…this is how it’s done; it’s the tradition of the land…

Hold that thought. Why is the fabric of the Nigerian society woven with thick edges around culture and tradition? It is a stalemate; neither here nor there as it rapidly flees in the face of growing concerns. I have considered the argument for the preservation of our heritage (I don’t even know what that means in Nigeria) and the double standard is appalling.  Take language for example, I am yet to see a job interview conducted in vernacular. Even when we recruit house-helps, we secretly prefer they speak good English. It follows that the language of business is English and more so, an excellent command of it; Nigerians are the only ones that try to speak English language better than the English.

How do you intend to persuade me to keep my “heritage” when all it will get me is dismal performance at interviews and back seats on the society lane? I don’t get it. Dad made sure I ‘unlearnt’ my local language and I also clearly see that being a great Yoruba speaker, dressing in buba and sokoto and prostrating at a job interview would only land me a gateman’s job

Tradition and culture are typically defined as the way of life of a people, albeit the significance of those ways in their contribution to growth and development. There lies my greatest concern. I mean! How do you explain spending so much money on traditional marriage rites but say it is okay for the man to beat up his wife?

He is your husband ooo, there’s nothing you can do”

Talk more about the inhumane treatment meted out to widow or the ‘elders’ that believe that because they are older, their word supersedes all.

We have systematically – through tradition and culture – subdued creativity; hence, stunting our development as a nation. We have used myths and superstitions to drive behaviours we simply could have explained logically. Common sense, you know? Same way the church is populated by the fear of hell fire.

You see, there are four classes of people in any given society. The ‘conformists’ – asks no questions, accepts what society says is acceptable and how they are achieved; the ‘non-conformists’ –always messing with the status quo, accepts societal values but disputes how they are achieved; the ‘rebel’ – rejects societal values and how they are achieved and the ‘ritualist’ -who goes through the motions unbothered, simply doing as he is told. Our society has unfortunately raised us to be conformists and ritualists.

When we were kids, ready to explore and cut our teeth on daring ventures; we were censored with hot slaps, fear and baseless superstitions. We quickly learnt to dab (hehehehe) that audacity with anger, compromise and finally submission. We cannot progress as a society if we don’t ask questions and challenge the status quo. This has played out in our National life where the leadership is a dogma of incompetence, equally backed by ignorance and apathy tagged as ‘the electorates’.

We need to take the reins and fight for what we know is logically right; nothing is as great as man’s personal effort to advance the course of his own development towards enlightenment. If you are the fault of your sex, family, tribe, nation or race, then you are just typical. You have lived by nodding your head and accepting everything as you were told.

However, Tradition is how they did it yesterday to get the results of today and order is how we will do it to get things done tomorrow. Let us as valiant men pull down the throne of underdevelopment and rise up in favour of exploits. Just as sailors who considered not the perils of the sea but the gains ahead, who set sail and discovered that the world was spherical; Let us find new opportunities and create a new World.

VIATumi Adeyemi
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Lawretta Egba is a professional writer, ghostwriter, editor, and poet. She is the founder of Cyno Group, a boutique content creation/content marketing firm meeting the varying content needs of individuals and businesses towards effective storytelling, problem-solving and economic growth. The company offers in-house ghostwriting, editing, and content writing services for large corporations, businesspeople and economic leaders. Lawretta’s articles have been featured on a plethora of platforms within Nigeria and the diaspora. Some of these include the Premier Pan-African media group reporting on African affairs – Face2Face Africa, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Exquisite Magazine, YNaija, and a host of others. She runs two blogs: lawrettawrites.com, where she reviews books, writes on mythology, peeks into transformational African topics, and analyzes matters of the human psyche; and newcommas.com, a brainchild created towards documenting everyday African stories. For info and inquiries, contact via: lawretta@cynogroup.com

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