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A Captive State…


Where are you from...? The one question that has been our bane as a Nation.
Where are you from…? The one question that has been our bane as a Nation.

It was 7 am on Tuesday.

David was still on the bed, not minding the fact that he had a course to be taken by one of the most difficult lecturers. Dr. Ifeanyi is a no-nonsense person especially when dealing with his students. He is feared in the whole architecture department. He takes Town and Country Planning and expects everyone to come along with their photocopied lecture note.

“David, you no go standa for bed, 7 don reach oh,” Ayo beckoning on David to get up from his slumber.
He hurriedly stood after he heard seven o’clock. Dr. Ifeanyi doesn’t miss reporting for lectures at 8 am. “Please let me use your slippers”, he told Ayo who was applying his Nivea cream. On getting to the bathroom, there were people on the queue waiting to do their morning business. These people were not in his class so won’t understand his situation. He rushed out to look for another bathroom in another wing of the hall of residence.

Within 45 minutes he was almost done and now knotting his tie. Everyone was expected to be corporately dressed. At 8:05 am the class was already seriously in session. Dr. Ifeanyi is busy dishing out planning terminologies and jargons.
“The whole idea of planning is to create a harmonious, orderly, peaceful and more recently a sustainable environment. This of course takes the population takes into full consideration”, he said authoritatively.

Without thinking much, David walked in abruptly, greeted and now going to sit down. ‘Hey you, Dr. Ifeanyi beckoned, why are you just entering my class, is something wrong with you’, looking sternly at David.
“Am sorry sir, David replied. At this moment Dr. Ifeanyi was now flipping his book like David was just a mirage talking. He looked up. “Where are you from? Dr. Ifeanyi enquired, I mean your State of origin.” David now confused, said he was from Kogi State. As someone who is proud of his root he added, from Igbira tribe.

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“So your aggression and violent nature doesn’t help you to be punctual in class that you should walk in carelessly at any time. All you know how to do is get violent like your people. Hope you put your violence to good use.”
At this point David was sad and bitter within him that he actually felt like meting out this same violence on this lecturer, who continued to lash out what he thinks is the habit of his people. The whole class was now quiet and solemn like a funeral.
David was raged and not happy. Everyone now had a pitiful look for him as if he was one great aggressive warrior. Within one week he was over the incident.

Metropolitan University is a unique tertiary institution considering that it has in it students from across the Nation. Every state was represented in it. The school sure had lots of pretty ladies in it and every guy wanted to have one for himself, if not more.
Sandra is a 300L sociology student in the school. A dark and girl. Her smiles and cute dentition is what makes her significant. In addition to that she is really endowed both at the façade and rear views, what people from the Igbo tribe call, Obianuju, meaning full package.
David has been eying her for quite some time now. The closest interaction with her was a wave and hello while in the café. All she did that day was smile at him.

“Hello sorry to bother you, can I talk to you for a moment”, David stalked Sandra one day. My name is David. “Yeah I know you, the guy from the café, you said hello to me there”, Sandra cutting him short.
“Yeah I did, I couldn’t stop staring at your pretty face that day. You are surely a pretty girl. What’s the name? “I am Sandra, 300L Sociology”, she added. Immediately David knew she was interested in him and decided to keep it simple. After the exchange of pleasantries and the introductions they agreed to meet in the library the following day by 4 pm.

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Two weeks later, they are beginning to get fond of each other, until one day when they started asking each other questions. “Where are you from”, David asked. “I am from Edo State; Sandra answered in her sonorous voice and returned the question back to him.
“I am from Kogi State.” He stopped there. “Where in Kogi, what tribe? I am Igbira, David answered reluctantly. Sandra’s countenance became sour and David was asking if there was a problem and she denied that everything was fine. David knew why her mood changed but decided not to mention it.

They didn’t say anything reasonable again until she excused herself and went back to her hall. After that day she started avoiding him. Yet again David knew his root has cost him what he really desired. A second major incident of embarrassment, prejudice, discrimination and hate. He started thinking of speaking less of his tribe. He was put in a bad state for weeks, that at the end he blamed it on Nigeria. A country so large in ethnicity that distrust is now the order of the day.

David started blogging where he started sharing his horrible experiences with people due to his tribal affiliation.

wazobia

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About Chukwuemeka Azubuike

Architect, Construction Manager, Writer, Blogger and a Blogger’s Writer

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2 comments

  1. I can completely relate to this story of ethnic marginalization and discrimination. I grew up in Nigeria’s’federal capital terrirtory which is practically no mans land but the few indegenous gbagi tribe and had no real encounters or reasons to hide my roots. However, i am quite sad to say that my schooling in one of the top private universities in nigeria exposed me to one or two occasions where i was not proud of my roots, coming from the Tiv ethnic minority in the north central region. It is quite unfortunate that even within nigeria, ethnic discrimination and tribalism continues to confront nigerians of all social and economic strata. It is important that the author has brought this debate to the forefront and i hope nigerians have a new thought and begin to see each other as nigerian citizens and less of people of different ethnic group. Good writting and excellent read to the author.

    • I can really understand what you must have gone through, I have had my own share of it. I really hope we come out of it soon enough because if not then our walk is long on our search for true Nationhood. Thanks for reading and stopping by. Most appreciated!

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