Thursday, August 7, 2014


Coming to Nigeria is one of the things i sort of never look forward to anymore. I do not remember a time when coming back felt like a home coming to me.
Do not get me wrong, my family means the world to me. I would go to the end of the world and back for each and everyone of them. There is just a sense of incompleteness, in a very i-do-not-belong-here kind of way.
So with working on my writing, i decided to dig into my inner self and find lost emotions and memories and i have discovered really new things. I realised why coming back to the house i grew up in(well partially) is such a nightmare for me.
I left home to go to a boarding school at a tender age of 9(i turned 10 in my first year at junior high). For 6 years, i only ever came home on holidays, and with holidays, there is always this feeling at the back of your mind which every boarder knows i guess, the feeling that your time at home is limited and soon, you would be going back to being locked up in a school with hundreds of other kids.
I think my sense of homelessness came from there. I never really felt at home ever again in my fathers house. Always feeling more like a guest, always having to ask where things are, who changed/moved stuff and so on.
After my 6 years at a boarding house. I turned 17 in my first year at University. I went off to school to pursue a degree in Engineering across the globe in a land where people did not look or sound like me. ISTANBUL. I immediately feel in love with this beautiful city. Yes i have had ups and downs, i have had moments when all i wanted was to go far away from Istanbul but i realised i always dismiss the feeling with a simple "nah i belong here".
Fast forward to the time i started discovering myself, it all started when i decided to invest more time in myself and less in other things that do not add meaning to my life. I made a pact with myself to think deeper and feel deeper and hopefully write better(well, my quest for meaning has always being to make my writing better).  I started realising that going to Nigeria which is supposed to be home to me had started becoming less and less appealing. I found myself begging my family to always come over so i do not have to go. Istanbul felt more like home to me and i am always eager to go back whenever i go for a visit.
At first i thought it was because i loathed the politics in my country but then i found out that my feelings went deeper. I realised that, whenever i go home, i change every single time. I am growing and expanding my mind and i am becoming more objective to things and asking questions which every Nigerian knows is "a sign of disrespect". We were all raised in a society that teaches us not to question our elders. Once a person is older, it automatically makes him right. Again, do not get me wrong, i love being a part of this rich culture, that does not mean i am willing to accept every ridiculous thing and force is upon myself when i know very well i am not ok with it.
Coming home meant putting on a show, being less of myself, keeping all my objections and questions to myself so as not to cause trouble. It meant i had to make myself uncomfortable so as not to upset my family and friends. It is so hard believe me and so hurtful when people make ridiculous comments like "you know you are not white right?" or "what you are saying is a sin" or "you are being disrespectful" when i am actually just being myself.
We live in a society where culture and religion trumps common sense and logic. Religion is the most sacred thing that happened to mankind if only we took time to reflect on it and realise just how beautiful belief and worship is. In Nigeria, one is not allowed to question religion, automatically places you at the brink of hell.
Tribalism, one of the worst things that happened to Nigeria. We are all tribalists in one way or another. I was at a family gathering during Eid and my family were talking about how atrocious it was for any of us to marry anyone outside of our tribe. We are Hausas and i was told never to go for a Nupe man for they do not like us. I was so upset about this for i have alot of wonderful Nupe friends and i took it upon myself to ask my friend who is Nupe what he thought and to my utmost surprise he told me it was true, as much as Hausas do not like to get married to Nupes, Nupes do not like to get married to Hausas. For the life of me i still do not understand how we could pass segregation and tribalism from generation to generation.
We are so judgemental. Everyone in Nigeria thinks they have something to say and so they must subject other people into listening. Being judgemental is deeply rooted into our being that we do not see how wrong it is. I have people around me who says things and i ask them "did you hear yourself? put yourself in their position". Most times i am just lost for words.
I think what Nigerians need to work on is their outlook on life and the human race. At the end of the day we are all one, if you are going to go with the religious ideology that we all came from Adam and Eve, fine, we are one and if you want to go with  science, believing we are all just a bunch of same composition of atoms, fine also, all in all, we are all one. We are no better than the crickets chirping away outside my window right now.
I am writing this because i am upset at my own people. A place where i am supposed to feel most welcomed always leaves me with a bitter yearning for the land where people do not look or sound like me. Makes me want to go back to my home, in Istanbul. This does not mean Istanbul people or rather Turks are any better, we all have our flaws but at least, i am surrounded by people who try(some make an effort and some don't) to understand me.
My advice to everyone is this, the moment you get the chance the leave the land where you grew up in, take that chance, leave, travel, meet people, most importantly, learn from them as i have, be with an open mind, LEARN, READ AND LEARN.
My article may not be expressive enough, but there is just so much my little fingers can type.



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