Blame It On Me

image

I just saw the recent disheartening video footage of Matthew Ajibade, the Nigerian student who died mysteriously in police custody in the United States earlier in the year, being shocked by police officers while handcuffed to a restraining chair and writhing in pain.

Ajibade, who was only 21 years old at the time of his death, was found dead in jail in the US on New Year’s day. He had been arrested the previous day after his girlfriend put a distress call to 911 for an ambulance following an episode of his bipolar disorder which made him strike her. The police showed up instead and arrested Ajibade despite the girlfriend making it clear he needed medical attention.

image

image

image

This has become a norm in the United States where young innocent harmless black men are more likely to be gunned down by the police than they would a white. Their only crime is being black. Black people are generally presumed to be dangerous, a threat and always guilty until proven innocent. According to promoters of the Black Lives Matter movement, a black man, woman, or child is murdered by police or vigilante law enforcement every twenty-eight hours.

In light of the recent extrajudicial killings of black people, I reaffirm my stance as an unapologetic Black man and throw my weight behind the Black Lives Matter movement. However, I hate the fact that black people blame everything wrong in their lives on racism.

Black music artistes are often quick to cite/blame racism for their failure to get nominations or win music awards. If American actor Leonardo DiCaprio was black, maybe he’d have taken the same route and blamed his failure to win an Oscar, despite mesmeric performances in a number of movies, on his race. Or the likes of Larry Bird, Jason Kidd, Steven Nash and Dirk Nowitski would have pinned Michael Jordan’s recognition as the greatest basketballer of all time on race.

image

I do not know if blaming everything on racism makes some of my black brothers and sisters feel better about themselves but it is about time we took some of the blame for some of the things happening to us. There’s a saying that “no one can make you inferior without your consent.” Magnifying our self-esteem issues by seeking sympathy from the world for being black will give others the power to use us as pawns.

I do not seek sympathy from anyone for being black. Being black is not a plague/curse. Back in Nigeria, being black is becoming a bad thing too. It requires painstaking effort to discern a Nigerian from the crowd these days. We have adopted foreign accents and sound more American and British than the Americans and British people themselves.

You are automatically proclaimed intelligent once you speak well with a foreign accent. Perhaps that’s why it has become a “taboo” for anyone, especially those going into media or entertainment industry, to have a Nigerian accent. Listen to the radio and TV stations now, and you ask yourself “why the struggle to sound white?”

The same Nigerian accent we deride was recently ranked 6th sexiest accent by CNN, higher than the the American accent and a spot below the Queens English accent. However, have you ever seen whites  “killing” themselves to have a Nigerian accent? The essence of language is to communicate but it is also an integral part of a people’s culture. It is one of the things that sets one apart.

Accents define us and grant others information about our lives – where we are from, our history and identity as a people/ race. Our accents depict the richness of our cultural heritage and diversity. You don’t need need a foreign accent to have a high self-esteem rather forcing a foreign accent enhances your inferiority complex.

You are a representative of the Black Community; stop making our kids feel being Black and having a Nigerian accent is a bad thing. So instead of blurting out “Don’t Blame it on me” like John Newman, take the blame today like George Ezra and be proud of who you are. Be made of black!

Advertisements

“The More” by Chukwukadibia Ude

The more proud you are, the more the bondage of unacceptance

The more stingy you are, the more the bondage of poverty

The more unforgiving you are, the more the bondage of unrest

The more you celebrate your success in front of someone who’s down, the more you keep the person in mental suffering

The more you accuse people, the more the bondage of distrust

The more jealous you are, the more the bondage of planning against people

The more you make jealousy a lifestyle, the more the bondage of falling below those you are jealous of

The more you depend on people, the more the bondage of disappointment/heartbreak

The more cunning you are, the more the bondage of feeling cheated

The more you are quick to get angry (the more irritable you are), the more the bondage of people withdrawing from you

The less considerate you are, the more the bondage of losing people

The more arrogant you are, the more the bondage of loneliness

The more materialistic you are, the more the bondage of vanity/foolishness

The less focus you have, the more the bondage of being misled

The more you complain about people, the more the bondage of depression

The more you live your life for what people will say, the more the bondage of failure

The more you rely on your abilities alone, the more the bondage of stagnation

The more you fail to act, the more the bondage of procrastination

The more you fail to listen, the more the bondage of mistakes

The more you gossip, the more the bondage of darkness.
(You block your own sight while those you gossip about excel)

The more lustful you are, the more the bondage of guilt

The less cheerful you are, the more the bondage of loneliness

The less humorous you are, the more the bondage of rigidity

The less free you are at discussions, the more the bondage of being used

The more you are too open, the more the bondage of disrespect

The less you comport yourself, the more the bondage of low self confidence

The more you appear too simple, the more the bondage of misconception

The more you over praise people, the more the bondage of being seen as an ordinary

The more you say what you are not sure of, the more the bondage of “had I known”

The more you condemn people, the more the bondage of judging people

The more you live a life of competition, the more the bondage of devaluing your best friends

The more you live a life of comparison, the more the bondage of inferiority complex

The more you feel too important or too good at something, the more the bondage of superiority complex

The more tribalistic you are, the more the bondage of favouritism

The more you act as a perfectionist, the more the bondage of seeing others as low standard

The less courage you have, the more the bondage of fear

The more you dirty you are, the more the bondage of disregard

The more rich/successful you appear, the more the bondage of having fake friends

The poorer you appear, the more the bondage of negligence

The more foolish you appear, the more the bondage of being used

The more weakness you reveal, the more the bondage of being influenced

The more you appear too playful, the more the bondage of taking you for granted

The more you eat a lot, the more the bondage of dissatisfaction

The more appear fake, the more the bondage of borrowing/spending unnecessarily

The more you follow those with low mentality, the more the bondage of unnecessary/blind argument

The more you claim you are too brilliant, the more the bondage of being beaten

The more you make noise on a particular course without leading it, the more the bondage of feeling stupid

The more you show off with wealth or position, the more the bondage of irrelevant acquisitions

The more you value too much wine, the more the bondage of spending too much

The more you seek too many women, the more the bondage of worry

The more you seek affair with many men, the more the bondage of worry

The more you live a dirty secret life, the more the bondage of guilt/condemnation

The more you sin, the more the bondage of not praying

The less mercy you show on people, the more the bondage of being judged

The more you betray your friends, the more the bondage of losing them

The less self control you have, the more the bondage of indecision

The more selfish you are, the more the bondage of secrecy and stinginess

The less watchful you are, the more the bondage of regret

The less careful you are, the more the bondage of disappointment

The more you worry, the more the bondage of frustration

The less silent you appear, the more the bondage of trouble

The less love you show, the more the bondage of unhappiness

The more you seek success to beat someone, the more the bondage of daydreams

The more you talk about your dreams, the more the bondage of nightmares

The more you are seen, the more the bondage of being devalued

The more you are afraid of people, the more the bondage of feeling insecure

The more you face trials, the more the bondage of rejection

The more you avoid team work, the more the bondage of remaining the same

The more you refuse to share information, the more the bondage of mediocrity

The more you live above your means, the more the bondage of declining

The less approachable you are, the more the bondage of pride

The less love you are shown, the more the bondage of jealousy

The less you read/know, the more the bondage of concluding wrongly

The wider you read/know however, the more the bondage of criticism

The more you use filthy language, the more the bondage of silly thoughts

The more you act as a false witness, the more the bondage of shame

The more you show too much softness, the more the bondage of being taken for granted

The more you appear too hard, the more the bondage of being feared

The more you complain about problems, the more the bondage of more problems

The more you sleep with someone’s wife or husband, the more the bondage of feeling dead while living

The more you push your ways, the more the bondage of regret

The more you stay idle, the more the bondage of sin/evil

The more you analyse what you do not need, the more the bondage of folly

The more you follow people for what they have, the more the bondage of cheapness

The more you accept bribe, the more the bondage of being perceived as a poor man by the one who bribed

The more you fail to think wide as if there were no box at all, the more the bondage of feeling like an educated illiterate

The more you force yourself to do what you know you do not know how to do, the more the bondage of disgrace

The more you lie, the more the bondage of distrust as well as no peace of mind

The more you chase a man, the more the bondage of hatred for men

The more you sleep with prostitutes, the more the bondage of disregard for women

The more you watch porn, the more the bondage of self induced sex or feeling weak always

The less decent you appear, the more the bondage of attracting wrong people

The more you wear skimpy clothing, the more the bondage of being in the centre of the motives of players

The more you claim too good, the more the bondage of being a target

The more you refuse to change, the more the bondage of same results

The more you drink/eat too much, the more the bondage of having taste difficulties

The more you act as a hypocrite, the more the bondage of being deceitful

The more you block ways for your friends through gossip, the more the bondage
of losing those you advice against your friends

The more you follow the crowd, the more the bondage of “no thought” process

The more you are gender biased, the more the bondage of being right all the time or never being wrong

The more biased you are over issues of life, the more the bondage of confinement with people so unreasonable

The more confined you are, the more the bondage of low esteem

The more you go out too much, the more the bondage of life imbalance

The more you boast of where you are from, the more the bondage of complex

The more you disregard lower workers, the more the bondage of lack of information

The more you fail to teach, the more the bondage of not learning

The more you give conditions for helping people, the more the bondage of low commendation

The more you treat your house girl as
a poor and wretched fellow, the more the bondage of sympathetic betrayal from your good husband

The more you deny people their rights, the more the bondage of being denied in your old age

The more you sleep around for money, grades, possessions, materials, etc, the more the bondage of “no self worth”

The more you kill, the more the bondage of being a beast

The more you give out what you can do, the more the bondage of incompetence

The more you boast about your ambition for money, the more the bondage of trying to impress others

The more you seek only beautiful women, the more the bondage of indecision in selecting a spouse

The more you lie to your spouse, the more the bondage of reduced care

The more your lover hears something about you outside without you telling him/her first, the more the bondage of
disregard

The more you fall for the wrong person, the more the bondage of “on and off” and directionless love

The more the one you love falls for another person, the more the bondage of rejection

The more you neglect the person who loves you naturally, the more the bondage of self pity

The more you listen to gossip, the more the bondage of falsehood

The more you act as a boss but less as a leader, the more the bondage of enmity

The more you fail to smile, the more the bondage of wrong perception

The more you are too objective in your opinions, the more the bondage of misunderstanding from people

The more you show too much concern, the more the bondage of feeling down (because those you show the concern may see it as if you are judging them)

The more you speak too much of the truth, the more the bondage of “having only a few people” around you

The more you get closer to many ladies in the same environment, the more the bondage of worry

The more you criticise people, the more the bondage of pressure to deliver when your own turn comes

The more you give too much support for someone, the more the bondage of bias

The more you laugh at people, the more the bondage of “how can I beg this man to forgive me?”

The more you condemn what you see old people do when you are a teenager, the more you face the bondage of same temptation at your old age

The more you say a church is better than the other, the more the bondage of condemnation in your christian life

The more you gossip about men of God, the more the bondage of falling into traps

The more you keep silent over the wrong opinion of a christian who leads your group, the more the bondage of gossip within the group (Talk to the leader himself)

The more you look down on people, the more the bondage of surprises

The more you expect much from those you feel are the best, the more the bondage of shrugging your shoulders

The less time you give to children, the more the bondage of “not understanding humility”

The less patient you are, the more the bondage of giving up

The less faith you have, the more the bondage of doubt

The more unfaithful you are, the more the bondage of lies

The less your relationship with God, the more the bondage of confusion/wandering

The more indecisive you are, the more the bondage of delay

The less persevering you are in times of trials, the more the bondage of folly

The more over ambitious you are, the more the bondage of losing your loved ones

The less persistent you are, the more the bondage of self disbelief

The more lazy you are, the more the bondage of blindness to opportunities

The more you give up on what you would have done well because you did not look deep, the more the bondage of stupidity

The less questions you ask, the more the bondage of getting it all wrong almost all the time

The less you prepare, the more the bondage of losing

The more you pride yourself on your fighting strength, the more the bondage of defeat

The less you fail to read the word of God, the more the bondage of dying and being inactive

The more you fail to study and practice God’s word, the more the bondage of sin

The more you pay attention to material things more than people, the more the bondage of depression

The more you pride yourself due to your profession, the more the bondage of being the same in reasoning till death

The more you argue with an expert over what you do not know, the more the bondage of feeling ashamed later

The more you over praise your family even when no one asks you, the more the bondage of feeling mocked

The more you defend what people know is true about you, the more the bondage of folly

The less you travel, the more the bondage of a wrong perception of achieving more than others

The less you interact with people from low class, the more the bondage of leading your children astray

The more you tell your children more wrongs about people than rights, the more they face the bondage of causing problems

The more you preach and fail to do, the more the bondage of misleading people

The more you take advantage of people, the more the bondage of disrespect/disgrace

The more you fail to celebrate with others, the more the bondage of rejection

The more you reduce your closeness with loved people because your level has changed, the more the bondage of being devalued

Crowd Mentality

“If you follow the crowd, you might get lost in it”

Prior to the World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Kenya few weeks back, there was a war between Nigerians and Kenyans on twitter. A lot of provocative, insulting yet funny words were exchanged between citizens of both countries.

The Kenyans took to twitter to complain and rant about the way their national team was treated by the Nigerian Football Federation on arrival in Lagos for a World Cup qualifier.

If they were truly treated unfairly and unprofessionally by NFF, they deserve to be livid and their anger justifiable but a lot of Nigerians, not knowing the genesis of the tirade, took it upon themselves and “fought back”, just to be part of a trending topic on twitter.

This is exactly what Crowd Mentality is all about. Crowd Mentality is when an individual or a group of individuals adopt a behaviour just to look or sound cool.

Most Nigerian youths don’t have a mind of their own, they are controlled by people around them or those they believe are superior to them and see these superiors as role models.

So many people form foreign accents, have twitter accounts, fake love for a particular genre of music, blog, drink heavily or smoke uncontrollably because they believe it makes them look cool and acceptable.

Inferiority complex has been associated with crowd mentality and it is believed people who have inferiority complex issues tend to do things, just be accepted by people.

These people have lost their own identity and imagination,letting it get diluted with the influence of people around them.

A lot of girls and guys are easily influenced by people around them so they lie whenever they are in the presence of such people. They lie about sex, relationship, money, etc as the case may be.

The issue of crowd mentality can be seen in career building. So many people lack direction and as a result follow the path chosen by their friends. Recently, I had a discussion with a guy and I realised he’s only studying for a Masters degree just because his friends are doing the same.

This young man isn’t alone in the world of people with this kind of screwed mentality. A lot of people have travelled out of the country to study but when you interact with them, you will realise that most didn’t travel because they really want to further their education but they did so because they want to be accepted by the “elite”, boast to people who still see travelling abroad as luxury, have sexual escapades with foreigners or just leave the country for “good”.

You don’t need a microscope to see the effect of crowd mentality on social media. I always say this “if only our lives were as awesome as we portray it on social media, the world would be a better place”. Most people are ready to do anything to be accepted by the crowd. They post nude pictures, fight to be the first to convey or report some information, share recharge vouchers, copy and paste quotes, use pictures of “correct” people or photo shop their pictures and use them as their profile picture.

Social media is all about mirage, majority of people are far from what they depict on these social networks. I believe people who struggle so hard to be “celebrities” on these social networking sites don’t really have an interestingly fun life in reality so they seek solace in social media.

My Dad once said “Unintelligent people move with the crowd, the intelligent ones move with the minority and the most intelligent ones are always thinking”

Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself. People in your life may be acting a bit crazy now, but don’t let it get under your skin. Just because others are off in the deep end doesn’t mean you have to join them there. Stay in safe waters and do your thing.

I recommend finding yourself something to interest yourself away from other people, some hobby that you can learn and do on your own, that requires some reasoning and imagination so that you can practice thinking independently and not relying on your friends to think for you.

Better yet if it’s a hobby that few to none of your friends already do (although of course, make sure it’s something you enjoy doing yourself). It might also help to teach yourself to be more critical of what other people do, look at other people and their actions and just think about how you could have done it better, or in a way that would better suit you. You could even just try deliberately doing something different and unique, like wearing a different style of clothes from what your friends wear, or listening to different music, or eating different food, some sort of trigger to teach yourself that you don’t have to do the same things as other people and how thinking for yourself can work for you in your life.

“To Belong” syndrome is a chronic progressive syndrome that is very easy to contract but very hard to treat/manage/cure.

Ditch the crowd and have a mind of your own.