Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is It A Crime? I AM NOT THE WORLD'S CHICKEN!! YOU GET??

I missed you guys muah, muah, kiss, kiss. LOL!! A lot of you sent me emails, 'where are you? Are you okay? Are you sick? Someone even sent me a sweet email telling me that if I am sick, he will fly to New York to take care of me'. So sweet!! Well, I had to really prioritize and most people who know me will tell you that I am one of those people that will rather not do anything half hearted, so I closed off a lot of things and focused on some other things. But, I am back at least for 2 months eh.

Well, I want to be the first to say, Happy Birthday Dr. Mandela. A lot of people fought for your freedom. A lot of Africans believed in what you preached and some still do. Happy Birthday - you've lived 30 years more than I intend to live. Happy Birthday!!

Now, the other day - I was watching a disturbing video on youtube about the root cause of Xenophobic violence in South Africa and as I watched it, it hit me that these are the same complaints that other groups of people have about the same group of people. I have to say that I hid my face in shame knowing that I am one of these people. As most people know (as if my skin color and curly hair didn't tell you), I am Igbo and proudly Igbo at that. It seems that Igbo people have been characterised as being 419ers, crack and drug dealers and what have you in South Africa. As one South African said in the video, "we act as though we own everything". Do we really? I think a lot of times, the Igbo man or woman has been misunderstood - the issue really in many cases, is that we REFUSE to be intimidated and for those who are used to intimidating, this could be seen as arrogance.

Who are the Igbos? - These are people who live in the South Eastern region of Nigeria. They are a very proud group of people, known for their love of money (yes, Igbo people I said it), their go getter attitude and their need to achieve in all they do. Beyond this, just like the Jews, the Igbos are GREAT at business. We are known for being business oriented, so we have a reputation for turning non-business ventures into blooming businesses (can anyone say Nollywood?). It is a gift and a curse at the same time.

What is the problem really?
Simple, I think a lot of Igbo people have forgotten that when they are on someone's land, they should act as though they are VISITING (doesn't matter if the land is in Africa or where have you). They have forgotten that everything we do is scrutinized seven times over and as such, we are ambassadors of this heritage that we hold unto so tightly. I am not saying allow yourself to be intimidated and become a yes sir, yes sir person. NO, stand up for yourself but pls, anam a yo gi (I am begging you o), please, can we use our brain cells for more positive things? I am tired of being the chicken of the world. I am tired of the look of despise when I tell other Africans that I am Igbo though I grew up in Lagos. I am tired of the , "my gosh, you people are too smart - let me look through this paper work one more time".

We have earned a great reputation - a LOT of our women are in high levels of power all over the world. A lot of us are working three times as hard to get rid of that smirk of 'up to no good' from outsiders faces. Please, help us! We are a smart people -let us use our brains for good. Like the Aba made industry, these are people who can repair cell phones and other kinds of electronics just by looking once at a diagram, just like our gift for picking languages at the snap of our fingers (when we put our mind to it - it has to be beneficial in some ways), just like those who built some powerful weapons of war during the Biafran war - with almost no manufacturing industry and weapons that are STILL being studied till date with a look of awe as to 'how did these people do it?'. Let us regroup, re frame and clean up our acts.

I AM NOT THE CHICKEN OF THE WORLD! I WILL NOT BE CHASED! I WILL NOT BE KILLED!


come on, you know I call it as I see it.

11 comments:

Jinta said...

mandela will be 90. you mean you would pack your bags at 60?

you say igbos refuse to be intimidated. i think anyone who approaches life 'refusing' to be intimidated stands the risk of being perceived as aggressive, and that applies to all tribes and nations. i do, however, admire the industry shown by the igbos in developing weapons during the war

pamela said...

Yes, Jinta - 60 me I intend to go. :-). Main reason, I am rushing kia kia to finish what I gots to.

Well, the question really is why should anyone be intimidating anyone? Why should anyone feel that it is their God given right to intimidate? If you watched the video - one thing that really stood out was when the guy said, that this people (refering to the igbo) walk around with no form of protection except other Nigerians and as such they are targetted. Being called ATM's and what have you - it is sad.

What have you been up to....

Pammy

Igbo said...

I watched the video and it was horrifying. I think that the main problem is one of perception. This group of people are being percieved a particular way and as such they will remain a target. I feel sorry and I blame our government. If things were done right in Nigeria, why should people leave their home country to move anywhere?

Anonymous said...

Well...that's a nice article.I love your proudness, of being an Igbo waman.Am happy that your heart tells you, that we "Igbos" of which you are part of dosen't like to be intimidated.
If i may ask, who likes to be intimidate?, where ever and when ever.One of the Igbo provarb says "Agwo emeghi ihe ojiri buru Agwo Umuaka achia ya n'aka"(If sneck dosen't act like a sneck children are going to play with it).Therefore am proud to be an Igbo man.
But, comeoooooo!!!!!!!, you made a good point concerning our knowlagde of business like Jews, (since Igbos believed that they are from Isreal.Our(Igbos) problem is that we are not thinking about technology instead ,we use the talant GOD has given us wrongly .I ageed with you in that.
IGBOS LET THINK BEFORE IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR US. I LIKE YOUR ARTICLE PAM!!!!!!

pamela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
evernuel1010 said...

Well...that's a nice article.I love your proudness, of being an Igbo waman.Am happy that your heart tells you, that we "Igbos" of which you are part of dosen't like to be intimidated.
If i may ask, who likes to be intimidate?, where ever and when ever.One of the Igbo provarb says "Agwo emeghi ihe ojiri buru Agwo Umuaka achia ya n'aka"(If sneck dosen't act like a sneck children are going to play with it).Therefore am proud to be an Igbo man.
But, comeoooooo!!!!!!!, you made a good point concerning our knowlagde of business like Jews, (since Igbos believed that they are from Isreal.Our(Igbos) problem is that we are not thinking about technology instead ,we use the talant GOD has given us wrongly .I ageed with you in that.
IGBOS LET THINK BEFORE IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR US. I LIKE YOUR ARTICLE PAM!!!!!!

pamela said...

lol.... so you finally decided to get a google account ehn.

pamela said...

I read what I typed early this morning and I was like what the heck....

lol - I loved your response, a lot of us aren't using our talent wisely.

Apart from the obvious xenophobia that the video showed - a lot of important issues were raised.

a) the issue of lack of opportunity: many young people that I have spoken with in Nigeria, often feel very hopeless and an idle mind we know is the devil's workshop, so once an opportunity rises for a 'job' they take it and run.

b) make a quick buck mentality - for many these ways of crimes gives them the leeway to make money at a very fast rate and they take it and run with it.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure what to say to some of the points you raised, so I will simply say this.

Ndigbo, like any group of people, were placed on this Earth by God and they were pleasing to Him. It is no specific groups right to target any other. That is not what life and living should be about. I personally believe that we are the same and until we respect and acknowledge each other despite the differences, we will continue to see such cruelty.

Nice post, and I am waiting for a new one, as you promised....

Don Thieme said...

Glad to see you back. Regarding Igbo ethnic traits, I think they are probably a combination of genetics, child-rearing, socialization, etc.... That is usually the case.

Off to find fireworks. More later.

guerreiranigeriana said...

...not sure how i missed that you had been back all this time o!!!...you could have at least dropped me a line!...let me go catch up on some reading...welcome back!...

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