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wisdom from Cameroon

December 7, 2014

I met a Cameroonian gentleman.

he just loves to visit Nigeria. He has had many good times on his last 4 visits. He thinks he will make it an annual trip. He is based in Europe, but he would not mind to live in Nigeria. He loves the fast pace of life in Nigerian cities, he loves the business acumen, the music, the movies, and the night bars!

He asked if I am Yoruba or Ibo (I wonder if I do not look one bit Hausa to him!). Well, I am Yoruba. He said Yoruba and Ibo people are very hardworking.
Hmm. I thought he must just be looking for something nice to say!

I explained to him that on average, Yorubas are professionals while Ibos are business men. His joy seemed to overflow! He told me with excitement that a successful business does not need more than those two! One person drives the business, the other manages it! He said that Africans need to work together! I sighed inside, knowing that Yorubas and Ibos are not necessarily natural associates.

He offered a prayer for Dangote (Africa’s richest man). He said that Dangote goes all over Africa to invest, create jobs and generally promote society. He told me what I could not dispute: there are many wealthy people in Nigeria. If only they all could do like Dangote, Nigeria would be better than an average European city!
He’s hitting hard! He said that Dangote’s businesses in Cameroon are huge!

Then he began to sing a Nigerian song “You don dey make me kolo ee.” I laughed, asking if he understood what the song means. No he did not, but he cannot help singing Nigerian songs and watching Nollywood! He said African music means Nigerian music! I explained the song to him anyway! But I thought about how the most popular things about Nigerian musicians in Nigeria are their mistakes and vices: children out of wedlock, divorces, unguided investments, etc.
Bad!

I told him of a Ugandan woman I once heard singing a P-Square song and I exclaimed, “You listen to Nigerian music?”
She answered, “That’s not a Nigerian song, it’s an African song!” We laughed unitedly!

My Cameroonian thinks the best thing for any African to do is to live in Africa and contribute something to make a better society! He said Congolese have a lot of money but they don’t go to school. And once you are not educated, your judgements will not be well grounded. Hence when the rich men tell theothers to take to arms, tney take to arms…and now they are best known for wars and infightings!
He’s hitting hard! Insurgency and Education may truly have an inverse relationship, even in Nigeria! i.e as education goes up, insurgency goes down…and vice versa.

I think that when we stand outside the system, we can see the big picture and appreciate our blessings and strengths better!

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