Disclaimer: You really should stop reading my disclaimers. Most times they never have any relation to the post… just like this one.
I’m hoping I’m the last person on earth that has seen Lone Survivor. I always had the movie on my laptop but like every true life story movie, I never tried watching it. Not because of beef or anything but unlike fictional movies, true life stories ALWAYS have a tragic ending.
Just heard a Jason Derulo song on the radio… what the hell happened to that guy? His future seemed so bright… but then so did Pato, GEJ, MayD and even Nigeria.
Like I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself; I flee from true life stories. A perfect example is that Bollywood movie; The Family that got everybody in my school wailing and shot up the prices of tissue paper. Everybody was crying including my guys. I was the last man standing and that’s because I refused to watch it. Bad guy like me can’t be found crying.
Sha… sha… owing to my resentment, I refused to watch Lone Survivor immediately I got it about a year ago until some days back and dare I say, I was thrilled! Like the title implies, only one person survives and every other person dies, blah blah blah… did I mention that the movie was about marines. Yes, US marines!..and even though the effects, especially the deaths were pretty detailed and grotesque but they didn’t take anything away from the plot or in this context, true story.
Before you think this is a movie review, let me stop and deviate into why I’m really here. I learnt tons of things from the movie and I’ll like to share them with you as they’ll help me in unravelling the title of this post. I have broken down what I learnt into three words;
Patriotism – Brotherhood – Love
It’s a known fact that that most Nigerians are not patriotic. Yes, many claim they are but they definitely won’t spend twenty seven (27) years in jail for a cause for their country. I mean I doubt I’ll do that myself. That’s Mandela’s destiny path not mine. And like a question I heard in a pretty good Korean movie (peer pressure made me watch it) Secretly Greatly
Who would you rather die for; your mother or your country?
I laughed at this point in the movie and imagined a Nigerian being asked this question, the answer would be given without any thought; Mother. The country can find other willing martyrs in its 170 million citizens; many would be quick to say. Even those that have lost their mothers would still refuse.
In this movie however and in reality, marines basically put their lives on the line for their country and they do so with joy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you lead a revolt with men in your neighbourhood and head to Chibok to fight the Boko Haram neither am I telling you to stand in the way of an armed robber with a pistol. That’ll be suicide and I won’t take any blame for your actions.
A great deal of Nigerians including myself are quick to disown the country when it’s time to stand up to some things or make sacrifices. To us, dying for a cause is an abomination and dying for our country is a laughable idea. It’s time we stand for something. It’s time we recognise ourselves as legit children of this great nation and children are meant to honour their parents and guardians.
Simply put, the act of treating each other the way you’ll treat your siblings and for some reason, we seriously lack that trait in this country. Its every man for himself these days, even blood relationa are not exempted, unless I need something from you, don’t expect a call. When we were younger, they enforced that we loved our neighbours like ourselves. Today, it has become ‘beware of your neighbour’.
In Lone Survivor, bar the fact that marines are made to go through rigorous traning exercises together, all these people were random folks from different races and walks of life but come a mission and they become the closest set of brothers I have ever seen. What happened to the Nigeria where neighbours stood together as one when NEPA comes around to slamming outrageous bills on our meters and cutting wires off their poles? What happened to the Nigeria where market women looked after the stalls of their competition, the Nigeria where anybody was allowed to marry anybody?
I doubt I can take a fulani or hausa lady to my mother as my bride. She will probably rebuke me and tell me her family might be members of the Boko Haram sect like everybody in the north is in support of terrorism. I haven’t even brought up the beef Yourba mothers seem to possess against their sons having Ibo wives… I mean, I adore Ibo ladies with their fair skin colour and dark hair but no, mama says I can’t have one as my wife.
It’s high time we put a stop to the feuds we have for one another and bring back our nation because that’s the only way we can move forward. If ever something happens and we have to stand against it, we would have more hope succeeding as one country not as Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa or any other tribe for that matter. We are Nigerians first, the tribal differences come later. And remember the proverb about the lone broom and the others in a bunch. Unity pays and its brotherhood that achieves that.
It is one thing to say you love your country; it is another thing to mean it.
Gone are the days when as students, we recited the national anthem and pledge with so much pride and gusto. Then we wanted to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, pilots with good intentions in mind. Good intentions that involved the well being of the country. Now that we’re much older and maturity has set in, we still want to be those professionals but it’s for our pleasure and our immediate families. The country has been thrown out of the equation. There were days when we listened to the news and our hearts ached when we heard of tragedies. These days, we just pray “Father, don’t let it come near me or my family”. Inasmuch as we insist we aren’t the problem, we are a big catalyst to it.
Togetherness is non-existent anymore. Some sell their patriotism and love for the country for bags of rice. Others just do it for some notes of Naira. And when the situation gets out of hands, we are quick to decamp abroad in the search of greener pastures and leave the country to its palava. God forbid a revolution like ‘Ghana must go’ of those days befalls us in those countries, we would cry foul and say Nigeria has destroyed our heritage.
Truth is this is our home. Unlike many other countries where the ground opens up to swallow its citizens and various forms of famine and hurricanes are happening, ours has chosen to give us a safe life and fertile grounds. We aren’t scared of tsunamis or earthquakes because our motherland cares. And whether you like it or not, if your mother loses a hand or a leg, she doesn’t seize being your mother.
I hope you take a cue from the heroes that gave their all for their country in the movie and stand up for ours. It’s not her fault she has corrupt leaders presiding over her, it’s ours and the least we could do is show her some love and respect. And like the Brazilians and Americans that reach cloud nine when their anthems are being recited or played, our nation deserves a reaction like that. She has being a caring mother and she deserves better. She deserves better from all of us.
Have a lovely day.
I remain Mike Dammy
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