The IJGBs (I Just Got Back)'s Guide To Nigeria
So I’ve been in Nigeria for a few weeks and I thought I would share what I’ve seen and learned. It’s funny because I was here a little over a year ago, and I have realized that there is so much I don’t know about my city and my country. This list is for those of you/us who are heading back to Nigeria for the Holiday season. People within this category are affectionately known as IJGB (I Just Got Back). IJGBs are not just exclusive to December, but for all intents and purposes, let use Christmas as the backdrop, shall we? These are also in no particular order. Enjoy!
1.)There's a 50% chance that this is not what the food actually looks like at the restaurant
2.) Leave your British/American/imported accent behind (for now) *there are some times it can come in handy. Like when you're pretending you don't know how a LINE works. Yes I saw it happen. *rolls eyes*
3.) Make sure you "greet" oh! Ya can't really get away with that "Hi/Bye" thing here
4.) Yes there is internet/WiFi
5.)Say "No" to photo shoots in the middle of a market or "slum". Glamorizing poverty for your benefit or to look cool is in poor taste, at best. At worst...well I'm trying to stop cussing people out so let's just not go there.
6.) Classism is....just like it is in the West. It just manifests differently because race is less of a factor here.
7.) Ageism is real. But you'll get a pass after being "disrespectful" because that's how they do it in *insert any European country or USA.
8.) Sexism is... I'll talk about in a later post but I will say this: you're going to feel the urge to be quiet and just smile. You're going to Get overzealous about "helping" in the kitchen, just to avoid side eye from that distant Uncle of yours. That's okay.
9.) Leave your Western savior complex in France (or wherever you catch your connecting flight)
10.) Yes there are some things that are done differently here. Please avoid the "In America/UK/Australia we do___" story. Thnxxx.
11.) Yes they know you're from abroad.
12.) Nigerians are extremely informed and they probably know more about your country than you.
13.) If you feel that you can't deal with NEPA taking light, you might want to reevaluate a few things.
14.) Don't ever tell your tailor the actual date you need the outfit ready. If you need it on the 28th, tell them that you need it on the 13th. Even then, I can't guarantee that it will be ready though on time.
15.) Don't let people play you. And don't play yourself.
16.) PSA: be careful with water, specifically drinking water!
17.) Expect the best. Nigeria is a beautiful country that has been truly blessed and will continue to be. Come here with an open mind and a "relatively" empty stomach.
18.) When you see with your own eyes that your community is not the Hell hole that CNN says it is, please be sure to share that knowledge.
Even if you don’t meet your future bae this time around, there will always be next year. ;)
Thanks for reading