Things To Do This Summer: Go Home

Toyin & I

My cousin and I: It’s been over 10 years since I saw her

I haven’t been home to Nigeria in nearly 6 years. It’s a long time to stay away but I’m glad I got a chance to go home this summer.

I spent a majority of the time with my parents. My children spent lots of quality time with their cousins, uncles, aunties and grandparents. Going home has played a part in grounding me, remembering who I am and where I come from. A busy life makes one forget.

Part of our family and friends as we caught this summer

Part of our family and friends as we caught up this summer

It was a blessing to see how big my family is (in number and in heart), a wide network of people who will be there for me but most importantly for my children.
With most of my time spent in Lagos, I was able to see the progress my country has made. In many ways, certain common practices are ahead of some developed countries. For instance, money transfer is dead easy and can be done with mobile phones using text messaging.

There is contact less payment – nothing like what we have in the UK with debit cards that don’t require pin entry at purchases below £20. Contact less payment in Nigeria makes it possible to make payments of any amount from a mobile phone as you stand right there in a shop. This is possible with 4G wi-fi portable devices that can be carried around in a handbag so internet could literally be everywhere. Indeed, IT/telecommunications are market leading sectors of the Nigerian economy, and perhaps leading in the global economy also.

A sign at a nearby GT bank: Set up a savings account via text

A sign at a nearby GT bank: Set up a savings account via text

We are a long way from where we are going but we are taking significant steps. Infrastructure such as electricity and good roads, customer service and coherent business processes are all part of what is required for the next steps. Seeing Nigeria as a whole grow and develop warms my heart. The people are innovative and have worked long and hard to prosper. A positive outlook and an amazing sense of humour get Nigerians through practically anything. We hope for the best and prepare for the worst. This is how we are able to laugh and build lasting character.

I won’t leave it this long again. Going home is important for us all. Wherever is “home” for you is where you feel loved and at peace. It’s where people you consider to be family reside. I watched my children feel at home too. For them, Nigeria will no longer be an unfamiliar place in Africa. For me, Nigeria will no longer be away from my heart.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half & Half

My kids are 2 halves of the same coin. They know how to have fun and make even sachets of ketchup amusing.

And all this laughter after a long wait in an airport and visits to 2 very busy Nigerian cities. Not to mention almost 5 hours combined they had to wait in a car with the engine running while I tried to sort out the mess that was my banking. I love them more than anything.
Images by Yekemi Otaru aka The Task Mistress. Copyright All Rights Reserved

Weekly Photo Challenge: Doors of Summer

I love that we are getting very hot days in Scotland this week – up to 27 degrees celsius (roughly 80 deg Fahrenheit). You will notice that my door entry is full of colour as a result. I hope you are having a hot, glorious summer too! Enjoy!

Image from flickr users:

Mary – door 101, see license here

Tim van Kempen – door of colour, see license here

Tim Green – red door, see license here

Martin Konopacki – Door Kuldiga Latvia, see license here

Rodney Campbell – church door, see license here

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