If you are up to date with the latest slangs in town you must have read or heard that this year’s slogan coined by the youth is “No gree for anybody” or “No dey gree for anybody”.
I hear that it’s origin can be traced back to a gospel song titled “I No Go Gree” by Singer Agatha Moses in her album titled Thank You released in 2023.
I cannot say how it became a national slogan, but I think that it’s a fallout of the difficulties of 2023 and how it browbeat many of us into submission. There’s no doubt about it that 2023 was a difficult year for many and as it is, when people are pushed to the wall, faced between the devil and the deep blue sea they discover some balls and turn back to fight determined to either free themselves or die trying.
“No gree for anybody” means do not tolerate nonsense, don’t take NO for an answer, insist on having your way, do not allow yourself to be bullied by anyone. It connotes the same meaning as being obstinate or stubborn and the word obstinate as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.
Being obstinate is often viewed as a negative trait and it is, if it is taken to extremes, however, there are benefits to being headstrong as we sometimes call it:
- It can make one fierce, consistent, persistent and determined not to take NO for an answer and this is true in every area of life as life will bring obstacles and adversity that one must overcome.
- It can make one stay true to their values, determined not to compromise dreams or desires.
- It can serve as a form of assertiveness, allowing one to set their boundaries and ensuring that everyone respects those boundaries.
- Being obstinate makes us stay on course especially in the face of discouragement which will surely come in an attempt to deter us from our goals and desires.
However, there are disadvantages to being obstinate:
- Inflexibility- the inability to consider other options and opportunities especially in the light that one’s knowledge can be skewed to one viewpoint which may not necessarily be the right perspective.
- The inability to consider other options or opinions can lead to isolation from people as it can make one a social misfit, insensitive and hardhearted to the plight, emotions and circumstances of others.
- Being obstinate can stop us from seeing the truth of our situation and interpolating situations to others instead of being honest about our role in the circumstances we are faced with.
Why do we become obstinate?
For some it’s a personality trait, they are wired to be focused, determined and resolute. For some it’s a conditioning born out of the environment in which they find themselves like the Nigerian youth who is tired of the status quo and is fighting back, refusing to cower to the challenges of living in the country. For yet others it’s borne out of a desire to be different and to maintain control of themselves and their situation and possibly others.
Whatever our reasons for being obstinate we must be willing to acknowledge that things will not always go our way. That we can take it too far to our detriment, that sometimes things don’t work out no matter how hard we work them because it’s just not time and that our insistence that they must work out the way we want them to or at our timing may result in a psychological strain and a nervous breakdown.
So whilst it’s good to stand our ground, we must be wise doing so, understanding that we cannot stand alone, that everyone has rights and that everyone’s rights can and must coexist. Not greeing for anyone doesn’t mean defiance in the face of reason, it doesn’t mean being disrespectful of authority figures, it doesn’t mean defying rules or being unnecessarily angry and unreasonable. The Nigeria police through its spokesperson Muyiwa Adejobi has said “intelligence reports show that the catchphrase is capable of plunging the country into a crisis of monumental proportions and that whilst it is being seen as normal or jocular talk by the majority of people, the security community views it as a dangerous slogan” In a way I agree with him because not greeing for anybody could gradually decline into anarchy with everyone wanting to get their own way ahead of others.
I think if we must adopt the slogan then it must be first geared towards ourselves. Not greeing to the bad habits, choices, thoughts and decisions that have shaped our lives till date. Not greeing to injustice, to policies that frustrate businesses, to shoddy service and treatment from businesses and government agencies. If we do this, 2024 will be a most fruitful and fulfilling year for us all.
So this year no gree for anybody especially yourself but do it with sense.