- Posted June 8, 2014 by
"I AM PROUD TO BE NIGERIAN, NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA SHOULD BRING THEIR CHILDREN HOME TO INTEGRATE WITH THE NIGERIAN CULTURE " - Author Ibitola Ojoye-Adebayo
The Author of "ACCEPTANCE", a bestseller novel in the UK, Ibitola Ojoye-Adebayo, has admonished all Nigerians living in the diaspora to come back home. Ibitola, a Nigerian based in the UK, but is presently in Nigeria for a visit, in a two hour interview with NIGERIA WE SERVE's Anchor, Okim-Alobi Oyama via telephone, asked Nigerians in the diaspora to endeavour to bring their children back home to enable them integrate with their home land and get acquainted with the culture of Nigeria.
In her words she said "A lot of Nigerians make the mistake of coming to the UK, and refusing to let their children get in touch with the beauty of the Nigerian culture, they have let their children get so integrated and caught up with the western culture, that these children don't even know where they come from, and how else life is lived outside the UK, especially in Nigeria. They get so caught up with things and are exposed to a lot of western culture through their interaction with their peers, and the media such that they forget that they come from a great country, Nigeria"
Ibitoba who spoke about her book "ACCEPTANCE", said that it is a book revolving between a Nigerian mother and her child, whose enstranged relationship have drafted them apart as a result of a cross pollination of culture. She said a woman escapes to the UK at the age of 16, after being haunted by woes of the Biafran war, she passes through thick and thin, refugee camps, and all that, and finally escapes to the UK, and now is grooming a daughter, who she's overprotective of, and is aggresively controling her, such that she imposes a lot of things on her which conflicts with the new western culture her daughter has been exposed to, and therefore this poses a lot of challenges, and strangeness in the relationship her daughter has with her which ends tragically when she looses her husband, the love of her life in an Abuja plane crash as her daughter supports his coming back to Nigeria against her wishes, and takes it all out on her daughter.
The mother of three, said the story is trying to depict what most Nigerians go through, and how the Nigerian culture is at conflict with the western culture, as a mother tries to impose all her authority and culture on her daughter who by the way sees a different lifestyle and culture, because of where she's brought up, and this puts an enormous hindrance in the mother/daughter relationship. She said most Nigerians have exposed their children with the western culture, such that the children no longer know any other culture than the one they've been brought up with, and that's why when a mother tells her teenage in daughter in the UK don't do this, her daughter asks "Why?" whereas, even adults in Nigeria still adhere to the directives of their parents whether they like it or not, without objecting or asking why.
She used that medium, to explain why most Nigerians abroad have a misconception about Nigeria , "Most Nigerians misconceive Nigeria because of what the international media portray about the country. The international media showcase issues of poverty, sickness and disease and suffering in Nigeria, and this affects what people in the UK think about our country. But then I say, even if the media portrays poverty, sufferings, and negative things in Nigeria, shouldn't that want to motivate you to come back home and Change Nigeria? Shouldn't that make you decide to come back home, and try to see what you can do to change the situation of things in Nigeria? This should prick you to say this is where I come from, this is what my people are suffering, it isn't fair that I am here and they are there suffering, this should make you decide to come home and help Nigeria." she said
"The media can't tell me who I am, or where I am from, the media can't tell me who I am suppose to be, the media can't decide where I come from and how my life should be, I am the one who decides that, I am the one who decides who I want to be, or what I want to do or who I am suppose to be, I am the one who makes that choice, therefore if the media shows me how frustrating Nigeria is, how problematic Nigeria is, it is my duty to aspire to come to Nigeria and change Nigeria, it is my duty to come to Nigeria and improve her condition, nobody will do that for me, except I myself because I am Nigerian, I am proud to be Nigerian, I am proud to come from Nigeria, and nobody can't take that away from me" The Acceptance Author said
"Nigerians should therefore not shut out their country, they should from time to time visit and also bring their children especially those in their teenage age to come and see where they come from, when they interact with their peers in the country, when they meet with people, they on their own will consume the Nigerian culture and integrate it in them, and now find a way to balance the Nigerian culture and the Western culture they have imbibed in the UK".
When asked why most Nigerians who go abroad don't come back home or why most of them shut out their family members and rejects any form of communication with them back home, Ibitola Ojoye said "You wouldn't blame some of them for their actions, most of them come to the UK or even the US illegally, and have no documentation of their stay abroad, and therefore this prevents them from travelling because there is no proof of their existence abroad, so some of them stay that long, figuring out how to get their papers intact, and in that period, they can't leave to anywhere because if they do, they cannot come back to the country. Also, why wouldn't some of them reject communication with their family members when most of them call because all they want is to ask you to send money or do this or do that, without realising it is not all rosy here in the UK, there are people who are poor in the UK, there slums in the UK, there are people who don't have jobs and can't afford a three square meal daily, and when these people try to explain their situations to their families back home, they refuse to believe them, because all they want is to collect from them regardless of their situations, so this sometimes drives Nigerians in the diaspora to remain incommunicado with their family members back home."
Ibitola, expressed the joy, freedom, and peace she feels when she visits Nigeria, as according to her "You don?t find such peace and freedom in the UK, parents have now been so security conscious and alert, they don't let their children go out and integrate with people, because gang membership is on the rise, and people, kids, grown ups are stabbing their fellow people on the streets every now and then, you don't want your children mixing with these kind of people, you don't want your children becoming gang members themselves, you have to be very careful, and when you are in the UK, you just have to lock yourself up, and be so conscious of your immediate environment so you don't become a victim of a trendy gangster slaughter in the UK".
She used that opportunity to condemn the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria as she says "I don't understand why a group of people will pick up arms and instead of fighting for how to make the country a better place, they go about killing their own people, I mean who does that? I don't understand the agenda of Boko Haram, and their activities are unacceptable in every ramifications.
Mrs. Ibitola Ojoye-Adebayo says she is excited to be here in Nigeria again, as each time she visits, she gets refreshed and is so happy interacting with friends and family members in Nigeria, as well as enjoy delicious food, beautiful music, acrobatically entertaining dances and the overwhelmingly embracing attitude of the Nigerian people.
"I will continue to come to Nigeria, I will continue to bring my children to Nigeria, there is no place like Nigeria, I am proud of Nigeria, so proud of this country, that I wonder what I would have been if I didn't come from Nigeria. At first when my parents sent me here to boarding school, I was withdrawn, angry and unhappy because I believed I just didn't belong here, but now I know why they sent me here, now I know why they wanted me back here, and I am so glad I came to Nigeria. I believe in Nigeria, I believe we are great, and I believe each and every Nigerian should strive to make Nigeria a better place", the Nigerian born UK Author of "ACCEPTANCE " said.