Friday, July 13, 2012

No Be All Calabar Girls...

by Jonas Dogara
E dey always dey interesting to see how Nigerians dey react anytime foreigners talk bad about us as a group of people. If dem say dem arrest a Nigerian wey dey try to smuggle drugs into the UK or dupe people for Germany, e no dey really bother you. The worst thing wey you go say na ‘See how our country done bad? Na poverty dey make our people dey go do this kind thing o. God help us.’ Depending on wetin the name of the arrested Nigerian be, you fit add ‘Chei, Igbo men and money!’ or ‘Yoruba people!’ or something else wey involve tribe. Then we move on to another thing. 

But if you dey travel outside Naija and when dem see your green passport, dem take you go corner and search craze comot for your body, na different story. You go wan mad! But you no go rake for there o, make strong thing no come happen. You go wait until you comot for airport before you begin holler and the holler dey always be for Queen’s English.

‘Imagine these idiots! Because you see my green passport you think I must be a criminal. This is stereotyping and profiling! It is wrong! How can you think that all Nigerians are bad? How? They even searched me up to my pants! Imagine the rubbish! Am I Abdulmutallab? If not for…’ You go rake belleful and you go repeat the story to your friends and family plenty times.

The thing wey we dey all forget be say no be only oyibo dey stereotype. If leagues dey for stereotyping, we go dey the premier league and we go dey challenge for the title every season. We no dey see any wahala with that ‘fallacy of hasty generalisation’ (as my Philosophy lecturer been call am) until e affect us as individuals. Even the most educated and enlightened among us dey buy some of these yeye stereotypes.

Yes, I sure say you done hear say ‘Calabar girls’ dey very good in bed and in taking care of their men. And if a ‘Calabar girl’ catch your boyfriend or husband, just waka because na the end be that. This stereotype go done start long ago, so I suppose say ‘Calabar girls’ actually mean any females from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. If this na true, then you go think say anybody wey marry these women go live happily ever after - no broken marriages or infidelity on the part of the husband. Na so e actually be? You know the answer.

Also, all Igbo people like money pass anything. Is that so? So na dem be the only Nigerians wey like money? The rest of us no really send about money abi? How we dey take measure ‘love for money’? The people wey dey spread this kind talk never hear of Father Cyprian Tansi. Na the only Naija man wey the Roman Catholic Church done call ‘Blessed’. That man take vow of poverty and been like God pass everything. Igbo men like that still dey.

Dem say if you go visit somebody for Benue State, the man wey you go visit fit give you him wi… Never mind. I go get back to una on that issue after a thorough personal investigation.

These na just examples of stereotypes wey the whole country know about. Others dey too. Depending on which part of the country you from or live, you also get your local stereotypes and prejudices. Most of us never personally experience these behaviours from people, but we just believe dem, act on dem and spread dem too. 

People in South West Naija get their own about Ijebu people and money. I no know if e get any person wey done actually meet all Ijebu people and then conclude say every one of dem dey behave in a particular way for money matter.

I know of a family from Onitsha wey fight tooth and nail so that their son no go marry a girl from Umuahia. Dem say Umuahia women no good. In fact their eyes too open (I no sure wetin that one mean) and dem fit drive man to early grave. Nobody bother to actually know the girl or the girl family. Just knowing say she from Umuahia dey enough. The interesting thing say both families na Igbo. If to say their son been bring Fulani girl, how e for be?

In Rivers State where I grow up, stereotypes plenty. The fact say the state get so many groups of people with different languages and culture no dey help too. The most prominent one na say ‘Kalabari men like women’. The first thing wey dey come to my mind na ‘Ehen, dem for like men? Show me another tribe wey the men prefer men to women.’ Most times the girls wey dey yarn this thing never even date a Kalabari guy before and dem no know anybody wey done date Kalabari guy. But dem just sure say the guys always dey unfaithful. But sometimes na Kalabari girls dey talk am too. Then I dey remind dem of the other stereotype wey be say ‘Kalabari girls too waka and no dey stay for their husband house’. Dem go begin defend demselves instantly and I go begin laugh.

And that na the way I dey take get people to rethink these things. E dey irritate me when I meet somebody wey begin act like say e know everything about me and my character because I tell am where I from. So if a Yoruba girl tell me say PH girls dey wild, I go remind her say dem say Yoruba girls dey very dirty and only sabi cook oily food. If an Edo girl tell me say Igbo girls dey all about the Naira, I go remind her say dem say Edo girls dey all about the Euros. If an Ijaw man tell me say Ikwerre men no dey like do anything other than to sell land, I go remind am say dem say Ijaw men dey siddon for house dey drink kaikai while their wives dey slave to feed dem. When you tell people the bad stereotypes about demselves, then dem go begin reason say if that stereotype no correct, maybe some of the ones dem believe no correct too. 

Personally, I believe say we suppose dey judge people as individuals, based on our experience with dem. No be from wetin we done hear about their tribe or wetin we done experience with others from their tribe. We be all different people. Even though we know say some of the stereotypes get tiny truth in dem, we still no fit generalize am to everybody from a tribe. That na big jump. As I been talk for Of Tribe, Politics and Religion, every tribe get he own share of correct and wrong people. E no get a rule wey say because you get pastor for your family, you no fit get ashewo and thief too. So, the presence of thief and ashewo for the family done make the pastor bad person? No need to dey make judgements on people wey you never really know, and maybe spoil a relationship wey for good because you believe something wey no actually dey.

The time to dump these stereotypes and prejudices and move forward na now. Make that change.


This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


14 comments:

  1. Dis na the correctest yarn wey i don hear about dis our stereotype wahala, kudos bro! More of dis, ciao.

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    1. Thank you, Mega Man. More dey come.

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  2. I really agree with u,it irritates me when I hear some stupid things pple have to say about girls from owerri,like they expect me to be wild,now I have the perfect reply for them.But how did all this come about in the first place?

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  3. On point there man.another great post...

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  4. I like the language wey you use...we suppose fit pass our ideas better like this

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  5. I gbadun your talk dis morning,anytime i meet nigerians and dem begin ask,which tribe i be, i always see dat person say,he wan judge me according to my tribal background.

    Make we stop the thing.

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    1. Na exactly wetin I dey talk be dat. Thanks you for reading.

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  6. I wonder is deir a crime in been a particular tribe dat pple say bad things abt.

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  7. Rili funi buh true tok......datz d way foward.

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  8. na wa o! u rili touch across board, e come b like say no tribe dey free of criticism and comma.

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    1. Na the idea be that. No tribe dey free from this kind of stereotyping. So if we look the ones wey dem talk about our tribe, and we see say dem be lies, then e go dey easy for us to consider say the ones about other tribes sef na lie.

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  9. true talk bro.....if we must forge ahead as a pple,then we must stop dis stereotyping

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  10. Excellent excellent excellent post!

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