In My Country
I have always found it fascinating when I introduce myself to people as a Nigerian and they say to me – ‘You speak such good English!’. The first time this happened to me, I was in the English countryside and before I could even explain that I could not remember a time when I did not speak English, the lovely lady who had made this ‘observation’ was calling on her companions to come and meet me – ‘an absolute genius’ = a Nigerian girl who speaks perfect English. I was more amused than offended, because I quickly realized that it was as a result of (for lack of a better word), ignorance that people would think that someone from Nigeria speaking English was a genius. Nigeria is a former British colony, many of my fellow country men and women speak English, for many of them it is their mother tongue. I was a bit irritated recently when at a church function in the Washington DC metropolitan area, I was met with the same – ‘You are from Nigeria, yet you speak English so well’ .
It is a shame that the few times that Nigeria makes the headlines it is about things that are not altogether flattering – in recent times, it has ranged from the unexplained disappearance of the President to the Jos riots. Some people probably think of the country and believe that we are just a bunch of savages. The fact is there are a lot of things that people don’t know about Nigeria that if they did, they would not be astonished to find that someone from Nigeria actually spoke English. The fact is there are a lot of things people don’t know about the countries of the world, things that could change our world view and reduce some established stereotypes.
‘In My Country‘ is a celebration of global cultural diversity. It is a school-based cultural exchange program which is open to school children all over the world and provides a platform for cultural exchange by giving school children a forum to share unique and special qualities about their countries. School children are eligible to participate when their schools sign up for the program which is being implemented by the Remi Caxton-Naibi Foundation. To find out more and to sign up your school, please visit http://www.remifoundation.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Remi Caxton-Naibi Foundation is working to connect the world together, through the children, for all our tomorrows.