TO MY BELOVED NAIJA…The Tale of A Nigerian in Britain

The tale of a lost and longing soul, the journey that took so long, the story of a sojourner, a traveller and a seeker, a heart that believes in hope, hoping that one day I will return to my motherland. Watching the sun from dusk till dawn, counting the nights and observing the moon from the beginning of its half curve till the full moon comes out. My arrival was a joy but after my mission was accomplished, I longed to feel the warmth of the embrace at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Lagos. All I wanted was to close my eyes in London and wake up the next morning in Lagos.  I have achieved that which I sought for, I was now fully equipped and ready to conquer, my brain and mind was expanded; I was thinking different than I used to, my sense of reasoning escalated to greater heights, I was bold to take on challenges more than ever, I had been enlightened to D.I.Y (do it yourself) for most things that I probably would have called someone to do in Naija and pay the person. Taking risks became part of my daily activity, (why not?) you never know what the outcome may be till you try.
Yes, all these I achieved; but the truth is…I MISS NAIJA and I can hear her calling.
On this very day as I blog from work, I decided to bare my heart to my beloved Naija. It is time for lunch here and all I can think of is edikaikong, efo-riro or oha soup because I don’t want to these oyibo foods any more. I went into the kitchenette where other colleagues had their lunch packed in the likes of salad, tacos, burger, chips, pies, pasta, etc. coupled with a cup of coffee (cappuccino, mocha, espresso), hot chocolate or tea. Hhhmm, I looked at the coffee machine again and I just didn’t feel like doing this anymore. I came downstairs and decided to get some fresh air outside but I didn’t realise I was worsening my case; it is supposed to be spring but the weather was so chilly like it was full blown winter. Again, with a sad face, I remembered my dear Naija Land. Now I have to dress like an Eskimo (sometimes in 3 layers) because I’m trying to keep myself warm, while I could wear simple tank tops and sleeveless shirts in Naija.
I’m thriple-layered plus therma wear, (oyi na atum oo)
The truth is so many Nigerians struggle a lot to leave the country, some say they are going in search of “greener pastures”. Then I wonder, what does the green in the map of Nigeria signify? What else could be greener? Nigeria is fruitful and richly endowed. There are no greener pastures anywhere; the grass will always be greener on the other side till you cross over and taste for yourself. I am not saying living outside Naija is bad; of course one can’t deny the value and power of Benjamins (dollars) and Queen Eliza’s head (pounds/quid) but we need to appreciate our own. Greener Pastures is what you make for yourself, you can have it in any location. A lazy man is a lazy man even if you give him 10 million naira,  he will squander it and ask for more. Taking him outside the country doesn’t guarantee greener pastures. Another truth is that you will never appreciate Nigeria until you have lived outside for a while, you truly never know what you have till you loose it. Right now I can’t tell you how much I miss Naija, the weather, the food, the people and the richness of the land. The British empire we see today is over a hundred years and Nigeria is only 50years after independence and look how far we have come ( no vex, I know GEJ no try for fuel subsidy, but check am na). Naija people, we are growing everyday, though slowly but surely steady. I know you can’t see it, but wait a little while…belle no dey show when e still dey 1-3 months, but very soon e go show. Before I left Naija, I was one of those who didn’t like her but now…I’m so much in love cos e don pass like.
After fixing your nails, you’ll wear gloves, mmsscchheeww
Since today I have been reminiscing on my roots and where I come from, I realised that no matter how far I go, in which country I find myself, I will always be a Nigerian. A very local and village Adanma from the Ibo speaking part of Naija but with sophistication and class (you know every). Looking back to where I come from, I can hear the streams flowing peacefully…I would have loved to have a good swim but here I am sitting down behind a desk and typing; wishing I could teleport back home (if wishes were horses…). I know you’re probably saying why not come back? Bros/sis…all I can say is soon, don’t ask how soon cos I want to take you by surprise; just like a thief in the nightJ, e fit be tomorrow sef.
So, my beloved Naija, I hope to see you soon but while I wait for the right time to pack my bags, here are the things I have missed about you and the things I hope to see when I meet you again.
1.         Yahooza suya…none can compare. Chicken suya just got tastier (licking my lips, chai) No matter how dem form barbecue for oyibo land it can never be like naija…u know say our own na d best.

2.         Fresh green vegetables with minerals cos the ones supplied here are all dried up and void of the rich nutrients. The weather is not conducive for “ugu” or “oha”to grow.
compare the fresh green leavs to the packaged & dried leaves

3.         Boli and fish…Port-Harcourt boys will understand. I’m a PortHarcourt pesin oo

4.         The sweet rays of the sun: I used to complain about the sun in Okada (Igbinedion University) and Abuja but right now you can’t imagine how much I long for them.  I’ve learnt to thank God for little favours cos now I know better. I’ll prefer to use “oye” to cool off when the heat gets too much.

5.         Happy & friendly citizens: Even with al the things thrown at the citizens from the government, we still remained happy people. The pictures on BB and FB during the subsidy protests shows that Naija people are happy people and will always be happy. A land where neighbours know each other and greet each other in the mornings…Here with their individualistic culture, na O.Y.O oo, (on your own). Every man for himself, my London people una go fit relate with what I’m saying.  A place where you invite friends for a birthday party and they have to buy their drinks. Guys, una know say for naija if you dey call ur friends, na you get the day so your guys go enjoy and drink on your head (not literally) and vice-versa.

6.         Point and kill…Abuja’s cubana, I hear there are better ones in Lagos and I hope to devour some. These are the ones I can remember for now cos the list is long. I’ll tell you more as I remember.

7.         Sharwarma…I have so missed sharwarma and no amount of kebab can suffice cos if e no be panadol, e no fit be like panadol.

 Finally, my beloved Naija I just have one major request which is the only regret I will have by the time I see Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and that is electricity. Abeg help me to beg PHCN even though we still dey call am NEPA, I just can’t imagine living in darkness for a second (L), I know there’s generator but it makes a lot of noise. My Naija, because I love you and can’t wait to see you soon, I’ll have to manage while waiting for a change which I know will come soon. I can’t believe the length of this post…it was supposed to be short but, ok I’ll stop now.
Hope to see you soon,
One love
Lynda Adanma Omerekpe

Reporting LIVE from Whitfield Street, off Tottenham Court Road, Central London, United Kingdom

My sweet readers, please enjoy these sights of Lagos State, have we not improved? 

Helicopter view of Falomo Bridge
An estate in Lekki


Ajose Adeogun Street
Third mainland bridge                                                                      Ajose Adeogun Street, VI.


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There's more to Lynn than meets the eye; visit "ABOUT ME" page for more details. I hope you enjoyed the article.

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