"Evocative is our history but exciting is our future"

- Lazarus Takawira, Imagine Africa: Home Hope Harmony

Recently I opened my Secondary school Government text book, a topic caught my attention and got me enmeshed in reading again. 'Nationalism', a topic encompassing the entire struggles of the African state against the obnoxious rule of the white colonialists, blazing the passion and spirit that propelled the acts of resistance being put up to frustrate the wiles of the Whites; the incessant protesting against maltreatment; the working of the desire for participation in government, and how the culmination of all these activities inspired the quest for self-governance and the eventuality of it. It never happened easily neither did freedom from colonial rule come on a platter of gold - Herbert Macaulay fought the litigation to create Nigeria's first political party to expose the British incompetence; Kwame Nkrumah was jailed for launching mass struggle; Jaja of Opobo was exiled. The women of Aba rioted and were killed - the quest for better life was a test for our strength and will, but we never failed.
 If there was a time in the colonization of Africa the Whites would wish dwellers demand self-rule, it surely won't be the era when juicy discoveries are being made on African soil, when the world market awaited the arrival of crude oil from Nigeria's delta and the spew of gold in Gold Coast. This factor made the settlers salivate and they were ready to do anything to make stay here forever.
In spite these glaring and staring  threats, our "African soldiers" would still go ahead in their gallantry to parade and deliver their will. The reasons for their strength are not farfetched - unity of purpose to fashion out what they deserve and a united desire to stand out amidst  comity of nations. The strong belief quoted in the nationalist slogan "Africa must be ruled by African" was an instiller of the  spirit and passion so fierce for western military and intellectual forces to overpower hence, the freedom from colonial shackles.
The struggle of our independence progeny will ever remain a good prism for us today to view our tomorrow's positioning. There is no horror that can ensnare our land today like the accompanying slavery and oppression of colonialism; if we could strongly with one heart, one head and one hand oust the strange forces that so infiltrated us, how much well shall we deal with our internal cankerworms that have so stunted our growth?
If we could sit and study the strategies of our progenitors and come together, having curiously and clinically observed our time and era, decide and design what we know we deserve and stop beckoning on the son of another man to anesthetize our bedroom for us? Then evoke the mind of nationalism that was disciplined with selflessness, 'all for one and one for all' for the sake of what we all deserve, and strictly making deterrent of anyone who dares put up any form of selfishness against the attainment of our collective dream, for we can't continue to sow the seeds of egoism, tribalism, religion and racism and expect to reap the fruits of communism.
Assuredly, nothing will stand in the face of our defiant demonstration of strong-will if the will is to be delivered of our collective conception. Just as the voice of the few pre-independence Nigerian legislators who opposed the independence motion moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro in 1953 could not stand against its actualization in 1960, our strongwill will quarantine the mentally infested among us and will project the red light sign to any opportunist or exploiter jetting in, in the name of international diplomacy.
Will our present invoke the spirit and passion of our past as manifested in their deliberations, designs and demonstrations? Through nationalism and documentation of the heroics for the perusal of infants and the unborn, not blocking out our history from our schools and price-tagging our books with the cost of a sky-scraper, we can restore the dimming light of societal sanity and be sure it will never go out while its brightness continuously and consistently serve generations.

Ayodele Ayanfe

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