Person of the year: The Nigerian

There is hardly any human being who embodies the completeness of creation as much as the Nigerian does.

A bundle of contradiction who questions himself or herself at every turn, a positivity who interrogates his own very essence, the Nigerian is at once a rot on the outside and a creature of untold beauty on the inside.

He or she has it all but is a study in emptiness on the use to which those endowments are put.

In 2017, the pressures of life were distributed in an unfair measure to the Nigerian but all was borne with remarkable equanimity.

He condoned what should be condemned and endured what should be rejected as dehumanizing. He worked hard and gained little, shouted himself hoarse at petty misdemeanors but kept a submissive peace in the face of egregious crimes as committed by those he recruited to serve him.

Bombarded on all sides by all sorts of vicissitudes, the Nigerian, male or female, embodied all that was right and all that was wrong. He looked forward to a life of progress even as he systematically shuffled backwards in total negation of his own abilities to forge ahead.

The Nigerian successfully finds failure in the reverie over incredible success and willfully wrenches a disaster from the jaws of joy. He dreams big but acts little, looks forward to a future while actively creating one that would continuously make a better day of even a regrettable yesterday.

No person strives harder than the Nigerian to put a full life in a small dreambox. Hence the nation of the best and the brightest is governed by the worst and most despicable.

For the Nigerian, the vision is often clear but the execution is a problem.

What a person!

For his or her exertions, for all he or she went through in the year that ended yesterday, The Nigerian is The Guardian’s Person of the Year. And the story of this bundle on contradictions is told by Tony Okeregbe, a member of our Editorial Board.



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