Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nigerian American Girl?

I came across the news that the Nigerian Minister of Information, Dora Akunyili, has condemned the use of the word 'Naija' in the place of 'Nigeria' two days ago. I wasn't sure it was true until I went back today to search for it on the internet, which confirmed it.

I'm like, "What?" Wahala dey o. I mean, I the whole thing is silly. I respect Mrs. Dora Akunyili. That's Dr. Professor Dora Akunyili to be exact. (You know Naija people and their titles. Lol). From a project I've been working on for a while, I know that she has done a lot for the country. She has helped remove a lot of fake drugs from the market. She also spoke out at a critical time earlier this year. Her words were instrumental in the peaceful continuation of power in Nigeria, when Goodluck Jonathan took the presidential seat instead of a military takeover. But COME ON! Really now.........?

As a Nigerian born in the United States,  I see the word Naija as a cool way to refer to the country and it's people. There's nothing negative about it. But apparently, Dr. Professor knows better than me and all the people who use the word. Just read this article on the matter. But my question is, how can you tell people what to call themselves?

In a country where so many things are going wrong, the government should be happy that people can still find something to feel good about: a name coined by only-God-knows-who, but that cuts across ethnicities and status. She's afraid that this 'corrupt' verison of Nigeria is unpatriotic. "We have to stop this word because it is catching up with the young," Prof. Akunyili said, according to the article. Catching up??? Hahahahaha.... It has spread profusely. Even for America, self, I dey take and begin to use am. I am the  

Naija American Girl
and that will never change.

Abeg, the woman should sit down for there and try to find a real problem to solve, not an imagined one. Or maybe because Nigeria's problems are so great she decided to settle for a smaller task. But I'm not feelin' it.

That's what I think of the supposed condemnation of 'Naija.' Abeg o.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2010 ain't over yet

The leaves have fallen from the trees, the radio stations are playing Christmas music, and I've taken to tea drinking: the end of the year is upon us! As I sat at a restaurant after church today with some friends, I listened as they marveled about how fast 2010 has gone by. The year really has flown by. I can clearly picture this time last year and I remember everything that happened..... but the year's not over yet! Before this year is out I want to:

Visit my cousin in Ohio
Go shopping to augment my wardrobe
Type all of my hand-written poems
See a play
 Go ice skating
Have more friends visit my church
Read a good book
Bake cookies
Get together with my three friends from high school

All things I've done before (except ice skating). Just small simple stuff that will create nice memories and happy feelings. Lol. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's festivities automatically come with this time of year, so they're not on the list..... What do YOU want to do before the year is out?

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.