Intertribal relationships: What are the challenges?

More than 300 tribes in Nigeria.

Hello everyone

I am still in my writing cave battling with fictional characters in my head. Nonetheless, I have an interesting experience to share with you.

ENCOUNTER:

A few weeks ago, I met a lady called Bimbo Okoye. When she told me her name, I was instantly confused, and it must have shown on my face because she said, “I get that reaction from Nigerians all the time.”

Her remark caused a bout of shame to hit me, and I found myself mumbling through an awkward apology. Luckily for me, she was gracious. Not only did she laugh off my embarrassment, she also explained that her parents wanted her to know both sides of her culture and insisted that her name reflected that.

Most Nigerians would understand my initial reaction because the combination of her name is quite unusual—A Yoruba first name with an Igbo surname.

For non-Nigerians who may not understand this, Nigeria is an amalgamation of up to, if not more than 300 tribes. Some with similar language and culture, others with quite different ways of life. Names, accents, traditional attire, religion and other subtle qualities can suggest a person’s tribe.

MUSINGS:

Because of my experience with Bimbo, I decided to use the name Yemi Okeke for the new story I have begun working on. She is one of four children born to an Igbo father and a Yoruba mother.

This got me thinking about intertribal relationships and marriages. As a Nigerian from the Igbo tribe whose parents are both Igbos and who married an Igbo man, I have very little experience with the challenges that intertribal relationships can bring.

I know there are many stereotypes associated with various tribes, but I have always considered them all superficial and non-significant when individuals are involved.

Of course, there are constant jokes about the Igbos loving money too much, the Yoruba tribe throwing multiple elaborate parties even when broke, the Edo tribe having supernatural powers, e. t. c. But do the stereotypes really count in the daily living between couples or friends from different tribes?

Not for me. Although I enjoy those tribal jokes, I try not to let them influence my dealings with anyone on a personal level.

The wedding party, a movie I enjoyed tremendously, showcased an intertribal marriage. I loved the humour and the exploration of various cultures.

Do you have any stories to share about intertribal relationships? Have you observed any challenges from any? Do you think cultural differences can destroy a relationship?

I still believe in One Nigeria. However, I also like to celebrate our diversity.

The Wedding Party. A wonderful movie celebrating cultural diversity in Nigeria..

 

 

 

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Nigerian Kobo Coins…Where did they disappear to?

Hello everyone. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I did.

I bought a trampoline for the kids and set it up in our garden. They lost interest after only a few minutes, and I ended up jumping on it all day. Great to act like a child once again.

Okay, so, I am writing a love story set in Abuja, Nigeria. And in a dramatic scene, I wanted the characters to be distracted by loud sounds of metallic items dropping on a tiled floor.

The first thing that came to my mind was the jingle of coins falling out of a purse. It sounded perfect in my head until I remembered that coins are now rarely used in Nigeria.

That made me sad…

I halted my writing (My usual habit of procrastination), and searched the internet for old Nigerian coins, called Kobo.

I literary felt tearful thinking back about how in the 80s, my parents gave me and my siblings 10 kobo each every weekend to buy bubble gum and sweets. We each used to put our coins in a piggy bank to save for something special.

This is a part of our childhood that we cant pass to our children, because due to years of inflation and mismanagement of the economy, coins have almost completely disappeared from Nigeria.

To me, it is a big shame.

My father told me that when he was much younger, there were coins as low as 1 Kobo. I only got to experience using 10 kobo and upwards.

Right now, there are rarely any coins in Nigeria because they no longer have any value.

Do other African countries still use coins? Which countries?

Please comment about which denominations of the Nigerian kobo you spent.

Also comment if you’ve never seen a Nigerian Kobo.

I first spent 10 kobo. I miss those days.

Where are the Nigerian Kobo coins?
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