I’ve been in Nigeria for a little over a week now and between almost being run over several times, my accruing bug bites, and feeling exhausted all the time – I would say it’s been nothing short of eventful. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve moved to Nigeria for the time being, aka indefinitely. This probably deserves a longer post, but the short version (since I’ve had to answer the ‘why’ question so often anyways) is this: because I wanted to. The slightly longer answer is that I want to get to know my country as an adult. And I’m running from the US. Just kidding, I just registered for an absentee ballot and everyone who can vote in the upcoming US elections should go vote!
Before I keep rambling, I’ll write a longer post about why it’s important for me to move back to Nigeria at this stage of my life. For now, here are some of the top moments from the week & a half since I landed.
1. Quite literally stopping traffic
Anytime spent with my good friend Chineme always ends up being an adventure. You can catch her adventures here. On our first day together, my cousin’s friend too us to find an ATM. It was a busy street with a nonexistent side walk but we made the most of it and stayed close to the edge like other pedestrians. The next thing we knew, a man pushing a large wheel barrow had crashed into a blue car that was either reversing or changing lanes. This happened right next to us and we looked around surprised, then just had to burst out laughing – only in Nigeria. A group of guys behind us waved an accusing finger at our retreating stares, saying: “Na you na cause ’em!!” Apparently, walking down the street and a distracted wheelbarrow guy crashing into a sedan is our fault! Got it.
Needless to say, Chineme and I are still laughing about the whole thing: the ogling wheelbarrow guy, the accident that hurt no one, and the foolish men blaming us for it all.
2. My nose ring was edited out of a passport photo
My aforementioned cousin’s friend (thank goodness for her!), took me to get passport photos taken so I could open a bank account. As we sat waiting for my photos to be taken, she informed me that my nose ring had been edited out. I just found this so funny. It’s not the only time this nose ring had caused a scene. I recently changed it to a hoop and a nosey man (pun intended) on my street made a comment about it. He was legitimately offended. Who asked you sir? Who asked you? Did I pierce your nose?
3. The She Hive conference
This also deserves a post all on its own, but for now, I’ll just say that it was an amazing experience as usual. I wrote about my experience at SheHiveNYC. It was a great chance to meet amazing women all looking to be boss babes in Nigeria, Cameroon and across the continent and beyond. There’s one more SheHive this year and its in Joburg. You should definitely go if you’re in the area! I’m definitely happy that SheHiveLagos was my first weekend here in Lagos and was a great kick start & reminder of the goals I have for myself here. Plus, it had this AWESOME view:
4. Seeing Queen of Katwe
I went to Ozone Cinemas with Chineme and a family friend to watch this amazing film! Honestly it was so good, I would go back and watch it all over again. I’m also glad I watched it in the cinema because my girl Lupita made a very good point on her gram the other day, that we need to support our African stories with our money. We shouldn’t buy bootlegged copies or avoid the movies all together. The success of movies is based on how many people go see it at the box office. If we want to see more stories about us, staring us, we need to support….us. Especially a story as beautiful, moving and well done as Queen of Katwe. Have you seen the movie yet? What were your thoughts? I absolutely loved the way they did the closing credits! Oh, and everything before that! You can find out more about the movie here!
5. Taking two hours to go somewhere 30 minutes away
Again with shenanigans with Chineme. I went to go see her in a part of town I was 30 minutes away from. I ended up spending 2 hours in traffic trying to reach her. That’s Lagos for you – is what everyone keeps telling me. Does it have to be like this though?
So there you have it! My first week and some change here in the beautiful African city of Lagos. I’m not much of a city person and Lagos is not an easy city. But this place has its charm. And most of all, it feels like home.
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