Photo by Kunmi Owopetu.
Few years back, I started this manuscript. I had real hope about it too. It was this perfectly imperfect relationship between a Nigerian lady and a biracial Photographer (with a Nigerian parent).
I didn’t think it would work out as a novel because part of me thought it was a little ambiguous and I needed to work on the depth of the story. Most importantly I had a lot to learn about seeing Nigeria through a white man’s point of view.
I didn’t have that.
I didn’t want to write a novel based only on a Nigerian character’s point of view. It would be based and incomplete. Eventually, I let the idea go to sleep.
Now, I am confused. This confusion made me write down things I had observed.
So what do you do when all people see when they glance at your passport or any form of identification to link you to your nationality is that you’re from a generation of those they refer to as “Nigerian Prince”?
You have not heard of this funny but sadly sordid slang? Look it up! A “Nigerian Prince” is a loose representation used for internet fraudsters from Nigeria who trick people online and disappear with their money.
You’re a Nigerian, a citizen of one of the most corrupt nation in the whole world and when you try to make a difference, when you decide not to be ruined by the “danger of a single story”; perhaps in your motherland or foreign land many (including Nigerians born and raised …outside the country too. Yes you!) get suddenly uninterested or vaguely bored or terrified because you could be holding a bomb in your pockets, or your next big move is to scam a naive foreigner or you do not seem like someone who has got the “stuff” it takes to make a difference.
One look at your National identification or even the colour of your skin, or the sound of your rather different and incomprehensible accent and that’s it!
You could be lucky and fate or perhaps the universe (or anything else… I don’t know a bus!) could lead you to a neutral mind, who sees you for who you truly are not just where you’re from and boom! your dreams come true.
To label a whole nation one thing because of the shortcoming of a part of the nation is not just careless, it’s dangerous.
However, the wind that blows fresh air to a region can also change it’s mind and transform into a whirlwind when it reaches another region. Meaning, we all can’t have the same story to tell because our experiences are different.
So what do you say to those ruining unborn and growing dreams from turning to a reality with their unjust lifestyles and what do you do to change the mind of the “foreigners” with backward attitude towards stereotyped unfortunates?
Any photo uploaded aren’t mine, unless specified otherwise. I do not own credit for the photos, only my writings.