Why I Am Confused About My Ethnic Group

I gave this “speech” yesterday at a public speaking class and I thought I should share it hear.

My Name is Ugo and I am Igbo, or at least that was what I was told.  My name is Igbo, my parents are Igbo, my mother is from Abia and my father is from Imo and that’s about all the Igbo that’s in my blood. I do not speak the language neither do I understand it, I am not business inclined (as we Igbos are always assumed to be) as a matter of fact I hate buying and selling.

My paternal grandmother is Urhobo and my maternal great grandmother is Fulani. So if my ethnic group was solely a function of my DNA, i would be part Igbo, Fulani and Urhobo.

I was born in Lagos and lived there till I was 11 when I moved to Abuja and only recently returned to Lagos. I have spent most of my educative years in Ogun state and the collective time I have spent in The Igbo Part of Nigeria not up to 2 months, since I was born. 

I have never benefited anything from being a citizen of Imo state (not that people don’t benefit) neither have I benefited anything for spending close to two decades between Lagos and Abuja because “I am not a citizen of lagos” and Abuja is “no mans land.” 

I keep wondering to myself and those that care to listen, whether the criterion by which we use to determine ones “state” is still very relevant. I am not ignorant of the traditional and ethnic tendencies of this country where by any ethnic group that annoys the greater number of ethnic groups “should go”. We did it to Igbos before and during the civil war, we did it to the Niger Deltans during the militancy uprising a few years ago, and now we have shifted focus to the northerners. 

Like I said in the begining, My Name is Ugo and I am Igbo. At least that was what I was told, but as I continue to grow I realize that, I would rather say, “My Name is Ugo and I am a Nigerian.”

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