2. Nigeria, the Great and Free

1J4A9775Going for walkies in Lagos

Following on from my initial post on Nigeria, I learnt that Nigeria really is the great and free. Now, alot of countries go on about freedom and liberty for all but, I’ve never been to a country more freer and liberated than Nigeria. You can park almost anywhere, the Government does not care to fix the roads quick enough, there are very few traffic lights, you can drive a one way road and if someone questions you, just throw money at them and its all better. Sometimes, you could be the perfect law abiding citizen and that’s a great enough reason for law enforcers to want your money for no reason.

I’m not one for politics but there is an increasing divide between the North and South. It’s election season and most people are constantly anticipating the unrest which it continues to blow in. However, it’s not all doom and gloom in Nigeria, it is one of the most beautiful countries that ever was. If you were to listen to a conversation in the marketplace, a plaza, a bar or in somebody’s home, every Nigerian is passionate about their country and how much they want it to grow and develop. Petrol prices have just fallen much to everyone’s delight.

One thing that really amazed me was how incredibly religious it has become. It has always been really religious but I guess people who you wouldnt have caught dead in a church 10 years ago are now the star attendees. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all. At a quick glance, congregating at church is a source of strengthening community spirit and a  great support system for most people but churches are ran as businesses rather than charities in Nigeria. This means pastors and priests are local, national (if not international) celebrities.

I would go as far as to say that family is more important than the individual 8 times out of 10 times in Nigeria. When you write your name, it’s always surname first, first name last. There is a strong predicament, (spoken and unspoken) that whatever you strive for or accompolish is to ultimately provide a better life for your family. So, everyone in your extended family is either your brother or sister, aunty or uncle, mummy or daddy. This all depends on their age and not how near or far they are to you on the family tree! This is how I was brought up but I’ve made it a little side project on this trip to find out how I’m related to everyone I call Uncle and Aunty!

1J4A9672Strutting around a plantain market

1J4A0024A very healthy pertrol station

1J4A0008A bus driver wondering why I’m pointing a camera at him, Benin City

Let your homie know wassup

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