Nationalism is the devotion to the interests or culture of one’s nation. Nigeria is a country that has been through a lot of turmoil in the years that it has existed. The root of the nationalism that has built up over the years goes back many generations. There have been lots of different areas that help contribute to the nationalism that we see in Scotland today. The people that live in Nigeria are very proud of who they are and their ancestors that have come before them. I am going to look at a few of the things that I believe have helped contribute to the nationalism that we see in Nigeria today. There are many different areas that I really want to look at including the unifying and diverse force. The first thing that I believe is very important to Nigerian nationalism is the culture that has been evolved over the years. This includes everything from literature to the sports that the Scottish plays. I also want to look at the way that the Nigerians have developed a legislative body even though it does not have all of the powers that they would like it to have.
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The first thing that I want to look at when it comes to the nationalistic ideas of Nigeria is the literature and how it has evolved over the years. There have been many different types of literature that have come out of Nigeria and the one that is most commonly tied in with the nationalism is the great poetry that has been written by some of the great poets. The most famous of all of the Poets that have come out of this land is Ezenwa Ohaeto who lived in the second half of the 1800’s. In the early years of Nigeria a lot of the languages were spoken and hardly written down so that it could be passed on from one generation to another. The earliest piece of literature that is of any great significance is called Yoruba (not the language). This poem is filled with the idea of being noble to ones country and the Great king (God) that is in charge of this country. This story was told before men were to go into battle. It explained about the freedom that shall be won in the battle. When a person reads this story they will get a sense of nationalism for their country because it talks about fighting to become a free body and being able to rule over yourself and not have somebody else making the decisions that effect your well being.
The next writer who is very important to the growth of nationalism through literature would be Abiodun Adepoju. He helped revise the poetry that had been a part of the culture that was lost when it was destroyed during the reformation period. He helped to bring back many of the traditional poems and songs that had been destroyed, even though he did put his own twist on some of them. He was considered a very strong nationalist Abiodun Adepoju wanted to keep the traditions of Nigeria alive and he helped to do this through his poems and the opening of several types of cultural learning centers.
Sports are another big part of the nationalistic culture that inhabits the land of Nigeria. Nigerians have always been interested in different kinds of sports however there is one sport that all Nigerians have come to love; football (soccer). Football is one of the greatest games in the world and it is believed to have originated in England.
This sport has taken over the country by storm and when they face another country you can see the nationalism pour from the people of Nigeria. Nigeria’s rival is South Africa and their matches can get out of hand at times. During the late 1980’s they had to play matches against each other in a neutral state because of all of the violence that was occurring. “The matches against South Africa played an integral part in maintaining Nigeria’s national identity. There was a match in 1963 that actually had over 100,000 spectators and it is the same way today in a match against South Africa. In the eyes of a Nigerian if their team loses than their country has also lost in the competition and they will be inferior to that nation until they can beat them at this game.
Nationalism is a saying that is different for any country that you are talking about and it could mean totally opposite things depending on which side of the fence you are on. The people of Nigeria have been through a lot of hard times in their history and they are still one of the most nationalistic people in the world today. It seems like most of the ideas that are nationalistic come from events that have happened in the past. “A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Only two things, actually, constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past” the other is in the present.”(http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ni.html). Nigerians definitely have a very rich past and they seem to have the will to hold on to all of these customs and the culture that has been handed down through the generations. Hopefully one day a Nigerian will be able to claim that he is part of his own nation and separate from all others.
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