When we imagine a person who is complete, what characteristics do they have? How do we describe this person? An Omoluabi is a person who possess eight characteristics that, in Nigerian culture, make a complete human.
When we say “complete human” we do not mean it in the physical sense, rather that a person has achieved a sense of purpose and meaning that transcends the regular disposition of an everyday person. An Omoluabi is a person that is well spoken, respectful, has good will, is truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and has character. Without these things a person would be lost and without purpose. It is my belief that there is something inside us all that craves these eight characteristics and we must choose whether or not to chase after them.
It is not my belief that humans are born without these things and are naturally inclined to do the opposite. In my opinion it is like choosing between healthy and unhealthy food. The easy option is to go with the unhealthy food but if we think it through and go with the hard option of eating healthy food, it will benefit us in the future. Becoming an Omoluabi is almost like this, sometimes choosing to do the opposite of one (or more) of the eight characteristics is the easy way out but we have to remind ourselves that choosing to be one of these eight characteristics in any given situation is going to not only benefit ourselves in the future but also those around us.
Being an Omoluabi means more than just possessing these characteristics, it means choosing them above the temptation to take the easy way out of uncomfortable situations. An Omoluabi’s purpose is to choose to be well spoken, respectful, good willed, is truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and full of character, so that others are encouraged to do the same. When we all strive to do better for ourselves and those around us we build strong communities that are strong and resilient.
Strength and resilience are two thing I believe the black community needs at this point in time. When hard times come upon our community it is not a lie to say that sometimes we do not fight back in the best way possible because it it easier not to. But when we act without first thinking of the impact that our actions may have on our community, it makes us weaker, it separates us, and as we become incomplete, so does our community.
The effects of this can be seen throughout the community in poverty, broken homes, economic failures, etc. But I say this not to discourage or to insult my community, I say it so that it can be clear where we are starting and what we must work towards. We are more than these things, we can rise above every single one of them if we choose to be more like an Omoluabi.
Will anyone on this earth become a complete human? Probably not, we are only human after all and we often make mistakes. But I urge readers of this article and of this newspaper to think about the eight pillars of an Omoluabi and how they can choose to be well spoken, respectful, good willed, truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and full of character, because as long as one is choosing to strive towards these goals, they are choosing the path of an Omoluabi and making our community better. An Omoluabi is more than just a philosophical concept, it is a way of life meant to be perfected and passed from one generation to the next to ensure that our community will always be strong even when our spirits have left the Earth.