FAMILY, FRIENDS, & FOOD: Naija Trip

N I G E R I A

An interconnected world and access to information are good things…usually. Unfortunately, there will always be those few (read: many) human beings who do not know how to act. Just within this past year, I can’t count on my hands the number of nonsensicalities people have spoken about Nigeria. People who are well-traveled and those who spend excessive amounts of time sitting on the couch watching the news. While in France, someone classified Nigeria as a high risk country with no internet access, and then back in the U.S. someone felt the need to inform me that all Nigerian food is disgusting after having tasted 1.5 dishes during a two-week stay in Nigeria. Um bye…and don’t come back.

Despite what one may have seen or heard, Nigeria is a large country with a bustling 180 million+ people belonging to more than 250 ethnic groups. The news, an “expat” assignment, or even a brief visit can never do justice to the varied, divergent experiences lived within this country. So in the spirit of global awareness, I’ve decided to share a small glimpse into my most recent trip to my parents’ home country.

I visited Nigeria during the first couple months of 2015. I took off a couple days from work to attend my grandma’s funeral, and it so happened that the school vacation fell around this time as well. Here are some snapshots from my time in the country. For a more in-depth look at my trip, feel free to check out the video I made.

Oraifite: 1st week

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Grandma’s funeral poster
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Outside of grandma’s compound

As part of the burial preparations, we went to the market to buy foodstuffs for the numerous people who came to celebrate my grandma’s life. Most of the people who came were from Ibolo or neighboring villages and towns, while others traveled from Abuja and the United States. Since I was based in France at the time, I flew in from there.

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Onitsha market, Anambra (SE Nigeria)

If you know me personally, you know I’m a lover of food. I think I gained at least five pounds from my trip, so you all know I was enjoying! Ofe akwu was my favorite dish while I was staying in my grandma’s village. I ate this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…I won’t mention how many days I sustained that diet. Don’t judge me!

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Ofe akwu (palm nut soup) and rice
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Musicians entering “Mama’s” compound for her burial

Abuja: 2nd week

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The sign says “No Parkn” but they parked anyway (Wuse market)
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Egusi and pounded yam

Lagos: 3rd week

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Passing through Ikoyi during the “original” election season…and then they were postponed…
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Got some red velvet and cheesecake flavored Cold Stone ice cream at Leisure mall
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I didn’t try it, but heard it was good lol
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House on the Rock Church in Lekki
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Sipping on my virgin icecream drink at Xovar Lounge 😉

Again here’s the link for my video. Thumbs ups and comments are welcome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbe2xXjA778.

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9 thoughts on “FAMILY, FRIENDS, & FOOD: Naija Trip

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  1. What a lovely blog! Thanks for educating those who are still ignorant about African countries like Nigeria and doing so in an interesting way. I still wish I had gone to the funeral 😦 Oh btw, I literally lol’d when you mentioned the person who said all Nija food was disgusting–what a hot mess *smh* Anyway, I look forward to more blogs about your experiences in our parent’s country 🙂

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  2. Many thumbs up for this article!! (I’ll go thumbs the video too). Love this article. So well written and I love how you start it off by calling people who believe themselves to be well traveled or what have you. Can’t wait to see part two of this quite soon. 😉

    Also, your grandmother’s funeral looked beautiful. I’m happy you were able to spend that time with you family.

    Like

  3. It’s amazing how quickly people will form opinions about a country and it’s people based off of very limited knowledge and experience. smh. ALSO…that virgin iceream drink looks delicious. can we recreate that?

    Liked by 1 person

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