YDG Delegate, Nana Kwame Baah reflects on “Becoming Nigerian”, a book authored by El-Nathan John.

Cover page of Becoming Nigeria and author Elnathan John

More often than not, we tend to forget that whatever has become our culture, or a societal pattern of practice is a function of our own actions and inactions which have over the years crystallized into a norm, derivation from which is inveighed. This has in turn created many phenomena which is uniquely ours and have been caustically embraced at the cost of progress and development of our society.

The world continues to change and demands that the new crop of thinkers who will represent the interests of the African continent must be aware of the pathologies that has encumbered the growth and development of the continent.

In El-Nathan John’s Becoming Nigerian, the author satirizes the various elements of Nigerian society, a society he says he’s in an abusive relationship with, which have contributed to its current dysfunction whiles creating an atmosphere for persons who will obey the rules in the book to have their, as he puts it, hustles blessed by God.

Becoming Nigerian is useful because the mores of the Nigerian society are replicated to a large extent in Ghana. There are widespread commonalities in the inefficiencies that plague both countries. It thus behooves on any voice in policy circles, including Young Diplomat of Ghana (YDG) to acquire an appreciation of the operating circumstances dictating the choice of policy and any opposition that would be mounted against it.

In specific reference to the need for the reading of such a book by YDG Delegates, it is my considered opinion that although foreign affairs and diplomacy moves on the international plane, it is inherently local in outlook and consequence. The policy direction of a State Entity or an International Agency is only as useful as the real-world challenges that such a policy intends to resolve. Similarly, an effective agent of a State or other such entity that advocates on the international plane is one who can match the direction of the global issue to the object of the local.

A fair understanding of the factors on the grounds goes a long way to build trust and achieve buy-in from the eventual beneficiaries of any policy and allows for intractable issues to be tackled in a manner that yields results with minimal fallout.

Becoming Nigerian is a light and easy ready. It is humorous yet poignant. It handles critique of sensitive topics in a more subtle way. It aims to offend those who are offended by it and calls out those who have allowed any of the many ills of the society to fester and create the gangrenous society we find ourselves. When you read Becoming Nigerian you will be amazed by how much you can recognize and hopefully shocked by how insidious the cancers spoken of have become.

 By Nana Kwame Baah,
YDG Delegate

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YDG Delegate, Nana Kwame Baah reflects on “Becoming Nigerian”, a book authored by El-Nathan John. More often than not, we tend to forget that whatever has become our culture, or a societal pattern of practice is a function of our own actions and inactions which have over the years crystallized...