Lifestyle

Welcome to My ‘Home’ Country, Nigeria🇳🇬

As the plane begins to steadily descend towards Lagos, the red warning light flags up and all passengers on board are advised by the flight attendants to remain seated and not to move for the final part of the journey.

I excitedly glance out of the small oval window.

The brown landscape appears seemingly unkept. From my bird’s eye view, I can make out some figures dispersedly jotted across like ants.. most likely people hustling across the busy streets of Lagos. The Nigerian scenery combines an array of earthy colours, as opposed to the seeding green outlook of the UK.

Once you land, make sure that you remember that you are a Nigerian first and foremost” the man sat next to me interjects with a thick Igbo accent.

I jerk out of my daydream.

He must have noticed my dazed facial expression.

As the plane dips towards the emerging runway, I become intrigued by the familiar-yet-unfamiliar landscape beneath us which was fast becoming reality

Image result for plane on runway clipart

Yes, of course, thank you sir” I respond politely with a smile. Not forgetting the certified and mannered Yoruba girl that I was brought up to be.

Through the 6 hour flight from the UK, he had been chatting away about his family whom he is visiting, also informing me of the tense political climate of the country.

He spoke about his excitement at finally being able to see his wife again and eat some decent food; but not before filling me in on the embarrassingly low unemployment rates of the youths across the country – many of whom are highly educated with university degrees.

Many wealthy Nigerians send their children abroad for their degrees, paying excessively high international fees in the hopes that they either secure a job overseas or that it will make them stand out significantly amongst those educated in Nigeria.

It was at that moment, as the wheels of the plane noticeably fell upon the runway of Murtala Muhammed Airport, that I became overwhelmingly grateful for the sacrifice made by my parents to move abroad, 20 something years ago.

Image result for murtala muhammed airport


I love Nigeria.

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I love what I know of Nigeria.

Although born in Nigeria – as a first generation Nigerian brought up in the West, I’ve had some say that I’m not ‘really’ Nigerian, and I’ve had others say that I’m ‘more Nigerian‘ than they imagined me to be.

Whatever it means to be Nigerian, I love being Nigerian.

I love the resilience of Nigerians

I love the creativity of Nigerians

I love the ability of Nigerians to thrive and adapt regardless of the environment we find ourselves in

I love the sense of humour of Nigerians

I love Nigerian food

I love the diverse culture of Nigerians

I love the vivid fashion in Nigeria

I love the music in Nigeria

I love the different languages and accents within Nigeria

I love that we don’t give up easily.

I love the unity of Nigerians

However…..


I also hate Nigeria.

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I hate what I know of Nigeria.

I hate that after the end of the British rule in Nigeria, there has hardly been any substantial progress within the country, despite the fact that we boast some of the most intelligent people in the world.

I hate that working-class Nigerians like my parents had to abandon their home country as well as their culture, to go abroad and seek a better quality of life for their children.

I hate how religion clouds rationality and research in Nigeria.

I hate that cunning businessmen are exploiting the vulnerability of the poor by using ‘Christianity’ as a means to enrich their own pockets without giving back to the communities.

I hate the economy of Nigeria. I hate how despite bursting in natural resources, we still allow ourselves to be exploited.

I hate the unequal infrastructure of Nigeria. A plethora of evidence suggests that better quantity and quality of infrastructure can directly raise the productivity of human and physical capital –  hence growth.

I hate the health care in Nigeria and how only the rich can afford to travel abroad for ‘advanced‘ treatments.

I hate the education system in Nigeria and how it isn’t based on meritocracy, but your social capital/connections.

I hate politics in Nigeria and how it only serves the interests of the elites.

I hate the paramount social inequality within Nigeria.

I hate the judgemental attitude of Nigerians.

I hate the extortionate gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria.

I hate that ‘authority figures’ can easily be bribed in Nigeria.

I hate that in 2018 there is still no stable electricity in Nigeria.

I hate that Nigeria is synonymous with ‘fraud‘.


Welcome to my real home.

Nigeria as a country is an irony in itself.

I have an immense amount of love for my country. In many many years to come, I can foresee us emerging at the top.

Nigeria is considered to be the giant of Africa. It has the potential to be the leading hub of the continent; but for now, self-serving leaders have not allowed the country to progress to its full potential since Independence from the British rule on the 1st October 1960.

Nigeria reminds me of that classmate we all knew back in secondary school; the one who was simply naturally enviably clever. They could very easily achieve whatever they set their heart to – Downside being, they never put in the effort required, because all they cared about was the instant gratification!

This is ‘modern day’ Nigeria at age 58.

Rumour has it that history may be repeating itself in the form of neo-colonialism.

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Nigeria secures $2.4 billion currency deal with China, May 2018 – source: CNN

2019 awaits…

Image result for nigeria 2019 elections

**

What about you?

Where is ‘home’ for you?

Are you Nigerian or know any Nigerians?

What are your thoughts?

—————————————————————-

Stay Blessed,

Yours truly,

🌹 V.O.L

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19 thoughts on “Welcome to My ‘Home’ Country, Nigeria🇳🇬

  1. Hullo Victoria…
    How are you doing? Welcome to Nigeria… Have you left yet? Were – or are – you mainly in Lagos? You should have mentioned a bit you were coming…

    I just got to Brighton and will be here for a year. Really different how Nigeria is from the UK. Our country seems warmer – and pun intended as well as in all figurative terms.

    So many things to celebrate and so many other things to feel sad about. Nigeria is a quagmire and a paradox that you cannot help wondering about.

    I guess I will miss our food a lot and the warmth of family, friends and about almost anyone you can meet in the streets. It takes only just saying ‘Hello…’

    Like

    1. Afternoon Sueddie.. I’m doing well thanks. Ahh, in return I welcome you to the UK; the country of individualism – Where most people will happily walk past you without a form of acknowledgement whatsoever 😅. A year is a long time, but I’m sure you will adapt as time goes by (It’s one of our special traits lol).

      Thanks for reading and dropping by! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have a choice! I am always by your side…watching and reading.

        I am overcoming my culture shock.

        It is an extreme difference from Nigeria.

        I will try to keep a journal and then, what…?

        I am taking this year as something like a residency. Material for a novel. I will keep it, then go away to Nigeria again. Will be fun.

        What about you? How long are you in Nigeria and when are you back ?

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  2. Beautiful beautiful beautiful

    I also hate Nigeria. Did you know that? 😂😂😂 Lool it’s hard not to. Buut, but it’s my country, so I gotta love it. And I’m the only one who has the right to thrash it anyways, cause it’s my country.

    There’s the good, there’s the bad. And then there’s everything in between. As I reside in Nigeria, I’m just thankful I can still eat, and then, so many other things.

    I love the pictures you put in, and of course, you’re beautiful ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol yeah another funny thing about us Nigerians is that no one else can talk negatively about the country except its people😂😅.

      Being grateful is major key tbh. We thank God for the positives🙏🏾

      Thanks for dropping by 😘😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah…i assume that’s how it’ll be for other countries but I mean, I don’t know about anywhere else. But…if it’s normal shit that one is talking about Nigeria, okay. But a full on thrash is what would be frowned upon.

        😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Victoria, I visited Lagos a few times in the 80’s, and have a wide mixture of memories – yes, I encountered some of the aspects that you hate, but also quite a bit that you love, you just never knew what was going to happen! One of my life ‘mantras’ is ‘it’s never boring’ and that was certainly true of Lagos! You may even want to read a post I did myself about one of my experiences there – http://expatsteveblog.com/2017/03/17/witnessing-a-diplomatic-incident

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Steve! It’s nice to have the point of view of a non-Nigerian who’s visited the country 😄🙌🏾. I absolutely agree.. it truly never is boring. It’s even more fascinating to know that you visited Lagos in the 80’s. I’m sure it was very different then, compared to what it is now. Thank you so much for commenting and I’m certainly going to read your own post about your Nigerian experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed reading this one. I’m from Denmark, but my boyfriend is from Nigeria. It’s funny how pretty much all you wrote I’ve heard from him; all his loves and hates regarding his country. Gotta say, what I know so far about Nigeria (and it’s a lot) I really like this country and can’t wait to visit someday. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heeey dear, thanks for reading 😄💞. You should definitely visit! Despite the negatives.. it really is a fun and bubbly country filled with hard working and optimistic people. You will love it – Welcome to the Nigerian side😈

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Victoria, I enjoyed your post. My husband is from Nigeria and I’m from Australia. I too love all the things you mentioned you love. I love the music and also the joy the people have despite the trials. It has been very inspiring. I have visited and it was such a great experince. I had a significant culture shock but I loved it. I’ve just started a blog you might be interested in. I hope you enjoyed your stay. With Hope, the Conversation.

    Like

  6. The problem with Nigeria. I am an Igbo Guy born in Lagos, grew up in Lagos, went for my LLB Varsity education in the core north (University of Maiduguri precisely), had my BL in Enugu for one year, worked for sometime in Abuja, Served periodically in Kano state then finally moved back to Lagos also working there…all in my 25years on earth.

    So beautiful one, I have experienced the different shades of the country…lol. I know first hand about political tensions, genocide, insurgence and death. I have experienced first hand…love, hate, tribalism, nepotism, “godfatherism” (don’t worry, the word isn’t in the English dictionary…it’s a Nigerian word 😂. Same with the phrase “Short Knickers” lol), religious fanaticism, hard work and dire poverty.

    Nigeria is a lovely country with a lovely ever happy people filled with tenacious never give up individuals. I have been in the UK for about a month now beautiful one, the soles of my shoes have never picked up sand o… (Nigerian expression…lol 😂) they are still shining o because of the well tarred roads and well constructed road walks o. Lol!

    It’s always comically seeing Nigerians used to being noisy, having unplanned environments and all over the place being all organised once in foreign well developed saner climates. Lol! The calmness and well behaved mannerisms starts from even the Embassies back in the country be it in Ikeja, Victoria Island or Abuja. So we sabi better thing sef? Lol. Such a wonderful write-up beautiful one. There is hope. God bless Nigeria.

    Like

  7. Nigeria will not seize to amaze me.. I loved Naija and I still will ‘try’ to keep loving it. Welcome on board love world for real 😘
    My native land mark.

    Like

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