Debunking History

Does it ever worry us that history which neither personal wealth nor power can pre-empt will pass terrible judgement on us, pronounce anathema on our names when we have accomplished our betrayal and passed on? We have lost the twentieth century; are we bent on seeing that our children also lose the twenty-first?
— Chinua Achebe in An Image of Africa/The Trouble With Nigeria
Image: Tobi Jaiyesimi for The Book Banque.

Image: Tobi Jaiyesimi for The Book Banque.

Through November, The Book Banque has focused on the Nigerian independence period, and unfiltering the history often taught - or in most cases, not taught. The objective was not prove controversial but rather, to bring to light some issues too often carelessly omitted. As with recent times and as characterised by a social media movement tagged as #buhariseconomy, thrusting the blame of current issues on current leaders has become second nature to most Nigerians. This, of course, is not to say that majority of these leaders do not have a role to play - they do. However, the plethora of issues that often simultaneously serve as a salutation, a joke and a headline in Nigeria, are unfortunately not new. 

The fractured elements of Nigeria - in terms of social or economic; politically or culturally - are culminated in historic incidents and weakened institutions. The only difference today, perhaps, is that most of these issues are increasingly amplified with the use of social media, and equally intensified as the country’s population balloons and the greed and vested interests of high level officials reach new heights. Should we continue to ignore the importance of debunking history, understanding the root causes,  and playing our individual and collective roles as Nigerians, tomorrow shall only shadow the past, with new generation leaders following the same footsteps of 'country-men' that failed us, or digging deeper regressive footprints. 

We do not know about you, but we are eager to move on from the narrative of “potential” that Nigeria has so proudly and tirelessly worn for decades, to making the right steps in the direction of re-writing its story. As Jide Olarenwaju states at the end of the informative and brilliant documentary below, we want to see children break out of the cycle of poverty and everyone enjoy a minimum standard of living. We are bent on ensuring that our grandchildren and generations to come, only have the twentieth century as stories to learn from, and not burdened to be Nigerians, or live in Nigeria. We believe in the power of educating youth and filling in the knowledge gap, as a tool for achieving these goals.

Real Story of Nigeria (Documentary) by Jide Olanrewaju.

To purchase An Image of Africa/The Trouble with Nigeria by Chinua Achebe, click here.