In the book ‘Americanah‘ by Chimamanda Adichie, the main character, Ifemelu, was asked by her roommate Elena why she had not pet or stratched her dog’s head like the rest of their roommates since she moved in. When she replied that she didn’t like dogs, Elena asked if it was cultural thing… Why?
Is it really a cultural/Nigerian thing not to like dogs or more so animals in general?
Well I somewhat agree it is. Not in totality but considering some prevalent factors I am in a way convinced.
In Nigeria, we don’t have first instinct to think of animal as something with feelings, except you have either not watched enough Nollywood movies or did not grow up here.
I’m not saying we don’t have feelings, it is just that we just don’t see these animals as something to be taken extra serious relationship-wise.
In Nollywood movies, certain animals have been portrayed in some manners that are mostly related to horror. Cats turning into witches, snakes sent out to bite their enemies, a child turning into a tortoise (which I thought plain hilarious at that time) after picking money from ground and all that.
Animal awareness just didn’t take the shape that it took in the minds of others from maybe the US who watched Nat Geo Wild or took part in pet awareness days or bathed alongside their pets.
It was and maybe still is different.
But there are still people who are quite big fans of animals and definitely are not bothered with them.
For example, my cousin, she housed beetles in a container, played with dogs, fed a turtle she found and so much more, which really irritated me by the way.
But even amongst all that, we still have that knowledge of real life activities we have maybe heard or watched in a film that has put up a slight or large barrier (like me) between us and animals.
We just don’t have that passion for an animal which I really don’t think is a good thing.
I’ve heard about people trying to change this notion that has taken root in our culture, teaching the upcoming kids, opening more zoos and conservation centres etc.
I don’t know but what do you guys think?
Is it really a Nigerian thing?