There’s something striking about Nigerian culture; the way a person is named and the pride that comes with a legendary heritage. It’s drop. Dead. Awesome! A man is announced as Olokun, son of Agayu, grandson of D’banj (sorry, I run out names), from the house of Orin. It’s so grand. Identity has never felt more glamorous.
You just imagine coming from a house of legendary warriors, where your grandfather at 92 has a blind eye to show off from his battle with the giant from Abuja. His childhood stories are what Action films are made of and he still has 18 well-serviced wives and a waist fit enough to dance the Alkayida (dance oo, not movement!).
Your own father is decorated warrior with 7 ghastly scars across his back and chest; each for a warrior-king from the Northern Kingdoms. His speech is laced with more wisdom than whiskey is with alcohol. He has the stature of a glorious statue and the history of an African Hercules. In his palatial hut, a dried lion’s skull hangs on a wall; it was the present he brought his father when he was 17. Common mortals issue threats in his name and their pursuers shudder.
When he speaks, he booms and you look around for where the surround system must be hidden. When he rests his massive hands on your shoulder and calls you “Son!” the pride that swells in you could flood a dam; if only his hands didn’t weigh a ton! He calls upon his youngest wife and you go like “Daanng mum! Don’t blame Pa.” Never more have you wished you were your father. Each of your 19 uncles is a powerful ruler and warrior, and you could literally soar through life with your last name!
Ok enough, snap out! You know full well that you’re Kwasi Sony, son of Bro Dada and, grandson of Wofa James from the house of Mmotia, dwarf. Lol, but you get my drift abi? The pride in a great heritage is second to nothing.
That’s why Isaiah 40 is so spell-binding. ‘He stretched out the sky like a curtain, like a tent under which to live. He weighs the mountains and hills on scales… The earth is his footstool and all the sea in the world is a tiny puddle in the cup of his hand…All the animals in the forests of Lebanon are not enough for a sacrifice to our God, and its trees are too few to kindle the fire.
Just yesterday I read about some George Herbert guy. In one of his poems, He BEAUTIFULLY captures what happened to Jesus’ royal apparel on his way to earth.
“He stripped Himself as He descended from the Throne to the manger-bed of Bethlehem. He put off His tiara, and its jewels became the Milky Way; He laid aside His scepter, and it became the lightning flash; He put off His girdle, and it became the rainbow; He doffed the robes of His royalty, and they became the sunset clouds!”
Now if you don’t find that awesome then you too you’re some way papa. So as for me I’m literally walking on air today because as I was crawling in the Kanda traffic en route work, my mind led me to believe that my identity was being announced to all of Nima; Ben Anyan, son of Yesu Cristo, descendant of Abraham, Moses, Elija and their brothers. A member of the royal priesthood. From the house of Glory…
I swear, it seemed like the traffic was giving way to my modest Honda. Okay, I don’t swear, that’s not cool, but I do promise it felt like that.
So I’m writing you so you’ll be proud of your real identity wonye nipa kitiwaa, you ge’me? You’re the ish, the biggest deal. You have a heritage that makes the warrior-king I described earlier look like a kid from a kindergarten school play. In your mind’s ears, hear your heritage being announced, let it affect your swag when you walk and your twang when you talk. Let it shape what you ask of this life and how hopeful you are.
You have the greatest heritage. Act like it!
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