There are some experiences that you just can’t recreate away from Nigeria. Some countries can come close, but there are social, economical and political instances are that are unique to Niaja. I was in the shower and I made up a list of things (non-conclusive, of course!)that I miss about Nigeria:
I. A good Oríki (Yoruba praise poem): I went to a Lekan Babalola concert sometime ago and the highlight for me was the Oríki. I dare you not to have goosebumps if you hear a good recital. Ah-ah!! I regret not learning how to recite Oríkis when I had the opportunity to learn this poetic art.
II. A good Rain Storm: No, nothing like the downpours in the UK. I’m talking an opening of the heavens, and everything is cleansed by the rains; that you can stick your tongue out to taste the rain without fear of being poisoned. When it rains, you can smell the freshness, appreciate the mighty glory of God’s creation and with the rains out come the buckets and pails placed strategically under the roof, and to mention catching winged termites. (Crunchy tastiness!)
III. NEPA: Let me explain myself from the onset: We all hate power surges and the inconvenience it brings out, and NEPA (National Electric Power Authority in Nigeria) are one of the world’s notorious leaders in Power inconsistency. However, whenever there was a blackout, you could see good clear sky with the stars twinkling in Ibadan and you’d take the chair out to just chat with friends and family with some emu (palmwine). That’s why you rarely see Nigerians in the West freak out when there’s a power failure; we just take it in our stride.
IV:Weddings, Funerals & Christmas/: When Nigerians party, we party. To demonstrate how much influence and money we have, we cordon off whole roads with Police ‘permission’. People dress up, the drinks flow (in spite of austerity) and everyone has a relatively good time. At Nigerian parties you suddenly realise how good looking a person looks just by their dressing up in the traditional attire. And let’s not forget the dance moves to boot!
V. Haggling and Arguing: These 2 arts go hand in hand! I’m yet to meet a bona fide Nigerian who hasn’t mastered the art of haggling! Let’s not also forget our love for armchair politics and football commentary! When it comes to beating our chest in puffed pride about how to ‘run’ the country, look no further than a group of Niaja boys who have also mastered the art of answering questions with questions!
VI: Our Love for Dramatics: ‘Nuff said about that one!!
VII. Fresh Food
Anyway, as I mentioned, this is not a conclusive list. Would be great to read what people miss about home, where ever they come from.