I have never been to West Africa before, let alone anywhere close to the equator. But I knew for some reason I would enjoy every single minute of it. Not only because I grew up watching Nigerian movies, like Mr Ibu or Aki and Popo, with an ever growing addiction to Pidgin English, but also because Nigeria has the highest population density in Africa and is home to some of my favourite artists, like Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Femi Kuti, Runtown, Teckno, M.I., 2face and P Square. My journey began here at home, when I almost could not board the Air Namibia Airbus A319 flight SW07 to Lagos, because my yellow fever card seemed to be tampered with. Honestly, the thought of being left behind and missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime would have mortified me. Luckily the problem was sorted out promptly and before I knew it, we were about to land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport after an unexpectedly short four-and-a-halfhour flight. From that exact moment I knew I was finally home, something like when Eddie Murphy first arrived in New York as the Prince of Zamunda, in the Hollywood classic movie, Coming to America. I won’t get into the nitty grittiest of the culture shock and architecture, I will leave that for another time. But I will get into the extremely humid and hot weather even when it rains. It was hot. Imagine Namibia’s heat, but with the air being very heavy and sort of weirdly wet. I swear in Nigeria you don’t need to apply lotion, the word lotion might not even be in their vocabulary. So being invited by the British Council, it was only fitting that they sent a driver to pick us up, but sitting next to the driver was a hired police or military official, I could not really tell because I was infatuated at the fact that he was sitting with a Kalashnikov, which is commonly known as an AK-47. That by the way did not make me feel safe, on the contrary, I got paranoid. The time difference did not really confuse me, because we are about an hour ahead of Nigeria, but the traffic is so unpredictable, and this is one thing every single person I have spoken to while there has said. I could not see a lot on our way to the hotel we were booked into, but I could most certainly hear the hustle and bustle of Ikeja. Hooting cars, bikes, busses and trucks all at once, my mind could not fathom. If Namibians drove in Nigeria, we would totally go nuts. I was put up in the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, which is a 5-star hotel and when I say 5-star, I really mean it. That place was expensive to the bone I beg, but I leave the rest of my tale for next time.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015