Before you do anything, I command you to read Tobi’s post, also titled “Home” on her blog here, we did a thing together. Please and thank you!
I was utterly prepared to do some poetic post with the recurring motif of “home is where you can walk around braless and give zero fucks” but nah, I’m going to switch it up, keep things exciting.
Whenever someone talks about “home”, my initial thought is always Nigeria. Always. I never thought I could feel so strongly attached to that country but I feel like my soul is rooted there. Every bit of me wants to be there all the time. The weather can melt your face off but it’s the best. Every day is an opportunity for growth, for discovery. The country is evolving, the nation is growing up and I get so overwhelmed just hearing about new developments in my endz (yes, endz with a z). I spent a massive chunk of my teenage years in Nigeria. As I formed into the graciously dazzling young lady that I am now, Nigeria moulded me, it dug out little caverns in me and dwells in me.
It scares me when I think of the number of people who leave for “greener pastures” in foreign lands and end up never coming back. I know, Nigeria isn’t for the fainthearted: that nation requires balls of titanium, a resolve that can never crack, patience in the truckloads and an ability to just take it all in and not run for the hills. But it’s home. It’s what runs through my veins: it’s always making a guest appearance in the small things that I do: be it a tinge in my voice or the sass in a look I give someone, there’s just something in me that continuously reminds me that Nigeria is where I want to be.
The food. Can we just take a moment? Can we acknowledge the sweetness, the absolute sweetness that is Nigerian food? I can’t remember the last time I heard someone hail the awesomeness of a plate of correct jollof rice by saying “the rice is too sweet”. I’m guessing using the word “sweet” to quantify the yumminess of savoury dishes comes from the direct Yoruba translation of “o dun gan” which literally means “it’s really sweet” but I digress. Nigerian food is a miracle to taste buds everywhere. Whether it’s akara and a small loaf of bread from the ever-faithful woman who was always there, every single morning, just there on the side of the road, expertly scooping up ground beans and squeezing out teeny balls into the abyss of bubbling oil before her on my way to school or the buns lady or the boli and epa lady or the suya man or the buka mama with her steaming plates of white rice, beans and 20, 50 or 100 naira meat. Food was never-ending, it was an experience just buying the food, it was a phenomenon sinking your teeth into it all.
I wouldn’t say I miss the attention I used to get from all breeds of men back then but now I actually notice how much of it there was, if that makes sense. All the cat-calling and the hey baby, can I have your numbers and the married men who would purposefully drive slow to match my walking pace just to propose the notion of financial domination to me, the obsession over girls half their age… it was a lot to deal with so if you think Nigerian girls are particularly mean-spirited, it’s most likely not intentional. It’s a defence mechanism, no doubt.
I want to be back there. I want my children to have Nigeria entangled in their hearts and minds. I want to help my nation, watch my nation succeed. I want to get my hands dirty with the grime and grit involved with growing something, tending something and watching it flourish into the beautiful creature it’s always meant to be. I want be one of the lucky ones who can say “I knew my home needed more hands, needed a nudge in the right direction so I went and I helped and here we are now.”
Song of the Week
Listen to GoldLink and let your life change.