There’s no such thing as being too far from home to celebrate its history, people and culture.
For Nigerians in the city of Grambling every year on the first of October is a festival that allows them to celebrate their nation’s Independence.
Members of the Association of Nigerian Ambassadors dressed in matching shirts paraded in front of the JTS building with a huge Nigerian flag as others danced to music by DJ Gabby.
The event was more than a dance session, but an effort to make students aware of the African holiday.
“We came out to create awareness so that everyone can know that the Nigerian community exists here in Grambling,” said Stephen Oluwaseun, provost of the Association of Nigerian Ambassadors.
“And we want to contribute our culture to the development of this land by giving our community service.”
The event, sponsored by the Divine Health Clinic in Ruston, concluded with a social gathering that was free to all attendees.
The smell of vegetable rice and chicken permeated the cool breeze as both Nigerians and Americans swayed to music from the motherland.
“We want people to know about us because one thing I noticed about some Americans is that they only know the bad parts of Nigeria. They don’t know about the good parts, the beautiful parts of Nigeria,” said Gabriel Ojo, vice president of the Association of Nigerian Ambassadors and a GSU student.
Oct. 1, 1960, marked the day when Nigeria gained independence after striving for freedom from the British Empire. The country became a republic in 1963 when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was appointed as the first president.
Nigeria’s green, white, and green colored flag came shortly after the nation’s independence. The green color in the flag is symbolic for the lush green forests and agricultural wealth of Nigeria. The single white band in the middle represents peace and unity prevailing in Nigeria.
“The green-white-green flag says so much. I’m a proud Nigerian and I love celebrating Independence Day every single year,” said Ojo.