Nigeria is a land of rich cultural heritage and vast geographic diversity. With over 250 ethnic groups and more than 500 languages spoken, it is the most populous country in Africa. The country's cultural landscape is a melting pot of different ethnic groups, each with its distinct customs, music, dance, art, and cuisine. From the Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Yoruba in the southwest, and the Igbo in the southeast, to numerous smaller ethnicities scattered across the country, Nigeria's diversity is evident in every corner.
The direct descendant of Osemawe (ruler) Odunola, Prince Adewole Adebayo is the grandson of Osemawe Lamele. Being from an aristocratic family in the Ondo Kingdom, that lies towards the South of Nigeria, he has been trained for leadership since his early years. Speaking about the affluence of cultural heritage in Nigeria, Adewole explained it to Dinis:
"The nature of our culture is a result of infusion of different traditions and experiences based on different cultures and people who have interacted with us over many centuries."
Despite their differences, Nigerians share a strong sense of national pride and unity. This is because the community values are many centuries old.
"Nigeria was liberated from colonial rule a hundred years ago. But, the amount of time that the Nigerian government has ruled the community is 5% of the time that Nigeria has committed to building this community.
The way we are named, dress, talk, or organise ourselves in society is not informed by Nigeria's modern constitution. It is only modified by it. At any given point, there are more traditional officials in the Ondo kingdom than all the elected officials in Nigeria combined", said Adewole.
Nigeria: A Land of Opportunity and Excellence
What truly distinguishes Nigeria is its resilience in the face of adversity. Despite being endowed with abundant natural resources, the country has experienced resource limitations, particularly post colonisation. While the country is rich in natural resources like oil, minerals, and arable land, managing these resources effectively has been a complex endeavor. Mismanagement, corruption, and economic fluctuations have led to unequal distribution and hindered overall development.
Despite these challenges, Nigerians have learned to adapt and persevere. From an early age, many grow up with an acute understanding of scarcity, driving them to be resourceful and resilient. This resourcefulness instills a sense of competition as individuals strive to outperform others, harnessing their creativity to find innovative solutions.
"Nigerians are very competitive. The country has been having challenges with kinds of infrastructure support. So, they need to get themselves together and be quick in making decisions", said Adewole.
Education has long been valued in Nigerian society. Historically, learning was passed down through generations via oral traditions, but today, formal education plays a pivotal role in shaping the nation's future. Despite limited access to educational resources in some regions, Nigerians view education as a gateway to success.
Sharing his personal journey of achievements and experiences, Adewole told Dinis that every Nigerian wants to be known, celebrated, and recognised for their achievements. He said:
"If you don't come to a system where you have an abundance of tools for demonstration and learning, you just excel; provided you don't slow down and assume that life is now more comfortable."
Prince Adewole Adebayo: A Prominent Figure in Nigerian Politics
As a public affairs prominent figure, Prince Adewole Adebayo actively participates in Nigerian politics. Adebayo announced his candidacy for the presidency of Nigeria in the 2023 election, with an agenda to bring back the lost glory of the ‘Giant of Africa’. According to him, the government should be all-inclusive, and an amalgamation of best minds from all verticals; all working collectively for the betterment of the country.
During the interview, he highlighted the key issues and challenges threatening the country since colonisation: Nigerians have consistently struggled with the issue of governance and political stability. Periods of colonial rule, followed by decades of political unrest, coups, and civil wars, have left a lasting impact on the nation's stability and progress. Economic challenges have also loomed large, with the fluctuating global oil prices affecting Nigeria's oil-dependent economy. Moreover, the country has grappled with poverty, unemployment, and inadequate access to basic services such as healthcare and education.
"Nigeria has everything to succeed but it lacks the most important thing, which is the key: a strong leadership. As a social worker, I realise that the way to development is through people. If you serve the people, and make their living better, they are going to contribute to the economy in ways not imagined", concluded Adewole.