Nigerian Spice: Aggression!
By Emmanuel Adebayo:
I could almost swear, with every ounce of blood in me that 90% of Nigerians have a trait of the choleric nature in the DNA – Aggression; A birth defect, an inborn disease, an inherited error due to 'environmental parallax'.
A British friend once asked me: “Emmanuel, why do Nigerians talk angry?!” See Emily had been to Nigeria on a volunteer programme for 3 months and had to work with several Nigerians, including moi. According to Emily, Nigerians spoke in diverse tongues, had different religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds, but there was something common to all – everyone had an angry tone in their voices, a sort of aggression while expressing their opinions; everyone is always trying to be heard over the other.
Her words jump right back at me as I drive down my street today. On the side walk to my right, two men are engaged in a fist battle, throwing angry words at each other. To my left, two taxi drivers raining curses on each other and close to them a woman with a baby was barking insults at a man sitting in the taxi – there is just so much aggression in the air!
I couldn't help but lean back in my chair and heave a heavy sigh. We are so adapted to not being heard that we think we have to shout to be noticed or heard.
From birth, you are taught to keep your opinions to yourself especially where an adult is concerned; at school, you are considered rude and obnoxious if you voice your displeasure about a teacher's attitude; as an adult, you deal with a boss that is self centered and as a nation we deal with what seems to be a deaf government.
So you see, we naturally need a place and a way to vent our anger and frustration – unfortunately, we take it out on each other.
A time is coming and it is now, that Nigerians will no longer bottle up issues nor vent their frustrations on each other – the phrase 'suffering and smiling' will no longer hold water (I actually really believe this had never been true). We are a hungry people – hungry for justice, equity, love, peace, joy and all that is good and pleasing to man. It is time, the strike in the early part of the year proves that we will no longer take oppression from any quarters; we will take our complaints to the right stations and will live with our neighbors and families in peace!