Ebonyi Versus Everybody

“fuck all that “Happy to be” here shit that y’all want me on” – Drake (Tuscan Leather)

Maybe when we are done with apologizing to Northerners for calling them ‘aboki‘ we’ll also apologize to Ebonyi people.

For every time they were used as a synonym for ignorance, backwardness, illiteracy, social awkwardness and suffer head.

For every time you said “na so Abakaliki people dey do” or “no-mind am, Abakaliki people no dey get sense.”

For every time someone was scolded and they were called ‘Abakalili person‘ or ‘onye Abakaliki‘ or ‘Ndi Abakaliki‘ or ‘Wawa‘ or ‘Nwa Aba

I’ve had people say things to me like “you don’t sound like ‘them’ or “you’re not like Ebonyi people” or “you no dey behave like them.”

And these same people expect me to feel privileged because according to them I’m different and not like ‘them’?

Who the fuck is ‘them’?

How are Ebonyi people like?

Andy Chukwu
ChaCha Eke
Priscilla Eleje
Uche Azikiwe
Ogbonnaya Onu
Chris Abani
Angela Okorie
Akanu Ibiam

These are all Ebonyi people.

And if you open your mouth to say they are anomalies or outliers, well…fuck you.

I’ve had friends and classmates say things like “You’re the smartest Ebonyi person I know” or “I know only two smart Ebonyi people, you and…
Then they go off and rattle some other person’s name.

Or the ones that would say “you know sey Ebonyi people no soji” 🤦‍♀️

Let’s not talk about the ones that told my mother that her only problem is she’s from Ebonyi. Like, what the hell???

I remember one time this Ebonyi girl told me “you don’t look like us.”

I cringe whenever I think about. I cry sometimes.

Driving through Lagos traffic every day and seeing Ebonyi kids my age or older racing through traffic and putting their lives in danger trying to make ends meet constantly reminds me of how privileged I am.

Reminds me of where I’m coming from and how much we are going through as a people.

A people plagued with economic hardship, extreme poverty, underutilized resources, stereotypes, lack of infrastructure, lack of access to education, black tax and ethnic barriers.

Some of you have no idea what money, exposure and a little guidance could do for one person, talk more of an entire community. Be grateful for what you have.

The only reason I have a degree today is because an Ebonyi man paid my fees.

Maybe it’s a chip on my shoulder, but don’t ever praise my intellect in one sentence and degrade Ebonyi people with the next sentence. If you do, I’ll say fuck you to your face.

Because it’s evident you’re painfully obtuse.

It’s even shameful you think I’m brilliant when you haven’t even met my sisters.

And if you are one of those girls I dated that told me I was lying when I said I’m from Ebonyi, fuck you too.

Christ has risen. Wash your hands. Stay safe. Happy Easter.

And by the way, from now on its #EbonyiVersusEverybody

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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