Now I know that there are a lot of crappy stuff perceived to be “typical Nigerian behavior” that are making the rounds. Most of it are pretty messed up but some are just so darn annoying. Even more so because I hear these things either directly or indirectly, quite on a daily basis. While we might choose to be the bigger people and overlook the lot of it, some particular notions must and will be aired out because they are misleading to non-Nigerians and embarrassing to any decent Nigerian (and we are quite a number by the way). So here it goes, the basic truth about Nigerian stereotypes you probably have heard about yourself, by yours truly.
1. Every Nigerian is into advance fee fraud: Popularly known as “419, yahoo-yahoo, scamming” call it whatever you may, this first stereotype is hilarious as it is annoying. What with the way, foreigners tend to clutch their credit cards with a Nigerian in sight. First off, just how many Nigerians exposed to the internet actually fully understand all of its intricacies? Not like its their fault, you might want to blame the crawling speed of some modems. Now even I, hate to admit the fact but it is true. Just like any one else, we use the internet for homework, social-networking, office work and the like. Seriously speaking though, I am aware that quite a number of Nigerians have been associated with this vice so much so that Sony had to incorporate the fact into it’s PS3 advert a few years back. Truth be told, it hurt. Fact is, we aren’t the only people that indulge in this. Many other nationals of different countries have been caught in the act pants down so what makes us so special? Sometimes I have to wonder though. Let’s face it people, criminals aren’t all citizens of one country alone, they are scattered everywhere, deeply rooted in every civil society. So please for the love of God, spare us the drama of looking over your shoulder when a Nigerian stands behind you on the queue of an ATM, we got our own.
2. We live in the thick of jungles with the wildest animals, swinging from tree to tree in an attempt to run for dear life. Stop. Now go back and read it through. Seriously? This is the year 2012 AD in the 21st century. How benighted can people be? This is one stereotype I find is shared with the rest of Africa. (Funny how some people see Africa as a country and not a continent). So just to clear things up, Nigeria and indeed the rest of Africa like anywhere else has its own highbrow areas, middle-class housing and then the of course, its ghettos and slums. No, we don’t live in the tropical rain forests wearing nothing but hide and hunting down lions and deer. We live normal, civil lives.Yeah, you saw some pretty bad stuff on t.v but then again you do know better than to believe everything shown there.
3. Our lives are run by voodoo and black magic. Even though it is practised under another name (juju), not every single Nigerian indulges his/her self in the practise. You should also know that Nigerians are very religious people as seen on every Friday and Sunday (Moslem and Christian worship days).
4.We are naturally volatile people. So maybe we are having issues in the country right about now but then, who doesn’t? Thing is, it will all come to pass. Nigerians are naturally very happy people. Doubt me? You should fly into the country soon and be greeted by the billboard welcoming you saying the exact same thing. What’s more? Ever wonder how even though we might be suffering so much, we make jokes about it on twitter? Need real proof? Check out the world’s happiest people surveys and be amazed at how we top the list year after year.
Ranking of the World’s Happiest Countries
4. El Salvador
5. Puerto Rico
Now that I have straightened this out, I hope you have your facts right.