Tag Archives: nigeria

Home

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.”

Georgina ❤

Song of the Week

Listen to GoldLink and let your life change.

Twenty-Five Questions.

Kaabo, eniyan mi (Google it, my non-Yoruba speaking peeps)

Sorry for the lateness of this post, Nigeria’s current state of affairs just sidetracked everything for me.

I really wanted to write about Nigeria this week, I felt this overwhelmingly patriotic pang over the weekend – due to the elections, no doubt – but I figured I shouldn’t even bother for multiple reasons:

1) I probably don’t know enough to write anything meaningful or seemingly intellectual.

2) Half of you wouldn’t care what I have to say anyway.

3) I’m really out of touch with what’s really happening back home, despite how hard I try to stay afloat and I’m not trying to insult my own country people.

So instead, here’s a tag no one tagged me in. You’re welcome.

What is your middle name? I’m Nigerian, I have at least 5 middle names. Have you ever been to a Yoruba naming ceremony? Literally, the parents ask everyone in the room if they have a name they want to give to the child, it’s that liberal. So yes, I have many. The lucky one that made it on to my passport is Mobolade (pronounced Moh-boh-la-dey) which means “I brought wealth with me”. Google won’t pick it up, I’ve already tried.

What was your favourite subject at school? In secondary school, it was English. For my A-Levels, I think it was Chemistry, simply because I started out hating it, not having a clue how to get my head round it but by the end, I was pretty good at it.

What is your favourite drink? Non-alcoholic? Out of necessity, water. Alcoholic? Baileys, just because I’m sophisticated like that.

What is your favourite song at the moment? This really beautiful song.

What is your favourite food? Anything (mostly anything) my mother’s hands have created.

What is the last thing you bought? So, I was looking for a pair of high waist jeans and I had left it too late to order them online and all the other shops I usually go to were asking for £25+ for a pair of jeans. I mean, I am a baller but jeez. I found myself in Primark and I hadn’t been there in months. Walking around, it was like finding an old video tape with all these memories recorded on it. I lost my cool and binge-bought a bunch of stuff, including the jeans.

Favourite book of all time? The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. That book is everything to me. The movie doesn’t come close to how enlightening the book is. A close second is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Favourite Colour? I don’t really have one. All colours are beautiful and necessary.

Do you have any pets? Currently, no. I had a chicken called Rocky (after Rocky from Chicken Run) but I don’t think he was meant to be a pet. I got him for Christmas from one of my grandma’s friends and well, my grandma ate him. I didn’t even get to taste him, she ate him after I’d left. This was in Nigeria and I must have been 11 or so. Where else would you get poultry as a present?

Favourite Perfume? I get fixated on things and I feel like I need them but give it a week and I’ve forgotten about it. The last perfume that did catch my eye was probably Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs. I use Heat by Beyoncé now though, obviously.

Favourite Holiday? It would have to be Amsterdam last year, so cool. Only because I was very aware of what I wanted to do and I made it my mission to take many pictures of not just myself but my surroundings. And no, I didn’t smoke weed.

Are you married? Not yet, no.

Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times? Yes and so many times, I can’t even remember.

Do you speak any other language? I could speak Yoruba if I had to but I don’t want to. It’s not even a pride thing, it’s my accent, makes it sound so dodgy. I can say hello in quite a few other languages, I could scrape together a few tidbits of French but I wouldn’t last long if I was lost in Paris or any French-speaking country. Also, I can’t decide which one I should pick up later this year: Mandarin or Japanese?

How many siblings do you have? Just the one, little brother.

What is your favourite shop? Again, I am ever so disloyal so none.

Favourite restaurant? There’s this bespoke restaurant in Thornton Heath called Blue & Orange. It’s Mediterranean, small menu but amazing food.

When was the last time you cried? On Red Nose Day. I was watching this 9-year old Ugandan girl whose parents had died and was living with her very frail grandmother in this shack. Expectedly, my eyes swelled with tears. But a full-on cry? That’s been a while.

Favourite Blog? I have quite a few and I’m still finding all these different gems every day but for now, I am loving Life of A Nigerian, No, YOU Go Outside, Barefoot Confessions and Anu AgboolaaThe Lagos Project has a short fiction series called The Nightshift, which is amazeballs. And I literally just found Quality Durex which is so profound too.

Favourite Movie? The Lion King, the very first one. Gets me every time. 

Favourite TV show? I have way too many to even begin to list but currently: The Walking Dead and House of Cards (I gave in, I have Netflix now. So addictive). And, EastEnders, naturally.

PC or Mac? Loyal to PCs but I will be joining the Mac cult sooner rather than later.

What phone do you have? A Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Suck it, iPhone users.

How tall are you? I actually don’t know, I haven’t been measured for a while but I think I’m about 5’9 or 5’10.

Can you cook? Is that a trick question?

Tweet of the Week

As always, I appreciate all of you who put up with this blog, honestly. It’s good to know you haven’t abandoned me… yet.

Georgina ❤

Starbucks Date with Myself.

Hello everyone 🙂

So I’m having one of those weeks where nothing has out-rightly struck me as blog-worthy or better yet, many wonderful things have happened but I’m not readily allowed to blog about them (I don’t want any trouble) so I turned to The Daily Post. They post these things called Daily Prompts which literally do what they claim: they prompt. This is the one I chose. Et voila.

Good Tidings

Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to. (For the sake of simplicity, I’m talking to 10-year old me. 8 year old me wouldn’t be up to this, I’m sure.)

*I couldn’t find a picture of myself at 10, no joke. So, here is 6/7/8 year old me. Not entirely sure.

Hey, don’t you look tragically cute. I look a lot different, right? Not nearly what you expected to look like at 18. You thought you’d be skinny by now and well, so did I.

Next year, you’re definitely going to boarding school. Mummy and Daddy may be making you do all these exams for all these other schools over here but trust me, you’re ending up in Nigeria. For that exam, just remember BODMAS. It may seem like the stupidest acronym ever but it is a life-saver. Boarding school is nothing like what you’re thinking it could be. Every night is not one sleepover. You will cry every night for the first week. You will bathe with freezing cold water at 6 o’clock in the morning. You will eat things you never thought existed. You will be the victim of puberty. You will be on the receiving end of a collapsing bunk-bed. You will meet people who find your diary, read it and chase you, threatening to club you with a metal T-square because they couldn’t handle the truth. You will make a public fool of yourself (I know you will but don’t send a lovenote to the cute guy in your class. He’s kind of an ass, he’s only 11, he doesn’t know any better). You will become very thin and it doesn’t look good on you but it happens. You will get what the school doctor claims to be malaria almost every month but you know it’s worse than that. You will convince the parents to let you out of that school after the first year.

Somehow, you end up in a proper Nigerian school. Yes, those schools. Where they have even more canes and the teachers aren’t afraid to slap you for not greeting them properly. Sticking out like a sore thumb is the least of your problems. You will get typhoid, it is very unpleasant. On the plus-ish side, you will actually meet someone who you fall in love with years later and he loves you right back. I’m not even making this up, I couldn’t. I won’t give away too much but it’s a disastrous mess to begin with. You will sometimes regret knowing him but despite all of that, both of you find a way to function dysfunctionally. Hang in there, okay? I mean it, really hang in there. Think about it like this: he’s like a stray cat that won’t leave you alone but you feel almost anxious when he’s not wondering around.

Finally, you make it to the Promised Land of schools. This is where all the magic happens. You make friends for life. You will meet your soul sister but she’s Indian, that’s the only difference. The number of amazing memories that you’ll make will astound you. There’s a particular teacher who does library with you. He turns out to be pretty awesome and makes you read stuff you wouldn’t normally touch with a pole. He’s very cool. You will love that place, that’s all I can say.

You will come back here when you’re 16 and you are going to be chucked right into the deep end. People will find your accent – yes, it happens – a little funny but you’ll learn to do you. You’ll meet some people who you’ll wonder how you managed without them and others who you’ll totally regret looking upon. You do a lot of adaptive maturing in those 2 years of college.

Only thing left is university. You get in, that’s for sure. I’m still figuring out the rest.

Your life really begins the second you’re left to fend for yourself in boarding school. You become who you’re looking at right now. I know how bittersweet you feel about it. You’re scared about not making friends and all the friends you’re leaving behind. All the important things and people will stay put, that’s not an issue. Don’t worry about a lot of things, it’s all pretty trivial. Just stay focused and stay happy. Keep smiling. Keep writing. 8 years may not seem like that much but it is and it goes by quick so just go with it. Put your heart into it all, that’s what you do and always will do.

Coffee tastes pretty grim at 10 but just wait until you come back to Starbucks to buy things besides their cookies. Coffee is life-enhancing.

Do you still love Beyoncé? Love is an understatement.

No rant this week, I’m in a happy place.

Songs of the Week: Beyoncé – 7/11 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4YRWT_Aldo) & Sebastian – Embody (https://soundcloud.com/edbangerrecords/sebastian-embody)

Quote of the Week: “One thing I’ve learnt in uni, you’ve got to go and get it yourself. Whatever you want, probably won’t come to you.” – Laveen M

Georgina x