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.
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…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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