FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guess who's turning 50? Nigerian Independence Anniversary

Adapted from a winning entry in 1959 by then student Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi

       So my lovely wife and I are headed to the Nigerian Embassy this Friday afternoon for their 50th Independence Anniversary celebration.  In honor of that I have included their national anthem as well as their national pledge.  Supposedly it's recited immediately after the anthem.  Hopefully we will find out if this is true or not. 
        You will notice that the newer anthem changes from serving the fatherland, whereas before it sang of service to the motherland.  1978 was when the control of the Nigerian government shifted from one of military rule to that of a democracy (albeit a markedly corrupt one through 1984).   So I would guess there is something in the diction change surrounding a shift from 'motherland' colonial-esque military rule to that of ancestral communal 'fatherland' rule.  But then again, supposedly the lyrics of their anthem were formed by taking the best of 5 entries from a national contest so I wouldn't read to much into it. 

Here's a link to a youtube video if you want to listen to it.

"Arise, O Compatriots" (1978-present)

Arise, O compatriots,
Nigeria's call obey
To serve our Fatherland
With love and strength and faith.
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain,
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.
O God of creation,
Direct our noble cause;
Guide our Leaders right:
Help our Youth the truth to know,
In love and honesty to grow,
And living just and true,
Great lofty heights attain,
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.

Nigeria We Hail Thee" (1960-1978)
Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribes and tongues may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour'd,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.
O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

Nigeria's National Pledge

(The National Pledge of Nigeria is recited immediately after the Anthem)

I pledge to Nigeria my country,
To be faithful, loyal and honest,
To serve Nigeria with all my strength,
To defend her unity,
And uphold her honor and glory,
So help me God.

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