The pride of a nation

By Zuriel Oduwole, Contributor |   27 May 2019   |   5:04 am  

Children play in the Trench Town neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica on May 18, 2019. – In the 1960s Trench Town was known as the Hollywood of Jamaica and is the birthplace of reggae music, as well as the home of reggae and Rastafari ambassador Bob Marley. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

I am in Jamaica, as a guest of the government here, and also for some of my projects in girls’ education. Like many other countries in parts of Africa, they have some social challenges – teenage pregnancy, poverty, some crime etc. I had to say these things, because these are real, and it’s what I have seen. But if I were a news reporter, that’s what all my story would be about. But I’m not a news reporter. I am a girl, a filmmaker, an education advocate, a youth, and I say things as I see them.

Here is the greatest thing about Jamaica, that I have seen so far – The people! They are united. The people are one. The people are together. The people are very proud of who they are – Jamaicans. They are so proud, they call their men’s football team Reggae Boys, and their women’s football team, Reggae Girls.
If you go anywhere around the world today, and you ask anyone to mention five things about Jamaica, one of these three would always come out on top – Usain Bolt, Reggae, and Jamaica colours of Black, Green and Yellow.

So, how did a people, who were sold and shipped as slaves out of Africa some centuries ago, and dumped on an Island, who gained independence fifty something years ago, and are less than 3 million into a total number, become so powerful in the world today. They are known unless you haven’t been watching the Olympics for the last 12 years. In men’s and women’s track, they have dominated -seriously, right. They rule the world today.

Remember, people are united. The people are one. The people are together. The people are very proud of who they are – Jamaicans. They have no gold, no oil, no diamonds, copper – just people, proud people, and some sugar cane.

Yesterday, the entire country, literarily, filled their only major stadium, to send off their women’s football team, to France. It is their first time qualifying for the FIFA world cup. Some African countries represented in next month’s games would be South Africa, Cameroun and Nigeria. The stadium was a sea of yellow – the country’s national football jersey colours. Even the Ambassadors of many countries here in Kingston were there also – wearing Jamaica Jersey, instead of their own country’s jerseys.

It is what can happen when people are truly one, united, have pride in themselves, and are also their brothers’ keepers. Yesterday, the entire Caribbean region, was Jamaican.

When each African country is mentioned across the world, what are the top three things people would say, about them? Be honest in your answer. Be very honest, starting with your own country, Nigeria. Do you have pride, in your nation?

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