Looking Beyond Tribe
Bekeme: Hi guys, it’s me Bekeme and it’s the Good Citizen Show. How are you all doing today? You know I’m a.k.a mummy G.O right? So, it’s mummy G.O on the line, so when I start preaching to you, take it! Receive it! Alright? I hope you’ve had a fantastic week so far? Uhm it’s been a fantastic week for me, Just trying to catch up with everything I’ve had to sort of put on the hold while still trying to get the right people around me, I hope it’s been great for you? And I hope that this Friday is an opportunity for you to start relaxing, winding down for the weekend. And so today, we are going to be discussing something that has already generated a lot of talkability as we would say in the PR world. This is something we keep on facing every day! As a country, how old is Nigeria? 60 gini? And we are still talking about this person is from that place, that person is from that place and we are not moving as a result. So, we are looking beyond the tribe today, looking beyond the tribe. But before I go on, I just wondered if you’ve been observing covid-19 protocols? You know it’s good to do the right things cause… I for one, talked about the fact that it was my daughter’s 10th, and that we were going to be having a party for her inside the house and everything. But you know what, I didn’t actually take into cognizance the fact that we’d have turns of people coming just to set up, you know cause we decided to go Arabian and the we decided to set up in the house, and by the time they left it was already 1pm, and we had to wipe down on everything. But then, there was pop corn and cutting candy outside the house and these little people ran out to get… Four days later, so there was nobody in the house, we didn’t invite guest into the house, we said her friends could come around, take their gift, take pictures and go outside you know… there was backdrop outside. But then, my daughter is in boarding school and she had to go back to school, and they said do a covid-19 test. Guess what? The day before she was supposed to do the test, aunty starts vomiting at night, she starts complaining of really hurtful tummy, it has never been that painful for her before. Like she woke up at about 2am… and we continued this until about 5am and I was like oh my goodness, oh my goodness. You know, I knew that I hadn’t broken any rules, but I thought, should I have allowed them go out to take popcorn? Did I watch them closely enough and everything, and… we went for the test, I probably barely slept just thinking oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! But then thank God it came back negative. Cause I was thinking, how am I going to explain to people? You know but basically, what I’m saying is that, if we can avoid situations that can possibly put us in trouble why don’t we avoid it? Like why don’t we avoid it? I’ve seen videos of people going for parties and everything like groove ah ahn! So that groove if you don’t go sha your life will not be complete? We have to be careful; we have to be responsible. It’s probably going to kill about 2% of people, do you want to be in that 2%? or if you don’t want your loved once then you know what to do. Avoid going to places that you don’t need to go to, and constantly wash and sanitize your hands.
Okay so back to what we were talking about, you know, this is a very pressing issue, everybody knows that Nigeria’s major problems are hinged around these whole issue of tribe, this is why when the government at federal state, a local government does anything, people start thinking hmmmm it’s because of this. Like there’s no trust whatsoever. Oh why did they appoint this person from that tribe and not that tribe? Why do they do this and that? And like you know for the teaser for the show tonight, we talked about Tunde. Tunde not being able to marry his love Ijeoma, because his mother thinks ah she’s ‘Omo igbo’. You know, or not that Tumi not being able to get a job in a particular place because that person is thinking, you know what… I need for my Hausa brother to feel that role and all of that. You know, I even see people even in things like domestic staff, they want to know, where are you from, they don’t want you to do this and that, and I am wondering, what is the big deal? After all these years of us living together as Nigerians, what is the big deal? What is it that you have experienced with a certain tribe that you haven’t experienced among your family members? I’d like to hear from you. I grew up in Lagos, I didn’t grow up in a mansion, I mixed with everybody, I went to a federal school, I’ve met with turns of people, at some point growing up, I had uncles, relatives who said to me, oh don’t talk to Yoruba people they’re this and that but I have very good friends who are Yoruba, and I have people that I dislike a lot who are of my tribe for instance. So it goes either ways. I’d like to hear from you, you know the number to call is 0700923923923, again is 0700923923923, so you need to call and talk to me about this. What do you think? I’d like for you to share your experience, what do you think? What has happened that causes you to think that you or you may not employ a person or marry a person or what not from a certain tribe. So for instance, I’m part of a women’s group, and a video was posted of a young lady who was viciously beaten, I think they burnt her or something, something crazy, a young girl between the ages of 8 and 10. And the lady said and I quote ‘’Anambra women and wickedness are like 5&6 quote me anywhere’’ I was in shock, where did this come from ? Don’t we see videos everywhere? I personally responded to that saying… I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t offended at all, my mum is Igbo and she’s from Anambra and I said to her, my mother is one of the nicest people I ever met, and I have a cousin that I have never met before that recently touched base with me and she said that she went to my mum’s place of work, independently to get a job about ten years after she’s passed, mum’s passed about sixteen seventeen years now, and as soon as they heard that she had the same last name, everybody was falling over themselves to give her the job. I said I grew up with this people and she’s one of the nicest people that I know. I’m sure that there are really mad women, crazy women from the same Anambra, but that’s the same that can be said for any tribe across Nigeria. So, the good thing is a lot of people came at her and she retracted her statement. But it just got us thinking that, it was worrisome that this day and age where people will just have one bad experience with a person from another tribe, or a number of experiences with a person from another tribe, then they just assume that everybody is that way. And again, it brings me back to that poser that I made about your family. You who is listening, are you going to tell me that you don’t have anybody in your family that cheats, that steals or that has stolen, that tells lies, that isn’t nice, that gossips? Can you say that categorically, I’m seriously waiting to hear from you, you can prove me right or you can prove me wrong. Again, the number to call is 0700923923923 and then you can send us a WhatsApp message on 08173136193. So the interesting fact is that with about 200 to 200 million people that we have in Nigeria belonging to any of the over 300 or so ethnic tribes.
Bekeme: we have a caller, Hello! We lost that call. Please call back it’s 0700923923923. We are the most diverse nation in west Africa, you would have thought that by now, we would have gotten used to living with our diversity. There was this song that was played recently to me, I watched the video and I was just amazed. The guy literally broke down the sentiments of the different tribes. The Yorubas’ are these, they are two faced, and the Igbos’ they will cheat you out of anyrhing. The Hausas’ they are not as hardworking or whatever. Hello!
Caller 1: Hello, good evening.
Bekeme: Hello, good evening. Thank you for calling the Good Citizen Show. What’s your name?
Caller 1: My name is Adebayo Yusuf.
Bekeme: Adebayo, so what’s up? What do you think?
Caller 1: Nice topic tonight.
Bekeme: Thank you.
Caller 1: So is there any kind of attitude you don’t see in your family or relations, and I think when we talk about the issue of Northerners, I am a socialite person and I’ve been with…
Bekeme: Oh we lost that call. You can call us back on 0700923923923. I really wonder what he was going to talk about. You know we’re very diverse and every time that I hear somebody say don’t marry a person from that tribe because they are xyz, for instance lets say that you are a Yoruba mother in-law. Hello! Hello! We lost that call again. Let’s go back to the example, you have to take it in good faith. You’re a Yoruba mother in-law and you’re used to people kneeling down to greet you. Then your son comes and says ‘I have to marry Ijeoma’ and you’re like omo Igbo, they don’t respect people. Hello!
Caller 2: Hello, good evening.
Bekeme: Hello, good evening, thank you for calling the Good Citizen Show what’s your name?
Calle 2: my name is Michael.
Bekeme: Michael so what’s up? Would you marry someone who is not from your tribe or hire someone who is not from your tribe? What are your thoughts?
Caller 2: Madam, everybody has their reasons.
Caller 2: my own reason is that, I will give an example. I have one daughter and she just finished college of education and she met this Igbo man, and she said she wants to marry the guy, but I told her that she just finished school, that she has to be patient and work for sometime and she can decide what she want’s to do. But could you believe that this girl for the past three years ran away with the boy and the boy took her to Enugu state, when I called the guy, he will begin to insult me, he lied to the girl that he works in Nigeria Breweries, he went to University of Lagos, we found out everything was a lie.
Bekeme: how old was your daughter?
Caller 2: The girl is now 27 years old now. She ran away about three years two months now.
Bekeme: That’s very sad to hear. She was an adult when she did this right?
Caller 2: Yes, but if she had married a Yoruba guy from our tribe, she won’t run away like that. The parents of the guy will look for a way to come and see her parents.
Bekeme: Oga really?
Caller 2: Yes, because Yoruba people don’t do like that. The girl is living with them and the boy has mother and the mother cannot say, this girl you brought from Lagos why don’t you go and see the parents?
Bekeme: Okay oga, thank you for this, so does that mean that all Igbo people are like that? Let’s just assume that they didn’t try to want to come and see you, they want to but you don’t want to. Are you now saying that all Igbo people are like that because this boy did this thing, because I know many Yoruba boys that have done the same thing, this same example that you have given? I know that it happens among the Yorubas’ as well or let me tell you an example of one that I know that is very popular.
Caller 2: There’s no way a Yoruba man will marry a girl that he will not know that girl’s parents. The father of the boy will force him to go and locate the parents of the girl.
Bekeme: But is that the only wrong thing that a person can do? Do Yoruba people not do other wrong things? For instance one of the popular things, and I have heard this one very recently, like two different people. They met a man and the man promised to marry them and then they start living with the boys mother, then later find out that the man actually has another wife that he’s living with abroad. Do you not think that an Igbo family would say that an Igbo man would never do that.
Caller2: what I know is that the mother in-law did not collect our number from the girl to call us, nothing like that happened.
Bekeme: do you know for sure that she lives with them?
Caller 2: You mean the girl?
Bekeme: Do you know that she lives with them?
Caller 2: She lives with them.
Bekeme: how do you know?
Caller 2: she used to call, and she gives the phone to the husband to talk, when I say they should give the phone to the mother in-law they will refuse.
Bekeme: Sir, what about your daughter who did this? Does she have any blame in all of this?
Caller 2: yes.
Bekeme: Good, so you see that it’s and Igbo boy and a Yoruba girl who did something wrong. Isn’t it?
Caller 2: Yes…
Bekeme: so that’s it! At the end of the day, the mother in-law is probably thinking why would the girl even follow him here? So you have to look at it from both sides.
Caller2: let me tell you, the last time she ran away, we reported the case at the police station, when the boy heard that we reported the case to the police, he ran away from Lagos to the village.
Bekeme: Is not something that you are happy about, but can say to you sir is that, your daughter is a mature girl, she did what she did with her eyes clear, and you are not happy with that, I would not be happy with that but I will tell you that you shouldn’t turn it into a tribal issue and that you should keep on talking to your daughter. Have you asked her why they have not come for her?
Caller 2: She said I should be patient that she will come home anytime she likes.
Bekeme: Will you accept that sir, do you think the reason they have not come is because they know that you will not accept it?
Caller 2: My daughter already has children for the man, there is nothing I can do again.
Bekeme: So, you will accept them, have you communicated this to your daughter?
Caller 2: Yes, we talk all the time, even last week Sunday. Even though I am the one that calls to ask when they will come, the girl will tell me they will come when they are ready.
Bekeme: she will come, she will come.
Caller 2: But it’s not fair, the boy has not paid dowry.
Bekeme: She will come, the did has already been done, take heart sir she will come back. Hello.
Caller 3: Hello, Good evening.
Bekeme: Good evening, thank you you for calling the Good Citizen Show, what’s your name?
Caller 3: My name is Chukwuebuka, about the last caller, may I say something about it?
Bekeme: Yes you may.
Caller 3: In as much as I wont support what happened, I feel for the man, but CBB, there’s one thing I don’t ever like.
Bekeme: This is Bekeme on the Good Citizen Show.
Caller 3: Yes… if there’s anything I don’t ever like; it is getting involved in tribal or religious sentiments. I am very sorry to say this, I am an Igbo man, my name is Chukwuebuka, but I don’t go into tribal issues. But the last caller, I am very sorry to say this, you are very wrong sir, it is a pure Yoruba thing.
Bekeme: What is a purely Yoruba thing? What do you mean by that?
Caller 3: Like getting pregnant, not going to see parents and all what not.
Bekeme: You have spoilt it Chukwuebuka. Children do it these days, from time in memorial, people have run away with their lovers. It has nothing to do with tribe.
Caller 3: No, he was particularly saying that it’s an Igbo thing.
Bekeme: but you shouldn’t point fingers right back. Do you understand? We know he’s wrong for saying that. But there’s no point pointing the finger right back. I think that all tribes do it.
Caller 3: Yes, all tribe do it, it’s an individual thing.
Bekeme: it is!
Caller 3: But no parent would want to support that kind of a thing. So, the man should surrender and show love, they will come. If talks like he’s hard on them, they will be afraid. The man should give them assurance and show them love to the boy in particular.
Bekeme: Thank you so much Chukwuebuka, I think you’ve said it all, Mr. Michael I hope you’re listening wherever you are. I know that this is a very personal experience, no parents would want to witness this or go through this, you consider that highly disrespectful, which I think it is, but you need to be able to show them love to bring them back. Hello! Oh, we lost that call. Do call us back, it’s 0700923923923, again it’s 0700923923923. Hello!
Caller 4: Hello, good evening.
Bekeme: Hi good evening, what’s your name please?
Caller 4: My name is Yinka.
Bekeme: Yinka thank you for calling the Good Citizen Show. What’s your contribution?
Caller 4: I am a Yoruba man from Abeokuta, I don’t support all these tribal religious things.
Bekeme: I’m glad to hear.
Caller 4: Sorry to narrate this to you. When I was in university, I dated an Igbo lady, and we had a good time together, in fact, we planned to marry. Unfortunately, I lost her to a road accident.
Bekeme: oh, I’m so sorry to hear it!
Caller 4: Thank you very much. That was like 2007, I graduated 2008. And the time we spent together I travelled with her to meet her parents. She was going to be the person I want to marry, but unfortunately, death took her away from me. About the tribal thing, I think the level of exposure, the level of education and character matters most. Anytime I find myself around people arguing about tribe, I always detach myself from them.
Bekeme: As you should.
Caller 4: I believe that if you are fighting A doesn’t mean all the other letters are bad. It depends on the person you are having issue with. Personally, I don’t support it, and the life I have lived after university, the most people that have taken me out are not Yorubas’ that’s the funny thing. I’m just trying to tell people to leave this tribal thing alone. We should live our lives and see people the way we see ourselves. We ourselves we are not perfect. So, we should move ahead with our lives and see people the way they are. And I think the government has a lot to do because of language barrier. For example, if you go to an aboki and you can’t relate well with him, he will tell you to get out. So, I am charging the government to do more.
Bekeme: So, the government should do more for integration. This is a valid point that was raised earlier on our good citizen WhatsApp platform, somebody was saying that efforts should be made for people to be able to create committee’s engagement, stakeholder engagement because you know the world is a global village and Nigeria is multi-ethnic, highly diverse so different people are now going across the country, in the past you’d say Igbos’ are everywhere but now, everybody is everywhere, the whole part of the country so we have to learn to understand each other, we have to learn to stop this tribal thing. Sometimes when we have an issue with the person, it’s because of our own attitude, so we have to stop and re-evaluate. Something I always say to people is, do you come to the table with a mindset? And I want to say that no matter how presumptuous you are about a person or their tribe, do you allow that mindset to get the better part of you or do you just say this person is of a certain tribe, certain gender or religion and so I expect them to live in that way and as such I will give them hot hot. You don’t even know yet, like this is an individual who’s a part of a bigger group, it’s good to have understanding of different people, I always say that I am a social scientist, I like to know people, where do you come from, but what do you do with that information, do you use it positively or you allow it get a better part of you. Do you help in your own behaviour to replicate those stereotypes? So when someone reacts in a negative way to you, your ethnicity, your class or your gender, remember Maya Angelo’s still I arise poem and I’m sure most of you know Maya Angelo and I read from the last stanza, ‘’ you may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness but still like air, I rise! Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I’ve got diamonds at the middle of my eyes, out of the hearts of history shame, I rise! Up from a past that is rooted in pain, I rise! And a black ocean lipping and wide, wailing and swelling, I bear with tide, I rise! I rise! I rise! So, I exalt you all to rise above every situation you find yourself. Remember we are here every Friday at 8pm but it’s changing, from next week, we will be here from 5:30 with Good Citizen Show, it’s no more 8pm because we want more of you all, by popular demand, more of you all to listen to this enlightening uniting focused messaging that we have for you. Follow us on www.goodcitizen.ng to listen to and share more of our content. So, it’s celebration time. All the time for us we are celebrating Nigeria and Nigeria’s greatness. Thank you all for listening today, my name is Bekeme, mummy GO, remain safe, remain united, we are one Nigeria, and I will be back here next week at 5:30pm on the Good Citizen Show! Have yourselves a wonderful evening and weekend.