Thursday, November 4, 2010

I said 'I wanna go to Naija," my mom says, "No, no, no" ...... Lol.

When I graduate in December, I'll have about two months to entertain myself before I start my new school.  I'll still have my part-time job, but other than that, I'll be free. Thinking about this fact, a novel idea surfaced: Why don't I go to Nigeria? I mean, as a Naija American Girl I don't  think it's right that I haven't been  to Naija since I was about..... ooooooohhhhh............... 6 YEARS OLD!!! I am now 22.

That's me in the neon jumpsuit. (I have my mother to thank for the ridiculous get-up. But it was in style then, I guess???? lol) I'm there with my dad and my cousins. Check the date in the bottom right corner. Yep, it's legit. Over 16 years ago.
Money's been the main reason why my family hasn't visited as often as we should, though my dad has been back more often than all of us. My parents send home money frequently though. So I was thinking, why don't I go back and visit my family? See my grandparents while they're still alive. See my uncles, aunties and cousins. Get more familiar with a country I claim to care about.......Sounded like a good idea to me.

After thinking about it for a few weeks, I brought up to my mom. She was like, "I don't know o.... It's dangerous...." Then she started talking about how my dad's family lives in the east and that people are always getting kidnapped there, and armed robbers, and though her family lives in Lagos, my dad's family won't be happy if I don't visit them, but that if I go, I should fly to the east and not go by road because there's a high chance that armed robbers will strike and that when people see armed robbers on the road they jump out of their buses and cars and run into the bush, and on and On and ON! My mom even said that she would only go back home now in the case of an emergency. She told me to wait. I'm thinking, wait until when?

The thing with me is that once I've decided that I want to do something, it's just a matter of time; more of 'when' than 'if''.

I've been trying to plan a trip to Naija for the longest time, it seems. In my discussions with my dad, he's basically said OK, though I could still detect worry in his face. That's how it generally is with my parents. My dad really gives me room to try new things and get new experiences, even if the circumstances are a little uncertain. My mom, on the other hand, thinks of all the things that could go wrong and comes up with a long list of why I shouldn't do whatever it is. She did the same thing when I told her I planned to go to Haiti. I this area, I tend to be more like my dad.

So right now the question for me isn't "Should I go to Nigeria?" It's "How can I get the money for the ticket?" My action plan is going to be to save as much as I can (after I pay some outstanding *cough* obligations *cough*). Maybe my dad can supplement the rest.... It's long overdue.

I'm not thinking of winging it or anything. I plan to take plenty of safety precautions and stay close to those I know. Of course I'll make sure to do losts of praying and fasting, like my mom suggested (lol). But in the end I do believe that the good Lord will allow me to go and come back in one piece.


  1. You should definitely go visit. It will give you a broader prospective to life and, you will have more things to wirite about. I am excited to be going this december too.

  2. After almost two years away, lol...nothing like you..I'm going this December too. As far as I know, there are 150 million Nigerians and only about 100 have been kidnapped so far. Still one has to be very careful.

  3. Ehi >>> Safe trip!
    Myne >>> An excellent statistic! Though that won't convince my mom, it's good to look at it like that.

  4. Kidnapping is a problem. But the armed robbery is a bigger concern. There are many things that can go wrong I suggest you go when you can have others accompany you. Nigeria is the birthplace of our fathers but it is dangerous. If you go you don't have to visit anyone. Unless it is your grandparents. But I'd just stick to places that aren't so bad like Abuja. Your visit back home should be enjoyable not a hassle. So think smart and not emotional. Don't feel like you have to be rebellious to everything that your parents suggested. They're the ones that are actually from there. If they wanted to be there they would. So you should ask yourself why aren't they there now? Leave the rebellion to the teenagers. But good luck, God Bless, and make the best well informed decision

  5. copay>>> So I'm rebellious now because I have a difference of opinion with my mom? Thanks for your insight on traveling to Nigeria, but please, leave your personal opinions on my character aside. You don't know me.

  6. ur situation sounds like mine, except ive never been, but as an American born Nigerian i feel u about the whole getting familiir with the country etc. I have been planning to go for about 2 yrs and i havent been able to . U need to get a visa or passport first.hmmm if u waned to go in dec.'11 getting the money wouldnt be a problem if u buy ur ticket early (like in september), but HOW u would get the money? hmmm lol i would say get a job that pays $12-$15 and work a good amount of hrs lol! for info on passports/visas

    goodluck! have a wonderful week ahead

  7. Yeah, nice to know someone out there feels me. Lol. So many people talk about how people who were born here don't care anything about their culture and they don't want to go back home. But when people like you and me try, you have so many people discouraging you, both in Nigeria and here....Smh....I do have a passport though.

  8. My response to your last line is AMEN! I'm 31 and this is my second trip to Nigeria since 2008 (but before that I had not been to Nigeria since 1994 too) and I don't think I'm brave enough to go to my parents' hometown by myself...still. I could handle landing in Lagos by myself as long as someone was there to pick me up.

    I think you should go. Like you plan to do, take all the precautions and see if a cousin or other relative can accompany you on any trips you take outside of Lagos (and even within Lagos). You'll have a great time; I just know it! God is the one who ultimately preserves our life, whether we're in our bedrooms or away in another country.

    I know you'll keep us posted!

  9. Good Naija Girl! You're back! Thanks for the encouragement and advice. :)

  10. Hey! MAMA KNOWS BEST! patient my dear...JUST WAIT FOR THE RIGHT TIME...we are in the political/election era much unpredictables & XMAS IS NEVER A GOOD TIME TO VISIT 9JA because of multiple accidents & robbery, exploitation....SOOO NOT SAFE!! Better come during a non-festival season...during the dry season is better...FOR NOW, FINISH WITH YOUR STUDIES COMPLETELY BEFORE COMING AT ALL & BE FINANCIALLY READY because you are expected to 'drop' when you visit all the aunties, uncles, cousins & grandparents o... *grinning*. .. have a lovely weekend.

  11. my comment is really very late but i hope you get it, see i live in Naija and you'd probably laugh when i tell you i think naija is safer than america, but firstly the world aint safe dont be deceived, if you want to think about things that can go wrong you will see that your toilet is not even safe.
    I dont want this comment to be a naija vs america issue but i watched the wire and the corner plus plenty forensic bla bla shows and man i wonder how u guys go out at night. See I am from the east but i live in Lagos this 2011 i have travelled to the east by road like 3 times and there wasnt any issues, robberies dont happen much often everybody uses ATM so people dont carry cash 2 travel anymore and the robbers know this, Lagos is very safe (far safer than Detroit lol), your mom isnt the only one who thinks Nigeria is a hell hole i know other Nigerians who travel out to and talk as if Naija is babylon but its not so, yes life is generally kinda hard here especially in Lagos but that doesnt mean you step in here and the next thing you start dodging bullets, when Marlon Jackson came here (Google it)and was interviewed on Tv he said that he was very afraid when he came but after 2 weeks he saw that most of the things he heard where greatly exaggerated. If you wan come my sister come na Baba God hand everything dey.
    Lovely blog keeep it up.

  12. Thanks so much for the comment. Yes o, my mind is made up that I will go to Naija eventually. Even here where I dey self, people get shot everyday and other nonsense things, so other people's fears can never stop me. I trust God will keep me.