At 3pm today, the New Nigeria Club will be launched at The Balmoral Hall, Kudirat Abiola Way, Ikeja (Lagos, Nigeria). The event will feature Prof. Pat Utomi, Fela Durotoye, Funmi Iyanda, Niyi Adesanya, Deolu Akinyemi and ‘Gbenga Sesan :).
At the event, I plan to speak very briefly about a thought that occupied my mind all of yesterday, and that I spent quite sometime discussing with my girlfriend in the first few hours of 2008. The major difference between Nigerians is not tribal! Actually, education and work have closed the tribal gap for many people: If you were born in Akure; schooled in Zaria (because your dad moved to the Zaria branch of his workplace) and Enugu (for your university education); work in 4 countries across West Africa and plan to complete your postgraduate (which will make a total of 4 years) in Europe; tell me how much of tribal issues will make a difference between you and your friend who has also not known one single place as home.
The real difference is in our attitude to the Nigeria project. You’re either Hopeless, Relieved, a Returnee or Strategically Positioned. I’ll be back to explain that after the audience at the New Nigeria Club launch get the first taste :). I also see a very strong similarity between these four groups of Nigerians and those described in the Bible while Israel was in captivity — and some were worried about why they should sing the Lord’s song in a strange land.
We are already 13 hours into the new year, so please stop assuming that the year is new. In some locations, it’s already January 2 — and for those in my time zone or those with a few hours to their advantage, the 2nd day will be here probably before you finish sending text messages to all your contacts! See you at 3pm if you’ll be at the launch, and when you sign up for your New Nigeria Club membership gbengasesan will be glad to be your sponsor.