Oops! I missed a day already. It wasn’t intentional, do forgive me :). I can’t promise it’ll be the last time that will happen, but I promise to always get right back up and carry on. Here goes:
I love Nigeria.
I hope I’m not romanticising things. I’m trying hard not to be one of the “Nigerians in the diaspora” who have been away just long enough to begin to forget the frustrations of the system – the things or people that just don’t work, and the resources that are just not available.
But I think I can safely say that I’m not speaking from the place of amnesia: I remember driving in Lagos traffic with sweat dripping down my back and arriving at my destination in a pretty frazzled state; I remember standing in the heat at the Passport Office for almost 6 hours because I didn’t want to pay the extortionate ‘unofficial’ fee that was being demanded of me – a fee that was about 200% of the official amount; I remember being frustrated at the absence of electricity and how we have come to be accepting of it…
In all of these I loved Nigeria, and even now when I only taste those things once in a year or so, I love Nigeria no less, maybe even a bit more.
It’s because I love the resilience I see. I love the warmth I feel. I love the ingenuity and the never-say-never attitude that is almost congenital for the Nigerian person. Bring up a country whose politics is flawed and a people whose image is much the same, I’ll put up my hand and admit that Nigeria and Nigerians fit the bill.
However, I will also stand very quickly, hand still up, and pump my fist in the air in a salute of sorts to a land that has not allowed darkness to kill its hope; to a people who press on and are victorious with barely an armour; to a population who find just enough in the midst of little – who create life from dryness and laugh barrenness to scorn. Talk about Ex nihilo! I just love Nigeria.