I grew up loving 1st October, not only because it begins the month of my birth, or because my country gained independence from Britain, no. I loved it because it availed me the opportunity to shine. Smartly dressed in a blue and white-check dress, with beautiful princess collar which was the uniform of Collage a Practicing School, Katsina-Ala where I had my primary education, ready to perform the match past in nice Vaseline-polished brown sandal and a pair of white socks.
It was a day I looked forward to, because I was cute, and I knew it.More so, this day availed me the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of a serving Local Government Chairman as I participated in a match past at the Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina-Ala.
Cultural dance and performances by different schools, organizations and government agencies followed suit to celebrate Nigeria’s anniversary. The Katsina-Ala case wasn’t in isolation. People gathered in thousands at different Local Government Areas, State Capitals and a grand celebration ensued in Nigeria’s Capital city, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with the President as the host.
This was how Nigeria celebrated her independence. No one feared crowd for security or health reasons.The more the crowd, the more the fun. Awesome memories!
This year, as Nigeria again celebrated her independence, the jollification was different, not only because I have out grown the polished-sandal-and-uniform-match-past, nor that my organization was unable to organize and celebrate, but that the recent security challenges have gradually taken our right to express how we feel, when we feel and where we feel we should express.
Notwithstanding, the present challenges have not made us less patriotic. Many Nigerians, like myself are undeterred. We are pushed to hide, but we can’t be silenced. In our secret corners the unspoken words are louder. With our minds we dream big dreams, with our hands we creat a big picture of what we see of Nigeria. We believe in our country Nigeria. The patriotic blood is immune to whatever circumstance that may try to infect us.
I love Nigeria and so I made the love-shaped Nigerian meal to eat and celebrate her because I am not deterred.