoil was all about,  I then began to hear things like “oloshi”,”were”, “oponu” (insults in Yoruba) and the likes. A Yoruba woman was very pissed off about the fact that an Ibo man hit her during the struggle to get into the bus and he did not apologize.  At that instant, there was an eruption in the bus and virtually all the passengers began to argue and rain insults on one another on which tribe was better- Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa, Urhobo and all…

• • •


I sat back wishing they saw things from my point of view.

With all honesty, virtually everybody will say their tribe is better than the other. But really, is there any tribe better than the other?  Not at all. The common term used in referring to the three major tribes in Nigeria is WAZOBIA which means “come” in all three languages. This is a very clear pointer to the fact that we all speak the same language or rather, we are meant to speak the same language but the reverse is the case.

Tribalism is a very major factor hindering our progress in this part of the world. Yoruba girls don’t want to get married to Edo guys. Hausa men don’t want people of other tribes in their states. Ibo people believe the Yoruba’s are saucy and the Hausa’s are dirty. Western business men don’t want Easterners as their employees, apprentices or partners… It really shouldn’t be.

We are all from different tribes to complement one another, not to monopolize the whole nation.

Examining the situation objectively, every person, tribe and culture has its own differences and those differences should be embraced by everyone whether or not they are pleased with it. It’s not just about embracing those differences but embracing them with love. Really, with genuine love not eye-service. The issue of tribalism is an exigency and should not be left unhandled.And guess whose job it is to handle it? YOU!!!

If you were the only person to save the world and were to be accompanied by someone of an entirely different culture, would you opt out? Well, if you do, you will be obliterated along with the world. (Just so you know)

It could be somebody from another tribe that could help you attain what you’ve been craving for.

It could be that person from another culture whom you’ve really despised that could be the literal answer to your problems.

It could be you, who is so concerned about people’s ethnicity that would have to head a group consisting series of different people or even be the president of the country.

I’ll like to admonish you to be that difference maker in the society. A renowned writer, John C. Maxwell, said,

“making a change is in your attitude”

Develop a positive attitude towards people. Look at everybody with love. Interact with people like they are directly related to you, Seriously, you’ll change the world, not only the society.

• • •

…the squabble continued until we got to the next bus-stop. Then I suddenly noticed the Ibo man who got into the dispute observing his opposition, the Yoruba woman as she searched her bag frenziedly. It was evident her money was missing, so paying for her fare was impossible and anxiety was creeping up her face. He stood up, walked towards her and smiled at her with so much depth in his eyes that spoke volumes and handed her the bus fare… That got me!


• • •

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Thank you for Reading.

Tofunmi Onaolapo




14 thoughts on “Wazobia

  1. Hmmn…The language of Love&Unity…The only solution to our nation’s problem lies within us.I keep telling people this-If u love your neighbour,u wouldn’t wanna embezzle his pension funds.Let’s Live to Love!..Really inspirational post.*Thumbs up*


  2. I always say. Most places I go, that I’m first a Nigerian before any other thing. If we all try to cultivate the habit of seeing ourselves as “Nigerians in One Nigeria”, life will be better for everyone, including YOU!!!! Nice gesture by the Ibo man at the end though!


  3. It’s really not about the tribe but about the heart , a tribe or culture does not define an individual but his heart and d spirit of God in him. God help our nation and change our mentality


  4. Quite awesome to finally see someone who sees from my oown point of view… It has been clearly illustrated and explained… Nigeria is Wazobia… Togetherness brings unity


  5. Tribe,Culture,family background, upbringing does not define an individual. Its rily sad to know that we are quick to judge looking at these things.e.g ohhh I’m a yoruba girl and he’s from Imo state, i can never date him. If we look beyond all this, i think Nigeria will be a better place. One Love!


  6. Beautifully said. But, we do have to spread this awareness because; like the Igbo man and the yoruba woman, a lot of Nigerians still do not see things that way. At the slightest provocation, they still turn on each other, taking tribal/ethnic sides, turning “WAZOBIA”,into “WA vs ZO vs Bia”. I hope we all will, like ireteeh said, look beyond all this ….ASAP
    One Nigeria….United under God!


  7. This is a very interesting post for starters,quite concise and lucid as well.it had a bell ringing inside my head which made me recall my last chat session on this week with a friend on twitter who was responding to this trending tweet: “the tribe I hate most in naija is _______” such trends wouldn’t even prevail if we coexisted in peace and harmony.so this guy filled in the hiatus with “hausa” the timeline is a dangerous place but a lot of us feel it’s merely a cyberworld so who gives a hoot?!I hit him up on BBM later in the day and said that I’d made an incredible discovery today,he asked “really?what’s that?” Then I replied “I figured that a friend of mine detests hausa people the most in this country.seems most of us are definitely wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing!” He felt ashamed and dropped lame excuses like “come on that was a joke,it’s just twitter!” I mean who treats another person’s culture with such levity on a public timeline?people really need to be more cautious about what they do and say these days.so I told him that I was shocked and disappointed even though am not hausa.then a couple of diatribes against the hausas began gushing out.he ended with “you’ll never know,but the truth is,the hausa people are the most tribalist people in Nigeria.now this is one statement I’ll oppose until hell freezes over cos there’s no vestige of truth in it to say the least.he is igbo,so I think he should leave the east for a bit and find real answers to his pending questions.thanks for the link,God bless!


  8. I do hope people ie Nigerians will learn to live happily together like brothers and sisters as one in this country.


  9. Really got me reading when she said “Ibos think the yoruba’s are saucy” … Felt touched! Guilt filled….Guess we all are culprits here..and it’s time we redefine our mentality. Bliss.


  10. i must start by saying dis post was written 4 me. am so guilty in dis area. i rili thank God 4 dis write up cos it went deep into my head and heart. thanks 4 dis. more people need to read dis.


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