Sunday, January 23, 2011

10 things I know about Nigeria

In many ways, my life in Nigeria has been more vibrant and challenging than life in the United States ever was. A friend of mine once described living in Nigeria as “life in Technicolor,” and I have to agree. 

Life in the US, has its share of difficulties, but every day, my country surprises me with some nugget of insight into human behaviour and the wild variety of motivations that shape it. It has certainly improved my writing and fired my imagination. And so, with the New Year high still in place,  I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned in 2010:

      1. Never leave your house without looking your very best. You will be judged entirely on your looks.
2. Cell phone credit is far too expensive to waste on small talk. Get to the point and don’t bother with goodbyes.

3. Traffic lanes and speed limits are only suggestions. And the biggest car always has right of way.

4. Stand up straight. No matter how broke you are, great posture is free.

5. Patience is not a virtue, it’s a necessity.  But if you have money, it’s for suckers.

6. Everything is negotiable, so don’t hesitate to bargain.

7. Be nice to everyone; you never know when they’ll pop up again.

8. There is no such thing as personal space.

9. A little yelling goes a long way. We call it “halla.”

10. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the wallet is mightier still.


  1. So money can buy everything? Just kidding. No personal space sucks.

  2. chuckling. lols.

    personal space? One is inside aso rock.haha.

  3. Funny! Good list! You didn't mention lack water and electricity. Well, you live in Abuja and may not have problems with that...

  4. Funny! Good list! You didn't mention lack of water and electricity. Well, you live in Abuja and may not have problems with that...

  5. so funny man! I concur on the personal space! I recall driving in a two lane - which turned into a four lane and then a traffic jam in an intersection because no one was obeying the traffic lights. I love Nigeria =)

  6. I've been away from Nigeria for a while, but it's comforting to know that my peeps are still my peeps no matter what. There are just somethings that never change. Naija's uniqueness remains Naija's uniqueness so if I deciede to come back today, I should settle in nicely. No halla! :)