Friday, March 21, 2014

Naija American Girl Goes to Nigeria!

My last trip to Nigeria was 20 years ago!

After years of earnest desire, I finally got to go to Nigeria, and boy, was it a trip!  I was in Naija for the last two weeks of February and my trip was quite jam packed with all sorts of experiences. I spent the first week in Lagos before flying to Owerri, where my cousins picked me up and took me to our village in Isiala Ngwa in Abia State; from Isiala Ngwa I went to Umuahia, then back to Isiala Ngwa; when I left Isiala Ngwa for good, I went to Port Harcourt, was there for a day before going to Aba. I spent a night in Aba, then was off to Owerri to catch my flight back to Lagos and finish my trip there. Visiting, visiting, visiting was the name of the game. In all of that running around I saw the good, the bad, the ugly, the very ugly, the crazy, the ludicrous, the hilarious, and the strange. But my trip was a priceless experience that I am very glad to have, with the absolute best part being that I was able to see my family there.


I was able to meet family members I didn't really know before and see those that I've been communicating with for a long time. I heard all sorts of family stories and was able to share the things that happening on my side.
Highway sweeper on the Third Mainland Bridge
One thing I can say is transport.... Chineke meee! I am not used to having to board so many different methods of transport to get somewhere, but when in Rome... um, should I say, when in Naija, do wetin Naija dem dey do. Lol. So I rode everything from keke, danfo (bus), and the dreded okada (motorcycle) since that was what the people. A few times I was chanced to ride a taxi, which is usually a less hectic experience. That is, except if the taxi you are taking breaks down on the bridge from Lagos mainland to Victoria Island, the Third Mainland Bridge. That is exactly what happened on my fourth day in Naija.

Our taxi broke down on the bridge!
 When the taxi broke down, my first thought was, "What kind of thing is this?" It was during the morning rush hour, so the bridge was packed speeding cars, until the volume reached the point of a go slow (traffic jam). After getting over the initial annoyance, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take pictures and remember the experience. As I think back on my trip, it was definitely one of the most memorable things that happened. When I think back on it, all I can do is laugh. I must have told the story a dozen times already. :) We got rescued from our dangerous position on the bridge by a passing tow truck who hitched us to the back and towed us to one of the side exits of the bridge where we were able to catch another taxi to reach Victoria Island. Once on VI, I was able so see some lovely sights.
VI


Mike Adenuga building on VI
With my smallest cousins (Mom's side)
One thing I gathered from my trip is that Lagos is definitely what I would call an overcrowded city. If I was to live in Nigeria, it definitely wouldn't be my first choice, lie lie. I kind of like Umuahia, from what I saw.

While I was in Nigeria I was able to get my hair braided and two outfits tailor made, items on my must do list.






All in all, my trip to Nigeria was a successful one. I'll be back soon with a post on the funniest things I observed while in Naija.

Click here to see all the pictures from  my trip.


My cousins and me :) (Dad's side)







Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nneka's music in dowtown Detroit

Nneka
It's been a year since my last post... yikes! So much has happened, I don't even know where to start, so I'll guess I'll kick off my re-entry to the blogging world with something that really made my day. Two days ago I stepped out of my office at work to go to my bank, located in another nearby building. I
work in downtown Detroit, which is getting to be a pretty lively place, despite what national news coverage would have you believe. Anyway, I cross the street, and to my surprise, my ears are greeted by Nneka's song, "Africans" wafting out of the speaker system of  Chase Tower, also known as "The Qube". It made me so excited! Naija music is becoming mainstream! And I thought it was just so cool.Up Nigeria! Up Naija! Woo hoo! Lol.... I always feel so proud when I see Nigerians in the spotlight. Well, that's all for now.
 

  
Chase Tower

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Again!

Like millions of people across the U.S., and the world for that matter, I am very glad that Obama won the election and will serving as president of the United States for a second term. That Mitt Romney joker was something else. He said the most inconsiderate things and really seems like a real jerk. He didn't even have a concrete plan to stand on. Still, he got 49 percent of the popular vote. But it wasn't enough, and the votes that really count are those of the electoral college. Obama cleaned house in the electoral college, winning 303 of these votes to Romney's 206.

It amazed me that the popular vote was as close as it was. I mean, who really would want a president that says that 47 percent of the country doesn't matter to him o_O? Well guess what, Romney? Fifty percent of the country doesn't care about YOU and your agenda (whatever it is)! As Beyonce said..... "To the left, to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left!" LOL!

Now I know that some Christians are up in arms because Obama supports gay marriage. As a Christan, I don't agree with the president's point of view on this matter, but my thing is, how can anyone vote for president based on ONE ISSUE???? Ridiculous. I'm not a fan of abortion either, but I realize that a president's personal opinion is not enough to reverse a court ruling that goes back for decades. Roe vs. Wade is not going anywhere, so there's no point voting for a president based on his opinion on these issues.

When it comes to helping young people, Obama gets it. His healthcare plan makes it possible for young adults to stay on their parents insurance until age 26. That's a big deal in these tough times when good jobs with benefits can be hard to come by. It's made a difference in my life, for sure.

Our president gets it when it comes to children of illegal immigrants. A two-year-old can do nothing if their parents enters the country illegally and bring them along. But if that child grows up in this country, living as an American citizen for all of their life, what sense does it make to deport them from the only home they've ever known? Through an executive order this summer, Obama made sure that young people brought into the country illegally (and who meet certain requirements) will not be deported.

I live in Michigan, the automotive capital of the world. My dad works for one of the big three auto companies. Obama's bailout of the auto industry prevented a near meltdown of an industry that supports millions of families. This one really hits home.

Obama is just a man. But he's a man that means what he says and will work to get it done. He comes off as genuine and sincere, which is more than I can say about Romney. Republicans will have to get it together and stop trying to block everything that Obama is trying to accomplish. And get a candidate with some relatability if you want to win, my goodness!

I'm praying for an even more successful new term for President Obama and that Democrats and Republicans in Congress can  work together on the issues facing the nation.

#ThatIsAll

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back Again

I guess over six months (almost seven) is a long enough of a hiatus for me to come back to my blog again. Olympics came and went. So many crazy events around the world have come and gone. But I'm still here, alive and kicking. So what's new with me?

Things are going alright. Life after school is definitely a climb. But we gon' make it.
My grandmother died in Nigeria a little over a month ago. Just after my grandfather's burial too. My grandfather died last September (see my post Grandpa's Gone,) but was only buried in late July this year because we had to finish building the family home in the village and all the traditional things that require money.

It took our family quite a while to get all the money for the house and burial, which my parents sent as we got it. My grandmother made a big to do about her husbands funeral. We have to do this; we have to do that. My mom had to let her know what we couldn't afford. In the end, it was a nice affair, though I wasn't able to attend. And then, just a few days later, my grandmother died. She had diabetes, was in the village when her blood sugar went high. Before they could get her to a decent hospital, it was too late.

I really don't have too many words left to say. My grandmother was dear to me. I was the first grandchild and she called me Ijeoma. When we talked on the phone she would pray for me and tell me how she couldn't wait to see us. And now, just like that, she's gone. Only God knows why. But I am assured that her soul is resting with the Almighty God, and she's will the man she loved so dearly for so many years... my grandfather.

My mom is going to Nigeria for the funeral and you already know, I'm just itching to go so bad. But my money is kind of funny right now, so I don't think it will be possible... Sigh.

Yeah, sorry for the downer post after so long... Will be back with some happier stuff soon :)


Anyways, this song has been so comforting to me though... Ibu Ngalaba jisi ndu m... You are the pillar that holds my life, talking to God. You know I love my Igbo culture, now :). And somehow, my favorite Igbo and Nigerian praise songs make me feel closer to my family back home. Another way of preserving culture, I guess...



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Updates...

My people, what's up? Almost a month since I've said anything to you all... What in the heck has been up? Well, for starters, I finished my program in graphic design, web design, and video production this past Wednesday.. Yay! The search for my first full-time job is on and roaring! I'm looking from the east coast, to the west coast for this one... But if I find one in Michigan, so be it.. Man pikin must survive, abi? Lol

I turned 24 on Tuesday, so woo hooo!!! 24 sounds so much older than 23 to me for some reason. Scary...

Oh and, I'm sure all of you have heard of FELA! on Broadway, that's touring the U.S. right now. I got to see it this past Wednesday at the Music Hall here in Detroit, and it was excellent! Here's a clip of the show I found on Youtube...

Quite a show. The dancing was phenomenal. The singing was superb. I would see it again if I get a chance. But guess who's producing the show? Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. My only question is how in the world did they get involved or even interested in producing a show about the Nigerian music legend?

Anyways, just wanted to stop by and say hello. Gotta make my rounds on the blogs and see what everyone has been doing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

My president sings!




I went crazy when I saw this on the news today. I was so surprised.... Obama sings pretty well! At least that's what it sounds like after listening to those few lines. I wonder how long he practiced that. Cause when he came to Detroit in 2008 and sang a line from Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools," he didn't sound too hot. Hehehehe.......After he gets out of office, he could make a killing making music... LOL! Depending on how the election goes, that will either be next January, or January 2017. I'm rooting for his second term. Not because of his singing though, lol.....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nigeria Not At Rest

I remember last year when Egypt was in upheaval to get Mubarak to leave office. My mom was amazed at the way change was taking place, but was convinced that the same could never happen in Nigeria. "Nigerians love their lives too much," she said. They would never take to the streets and risk their lives in protest of the government. I mean, life is already unstable enough in the country, and its not uncommon for people to die at the drop of a hat, sometimes doing things as simple as going to the market.

But looking at what is happening now, I really question my mom's position. I'm not talking about the senseless killings of Boko Haram and the Muslim-Christian madness that's going on in the north. I'm talking about the protests against the sudden removal of the fuel subsidy. People are taking to the streets all across the country. Boys are not smiling, as they say. Could this really be the start of widespread change in Nigeria?  Things are certainly coming to a climax, and something's gotta give. Vanguard Newspaper is a great resource to know whats happening. May I suggest a brilliant article that I just read titled UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF N141+ FUEL —1 by Dele Sobowale.
I encourage all my young Naija peeps to keep up and watch what's going on. This just might be history in the making. And don't forget to pray for Nigeria: for peace; for stability; for change.