Monday, July 5, 2010


This weekend, Americans celebrated 234 years of independence with fireworks, barbeques, hotdogs and apple pie. Whatever your politic leanings, there’s a sense of shared patriotism each 4th of July when we collectively look at our star-spangled banner and sing our national anthem.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Nigerians are planning an October 1 celebration to mark 50 years of independence from British rule. This “Year of Jubilee” is a time to look back on how far they’ve come toward true democracy, as well as look forward to future advances. Like Americans, they're both discouraged and hopeful. Yet you can feel their fierce patriotism when they wave their green and white flags and sing.

Nigeria’s National Anthem, "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.

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