By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Critic, Reno Omokri has told Nigerians wanting to ‘Japa’ to count the cost before doing so as it comes with lots of consequence.
Japa, a Yoruba locution which means to leave for greener pastures, is still consistently running errands in the frustrated minds of Nigerian youths.
Omokri, on his Instagram page said “Nobody is saying do not japa. But what I am saying is that before you do, you should count the cost.”
He said in Nigeria, one could just turn up at a friend or family’s house uninvited for a visit.
“You can even turn up uninvited to stay with your family. You can’t try that abroad. Your brother may call the cops on you. They are very individualistic and have firm boundaries.
“It may take a village to raise a child in Africa, but in Europe and America, children often have to raise themselves because both parents work, and weekends are spent at Mcdonald’s cinemas, football games, or museums.
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“And since children are not taught to appreciate family bonds, parents grow old and are dumped in an old peoples home, so their children can live their lives,” he said.
Omokri added that communal life is treasured in Africa, “but it is not encouraged in the West. Many children do not even know their cousins. And neighbours can die in their homes and be undetected for weeks.
“Of course, your relatives abroad will want you to think they have it better than you. Unrefined human nature is focused on competition. You have to be enlightened to have a mindset directed to cooperation.
“For the most part, young people in the West have low regard for your age. And if you don’t purposely train your children to have respect for their elders, they will turn out like the kids they relate with. Yes, their awareness levels are very high, as is their IQ. But their EQ can be very low.
“And if you are the type that looks down on your culture and language, you WILL produce self loathing children abroad, who automatically look down on any African with an accent. Their disdain grows when the African speaks their native language and wears his or her cultural wears.”
Omokri added: “Think of when you went to your hometown and were treated special. Think of visiting relatives and how they literally killed the fattened chicken or goat just to welcome you. Running to the gate shouting ‘Daddy oyoyo’. Let the rivalry between Ebenezer Obey and Sunny Ade on the one hand, and that between Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and Ayinla Kollington, bring back memories of all the Fuji ropopo you danced. Life in Africa is sweet.”
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