MARILYN ANONA writes: I wonder the fate of the Nigerian graduate or youth who decides to wear a Bubu or Buba to a job interview.


So we bleach our skin, because we aspire to be WHITE… We get rid of our Kinky and tightly curled rich African hair by relaxing them and wearing synthetic or the so called “Natural Human hair” extensions because we aspire to be white… We throw away our rich ORGANIC food that we are so blessed to have for colourful and over processed foods in shops because we aspire to be white… We strive to change our accent and laugh at those who possess the African accent because we aspire to be white…We don’t think wearing the Buba, Bubu, Kaftan to work on Monday is ideal, we must wear the suit and the corporate dresses because we aspire to be white… Since we aspire to be white, what does the White aspire to be?

About the dressing, a friend was saying, we do not wear our native prints to work or corporate offices on Mondays because its inappropriate and I asked how? Back in the University, I belonged to a club called the JUNIOR CHAMBERS INTERNATIONAL (JCI) and we were told that our indigenous outfits like the kaftan, Bubu, Buba etc are also corporate outfits just like the suits and dresses.But I wonder the fate of the Nigerian graduate or youth who decides to wear a Bubu or Buba to a job interview.

We have so copied that our identity is almost faded. We have also learnt or heard that 70% of Nigerian women are involved in skin bleaching. Why do we believe that a white skin is better or more beautiful? Why do you want to alter yourself so much and totally ignoring the side effects. Who ever told you that you are better looking white? Who brain washed you into believing that a white skin has more advantages or benefits? Has any one of you been prevented from entering into an office or taking part in something because you are black. Now tell me why you desperately aspire to be white!

These days, seeing a woman, lady or girl on braids seems like a big deal not to talk of the Owu hair (the type made with thread)… We are all busy trying to be what we are not and will never be. We are so originally beautiful yet we do not know it. We are better organic yet we do not know it. We are ashamed of being organic. But why?

I won’t forget the day I told a friend I just met that I wanted to eat “Ofe Akwu” that’s our local Nigerian stew for white rice. He blurted out “huh! That’s so bush… Not posh at all” I was taken aback for a while and in utter surprise asked “please dear, what’s wrong with Ofe Akwu?” He went on to say it was a razz (not decent) food to be eaten by someone as polished as I am. Hehe! Now, isn’t that funny? I asked him what sort of food “polished” girls like me should eat… He went on listing from chinese to Italian to indian. Gracious GOD! What has happened to us? I told him that no matter what he thinks, I still love my ofe akwu and won’t ashamed to demand for it anywhere and anytime. Barely a week later, I caught the same guy eating ofe akwu in a local bukka… and you know the most surprising part? All the waiters and waitresses there know his name! Hehe, which means he patronizes them on daily basis. Why are we like this?

Another funny thing is the issue of folks who have not gone close to any airport striving to speak in American accent. Most times, it makes them look so lame and pathetic. It depicts a high level of inferior complex. Being eloquent has nothing to do with forming the American or British accent. Stressing the “r” or omitting the “t”. Speak good. Use your oral English appropriately. And you are good to go. Sometimes, when you form like that the stress you pass through reflects on your face and it makes me feel so sad.

Okay! Enough of the examples of how we aspire to much to be white. My question is, if we aspire so much to be white such that we throw away our identity, originality and values… What then does the white ASPIRE to be? Why don’t we go organic and fully enjoy who we are. Don’t get me wrong… Its good to adopt, its part of learning but you should not do so to the point that you get lost.

Be Enlightened! Be inspired!! Be Motivated!!!



  1. Nice one Oma! All of the afore-mentioned abnormalities in your write up are the negative effects of colonization! We were brain washed to believe that white is better than black, hence, the strive to be like them, thereby, loosing our colourful identities and rich cultural heritage in the process! Its a pity that despite civilization and technological advancements, we ‘ve not been able to break free from these generational strongholds and grapple with the fact that black is eternally beautiful! White doesnot make it right!!!

    • Thanks dear Kaycee, you are correct! Like I said, adopting isn’t a bad thing but losing your entire identity in the process is the problem. Why can’t we adopt their dedication and orderly way of doing things. Thanks kaycee and have a blessed Saturday.

  2. Hmmmm….. the western way of life have overshadowed our African way of life, nice piece dear and may God increase ur knowledge (Amen).

  3. This is a really indepth article..I love the notes made..mostly about the over polished fake dude having the “Bukka” girls knowing his ‘silly’ name. That was fun. My opinion on this article is pretty basic. The corporate dressing has really sucked deep into our (nigeria) official outlook dress system. However, it is pertinent to note that this corporate dress system mostly apply to employees as the bosses wear what to them is appropriate. This is unofficial though, it is expected that a Nigerian employee is to be in corporate from Monday through Wednesday and maybe freestyle on Thursday and wear a traditional attire on Friday. I just cannot help imagining YOU(Oma) wearing a KAFTAN, BUBU or BUBA etc to an office for interview on a monday morning. It would be awesome, however, how would the interviewers perceive you? This should be the question on your mind. For me, I am totally game for traditional attire all week long. But for the country we are in which is fast turning ‘WHITE’ *your word* I doubt traditional would work week long. With respect to organic and processed food. I rep organic food. However, it must be noted that such food take long and hectic process to prepare. For instance, take the “OFE AKWU” the preparation process can make a hungry man steal from the palace. Haba, the process to get a well prepared and titivating soup/stew ehn is something else. Why then will a sharp-sharp man/woman not just opt for an already processed food which will most likely take few minutes to prepare?

    On faking accents, that is truly another topic ‘biko’ Kai. *angry face* I wonder what the fuss is about wanting to speak like a briton or an american. Some ladies even feel the mere fixing of “Brazilian” hair qualifies them to speak like brazilians. Awful though.

    I must really appreciate your write up. It cracked me up this morning. Way to go.

    • Wow! Thanks so much Moronto. I really appreciate your comment. You took your time to really comment. I feel great. I understand you can’t possibl start cooking at the time you get hungry. That’s why you start to cook hours before. And I know that no matter how you try, your food can never be 100% organic. My point is we should not lose our identity trying to copy. We should not see our own as inferior. Coming to clothing, if I start employing, African prints and designs will be encouraged and in fact will be our main symbol. Thanks once more dear Moronto. Enjoy your weekend and GOD bless you.

  4. Thanks alot baby for this writeup,may the good Lord continue to multiply your knowledge.until we stay true to our customs,values and beleifs we will start getting things knot tie na wahala sef now.

  5. Beautiful. We really need total reformation mentally n psychologically. We need 2 free ourselves from western bondage n never fotget our cultures. In as much as we want to tush ourselves up shouldn’t make us forget where we are coming from.

  6. Very inspiring write up I must say. We Africans should take pride in what we are, our cultural heritage and where we come from. I must confess that sometimes I miss my natural unrelaxed hair. There must be a reason God gave us that hair instead of the silky or straight hair. Our coloured skin contains a pigment that protects us from the sun. Its sad to see kids of this generation whose parents didn’t teach their indigenous languages. I personally dont think is bad to adopt foreign accents if u can but its bad to make fun of or mock ppl who dont speak fluent English or speak with native accent. Its our culture, our heritage, our race. Its whom we are and we should be proud of it.

  7. Oma you nailed. Infact I once wrote an article Character: “The Making of who you are” which was to be published, but couldn’t get published by the organization that reached out to me. I also wrote an short note on Facebook some years ago entitled Imitation is limitation. Indeed originality is the beauty of life.

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