Welcome To Nigeria
was mentioned in an earlier post, I had the opportunity to revisit
Nigeria for two weeks, it was definitely an eye opening experience
filled with interesting conversations and multiple adventures. I hope
to share some of my moments with you for the next month or so.
arrived at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos on a Nigerian Saturday
evening. I had spent quite a pleasant flight with a Nigerian married
man with a ring on his finger who wasn’t averse to flirting while
sharing stories of his sons in South Africa. That was interesting
considering that I was left with the impression that if I was open to
it, I could be his run girl for the duration of his trip in Nigeria.
Fascinating. We got off the plane and passed through a partition in
which the air conditioner was working which was deceptive considering
that Nigeria and particularly the city that the airport is located is
notorious for its non functional PHCN facility that often runs with the
aid of generators.
At first, I was in shock at the fact that
the AC was actually working, this shock was reflected in the faces of
fellow Nigerians entering that partition while those who did not have
any fears of sharing, definitely spoke about how that area was last
year, with its leaking roof and its bucket below to collect water. I
kept quiet wondering if Nigeria had decided to step up to its place on
the continent and have working amenities like its counterparts with less
revenue. Alas, it was just a dream, as we entered into the border
control part of immigration where we were greeted with hot air, no fan
and a welcome to Nigeria sign that definitely welcomed us in.
through border controls was very organized and the workers were very
pleasant. They went out of their way to actually welcome you into the
country and it was time to get our boxes. Since, I did not have any
Nigerian currency with me, my dear plane friend was kind enough to pay
for the trolley which was a sign of the generosity that many Nigerians
in the Diasporas are known for. Our suitcases took a while coming in
but it eventually did and it was time to go to where our family members
were waiting for us.
On my way over, I was stopped by a lady in
what seemed to be a military attire, she asked me to give her
‘something’ considering I had two big boxes, a carry on and my
handbag. I had nothing to give her, I mentioned that the boxes had
toys for children and suspecting that she could be a mother, I mentioned
that little children were all waiting for their toys. She instantly
forgot the boxes and asked for ‘something’ else...I mentioned that all I
had was my 50 naira change and I could give that to her. She did not
want that but she eventually let me go through. I had some help
getting my boxes outside to where my family was waiting.
I saw the blatant disregard for our currency from the person who helped
to push the trolley who wasn’t interested in receiving Nigerian money
which was equivalent but rather begged for foreign currency.
I got home to a black out. Welcome to Nigeria.