A Side of Nigeria I've Never Seen

After two weeks of constantly posting, grieving, crying, and being pissed as hell, I think I can finally do something else while ignoring all my homework - write about how proud I am of my generation. Being a person in Nigeria is not easy...and I’m not even close to the best person to ask about how bad it can be. 

I acknowledge the privilege I’ve had growing up, but I thank my parents for not shielding me from what life could have been like. Having to live your life constantly wondering if things could be better than they are must be extremely frustrating, demotivating, and disempowering. I was able to go abroad for school, yet millions of my peers have to adjust their lives to unannounced, endless strikes, the lack of jobs, and the prospect of the lack of hope.

And still, we rise.

I never thought that I would see a glimpse of the Nigeria I’ve always hoped for but in the past two weeks, I saw multiple of them and I cannot describe how excited that made me. I was overjoyed by the amount of organization, support, focus, and passion that the youth of my country showed. The past few weeks have been exhausting but, honestly, these glimpses of what could be kept me going. It is still not completely clear how we would get to where I hope we would, but in the words of Nelson Mandela, “it always seems impossible until it is done.”

Before, I felt like I was hoping for a new Nigeria without proof that anyone else wanted it. But now I know I’m not the only one. I’ve been in multiple student organizations, affinity groups, and communities that are supposed to be made up of people like me - from a group of tall girls to a community of African Writers. Yet, I’ve never felt as invested in any group as I have been in the youth of Nigeria.

 

Fellow Nigerians, it is not over. The dust may have settled for now, but I keep reminding myself that “the wings of transformation are born of patience and struggle” (Janet Dickens). We have continued the struggle of our parents and their parents, and although it pains me that we have to wait and strategize how we will move forward together, stronger and wiser, we must. After all, everything is difficult before it is easy. And now we move not just with the hope that we can be the change we want to see, but with a glimpse of the change which this #EndSARS movement has given us. 

The movement is not over. That was just us announcing our arrival.