When I look at Nigeria, I want to laugh and cry. Like when the 2016 budget documents got lost, the most incredible mixture of emotions flooded my mind as I watched the ensuing soap opera that was more riveting than anything Telemundo and Zee World could ever offer. If it were a film, I would have laughed my head out; but it wasn’t television. It was real life. Worst of all, it was my country. How depressing. Anyway, I did laugh hard with tears streaming down my face, pretending it was come Asian country far away. When someone got arrested for naming a dog after the president, who still thinks this is a military regime, I did exactly the same.
But how can a place be so heart-rending and hilarious at the same time? So annoying yet adorable?
When I look at Nigeria, I want to cherish it and detest it. I love the blue skies, the birds, the flowers and trees. I hate the smoke and fumes, the noise, the dust and litter. I hate the days without electricity. I love the hours spent with a good book, away from technology.
I adore the languages, the cultures, the art and colours everywhere. I hate the shouting, the evil eyes, the showing off and the gra gra. I am amazed by our innovation in the midst of adversity. I am utterly perplexed by this underdeveloped mentality we have that I can’t quite put my finger on.
I admire the amusing boldness we have to do certain things; I can’t stand the rude audacity we have to do others. I love the family, helping hands and sympathetic lamenters with their bottomless wells of advice. I hate the gossip and the lack of respect for personal space and privacy. Really, half the time I just want to rip people’s heads off; half the time I want to peck them.
Ahh! When I look at Nigeria, I don’t know what to feel.