I came across a blog post yesterday written as a follow up to the hullaballoo surrounding the issue of a Nigerian soft sell choosing to grace the cover of their current issue celebrating "Top 30 young Nigerians" with a woman of apparent East Indian descent and another of mixed parentage; one of her parents being Nigerian.
Arguments have ranged from the idea that these women represent a mentality that foreigners are better than Nigerians to the question of who a Nigerian really is.
Sugabelly made the point of stating that there was no way in hell that a Nigerian woman would be allowed to grace the cover of an Indian magazine, no matter what she had done or who she was. I agree. I know for a fact that in almost every culture, the darker your skin, it is more likely that you are relegated to the bottom of the social pile.
This is even more sad when this ideology is shared amongst the dark skinned people.Nigerians tend to favour "whiteness". Characters in Nigerian movies are given western names and storylines have very little relevance to our realities. That is probably why I am suddenly seeing bikini clad European females in music videos and why they are being shot in South Africa and London. I also know that due to our behaviour towards foreigners, they possess a sense of entitlement which we always accord them.
However, there is also the fact that there are those people who are to be considered Nigerian by virtue of their lineage and affiliations. I have no idea how long the Indian woma, Ruby, had been living in Nigeria or even if she was born there but I know that if it was a Nigerian girl who had spent the same amount of time in the US, she would have checked to see if she had fulfilled the necessaru criteria, filed for citizenship sharp sharp and be quick to let everyone know that she now has papers. I also know that the same courtesies that are extended to us in other countries are not the same to foreign-born Nigerian citizens....and I do not mean the grovelling that happens for white/foreign expatriates.
Sugabelly said that "There are Nigerian citizens and there are Nigerians". I can just see the headlines and lawsuits if some white American or European national had said that to a Nigerian person...
No, we don't have to glorify fair skin or anything outside of the shores of our borders but yes, we have to realise that the way we define citizenship has to change. I doubt if anyone will agree, afterall, if some could have their way, they would wipe out the Igbos who will return the favour in a heart beat. Or kill off the Northerners...as it is, the Niger Delta is on fire.
This might seem like a ramble but at the heart of it, my point is this: Whether Nigerian by blood, or Nigerian by affiliation. We are Nigerian and should be working together to build the country and not beat each other down. Jews every where send money home to Isreal and are committed towards its development. Let's wake up, please