One often constantly hears one side charging the other: “Please let’s put sentiments aside and be patriotic here”, in garden talks and beer parlor political conversations. Such admonitions are fairly common when Nigerians of different political, ethnic and religious persuasions engage in political conversations.
Over time, I have come to believe that the concept of ‘patriotism’ is not neutral in such conversations but often a veneer used by the contending groups to gain mileage during arguments.
What then is patriotism? This could be seen as an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as his or her homeland. Patriotism is sometimes called ‘national feeling’ or ‘national pride’. Having known this, who then is a patriotic Nigerian or how does the identity of the ‘patriotic Nigerian’ interface with other identities that such a Nigerian bears?
This question could be tackled from different perspectives. Knowing that we are dealing with fashion here, it would be wisest to tackle it from the fashion perspective. Simply put, a Patriotic Nigerian appreciates his or her country, representing the country better through rocking the African or Nigerian fabrics like the Ankara fabric, Dashiki and other African prints.
Being patriotic goes beyond dressing up as an adult. It pays more if such a legacy is transferred to the kids, so as to create a better appreciation of these young stars. That is where being patriotic as a Nigerian kid comes to play.