Oluwatishe Fagade writes her thoughts about Nigeria from the Canadian city of Ottawa
Today, I celebrate Nigeria!
Not because she’s perfect or not even because she’s seen her best years for a pretty long time.
I celebrate her because she’s mine.

I celebrate the strong resilient citizens of Nigeria
Those who work so hard in a system that doesn’t work for them even though it’s theirs.
I celebrate those who speak up every single day against injustice.
Those who have risked their lives for the truth and do justice.

I celebrate those whom the system have taken a lot from but still give back.
We make up Nigeria. Not her current state, not only the people who are in government. But the everyday people who identify as Nigerians.

I celebrate Nigeria today not because there’s no pain or angst.
But I celebrate her to honour our Nationalists who saw way beyond where we are today and laid down their lives and families for her.
They fought for her, left foreign countries and came back because of how much they believed in her.

I celebrate Nigeria today not because I don’t get frustrated or tired, angry, sad or DONE with her current state.
But I celebrate her because of the beauty I see in her.
It’s in her diversity, the richness of her tongues. Her persistence, her bountifulness and abundance.

I celebrate Nigeria today not in Blindness to the killings, or injustice or sufferings that we as a people have to endure.
But I use this as a reminder of how much harder I have to fight for a country that I want my generation and children’s generation to flourish in.

Our people don’t deserve a government or a country that doesn’t work for them
They don’t deserve to leave to foreign lands to work 10 times harder to afford a basic life because their home can’t afford them that.
We shouldn’t have to settle for less because we have been pushed way INTO the wall.

I remind myself of who Nigeria was and all that she can be.
And although I have mixed emotions looking at the reality of my country.
I choose to allow that to fuel my passion for change.

We are worth way more than what we are reaping.
We need a government that works for its people
We need a society where people reap all that their families have sown and toiled for.

She’s 60 today.
Happy Independence Day Nigeria
Here’s to fighting for you even more
You’re not perfect and you’ve been tainted and warped.
But I’ll do my part in ensuring that you rise to all that you can become.
It may take long but I know it’ll be worth it.