My name is Nigeria

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I can’t hide myself.
I don’t expect you to understand.

I just hope I can explain.
What it’s like to be a man.

It’s a lonely road.
And they don’t care ’bout what you know.

It’s not ’bout how you feel.
But what you provide inside that home.

Yeah, I know this life can really beat you down, uh.
You wanna scream but you won’t make a sound, uh.

Got so much weight that you’ve been holdin’.
But won’t show any emotion, as a man, that goes unspoken.

That we can’t cry when life gets hard.
Unconditional love for women, children and dogs.

We know that we just have to play our parts.
And don’t nobody give a damn about our broken hearts, yeah.

As a man, we gotta pave our way.
Our only function is to work and slave.

There’s no respect for you if you ain’t paid.
You’re disregarded as a human and you can’t complain.

And if you ever make it up and actually reach that place.
And find a woman that you love and give her your last name.

You’ll feel the things that you provide is only why she stays.
And when you try to explain, you’ll say.

I can’t hide myself.
I don’t expect you to understand.

I just hope I can explain.
What it’s like to be a man (what it’s like to be a man).

It’s a lonely road (it’s a lonely road).
And they don’t care ’bout what you know (care ’bout what you know).

It’s not ’bout how you feel.
But what you provide inside that home.

Don’t give up, keep fightin’.

As a man, our son is our horizon.
And our fathers’ actions play a role and we end up like him.

So they can’t let us see them hurt.
‘Cause we’ll embody what we do and start a generational curse.

No wonder most men are so depressed.
All the things that they can’t express.

They go to war, get thrown on the shelf.
Then go back to war with their mental health.

Then grab that bottle and ask for help.
Try to pull themselves out of hell.

Then fall back down and then realize.
That they gon’ have to do it themselves.

It’s the circle of life, as a man, you provide.
They don’t know what you’re worth ’til the day that you die.

And that’s when they start cryin’
Then move on to a man to confide in.
That’s why we feel.

We can’t hide ourselves.

We don’t expect you to understand.
We just hope we can explain.

What it’s like to be a man (what it’s like to be a man),
It’s a lonely road (it’s a lonely road).

And you don’t care ’bout what we know (care ’bout what we know).
It’s not ’bout how we feel.

But what we provide inside that home (inside that home).
That home.

It’s not ’bout how we feel.
But what we provide inside that home (inside that home).

Songwriters: Alex Nour / Daniel Nwosu Jr.

To Be A Man lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I’m writing this on the heels of a really discouraging conversation. A friend I love has lost his faith in God — in His love, in His Word, in His existence.

His arrival at this place wasn’t sudden. It involved a journey of both of us watching the things he held precious get taken away. This loss includes watching what he thought his life was going to be, giving way over the years to what his life has become. As I listened to him, and as I ponder it now, I have nothing but empathy and sadness for him. To be honest, I’m cheating an eye upward — an accusatory side-glance to Heaven:

God, where were You? God, where are You?

I’m searching for a metaphor for what I’m feeling. I started with the picture of me standing by my friend’s hospital bed, hearing the beeping of the machines that are keeping him on life support. But that metaphor doesn’t go far enough. There’s still a bit too much hope in a situation like that. Really, it feels like I’m standing at my friend’s graveside. Past the point of hope.

A lot of people who come through the doors of the church and the mosque carry dire stories in their hearts, often sealed in a chamber just under the surface. They might be like me — carrying the burden of the spiritual death of a loved one. Or they might be carrying their own deadness or the grief of a dead situation. Either way, it’s a feeling of utter hopelessness. It’s not 99 percent despair and 1 percent hope. It’s not life support. It’s death.

Sometimes we must strain through tears to remember that God works with dead things. The question is, am I dead?

The challenges and hardships faced by individuals can be diverse and multifaceted. It’s important to note that experiences vary widely among different people based on factors such as socio-economic status, region, and personal circumstances.

I suffer economic challenges: Unemployment and underemployment are significant issues, leading to financial instability. Fluctuating economic conditions and inflation impacting the cost of living, making it difficult to meet basic needs.

I suffer security concerns: these security challenges, including insurgency, terrorism, and communal conflicts, affect my safety and well-being.

I suffer from a healthcare deficit: with limited access to quality healthcare services in certain areas it is not voodoo to see how I battle health challenges. Outbreaks of diseases, such as the occasional prevalence of infectious diseases, also pose health risks to what is left of my life.

It is intentional as I am denied access to quality education and opportunities for skill development, thus hindering my personal and professional growth.

I should just pretend about corruption: at various levels, it contributes to inequalities and hinder progress.

I suffer from gender expectations: Societal expectations and traditional gender roles place pressures on me to fulfil specific roles, impacting mental health and well-being.

There are serious Infrastructure deficiencies, and deficits like inadequate power supply, poor road networks, and limited access to clean water can affect daily life and economic activities. I suffer from this!

Political unrest, instability and governance issues can impact the overall stability and development of my life.

My name is Nigeria, I am Nigeria, I am not APC, PDP, or LP, I possess no faith, and yet fate is dealing with me.

It’s crucial to address these challenges collectively through collaborative efforts involving government, civil society, and the private sector. By working towards economic empowerment, improved education, healthcare, and security, there is potential for positive change in the lives of Nigerians. Additionally, promoting equality, inclusivity, and good governance can contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future for the country.

May Nigeria Win!


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