Nigeria is not a popular tourist destination. They don’t even know the potential their country has here tourism is concerned. They meaning Nigerian leaders.
When I heard that Kenyans no longer needed a visa to the country, I blindly said I was going to be there for the New Years. Well, here I am.
One of the main questions I have had to answer since I started thinking of the trip is: Why Nigeria?
I could not answer that question confidently before visiting. The general response was that every country has something to offer.
Almost a month later, here follows a couple of reasons why you should visit Nigeria.
No matter how “beautiful” a country is, that is nothing if the people are not friendly. Nigerians are extremely friendly and helpful. I know there are many stories out there on con-ish tendencies associated with Nigerians. From one who’s often been on the receiving end of ignorant generalizations, you really do not want to lead your life that way. As is the case with any other country, there are bad and good people. So far, the number of good Nigerians far supersede the bad ones.
I have had incredible experiences with random strangers. When I came to the country, I only knew one person. Now I know dozens of people who have had a lasting impact on my life. I have learned numerous games, pidgin, Yoruba…
They are obviously very curious on what I am doing traveling, more so alone. While they don’t understand it fully especially in the villages, they’ve been doing everything within them to make my stay as pleasant as possible. The other day someone was taking me to a rock I wanted to hike. He was constantly surprised and kept asking how I was benefiting from the same. Finally he was like: “If these are the kind of things you like, I can take you to a different state where you will enjoy such scenery and even more.” Random plans aiye! The people make me happy; visit Nigeria for the people.
Foodies! Nigeria is a foodie haven. They have many different kinds of foods that have barely had the same food twice. Well, save for (roasted) plantain and peanuts. They put so much soul to their food it is shocking. Most of them are very spicy and oily.
They have what they call swallow. This could be defined as what they have with their stews. Okay, I don’t know how to define that. You really don’t chew a lot, you just swallow. There we go ? Examples include fufu, semolina, eba, amala, and akpu among others.
Do you like history? You will love Nigeria! They have everything you need to know. I came here hoping to learn about slavery, and I can confidently say that that happened. It is so surreal being in the rooms that held slaves thousands of years ago. Seeing the routes used was heartbreaking yet filled with lessons. We need to learn our history for us to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. As it is, we still have a long way to go. Libya, aiye?
Keep following for more posts on this. Abi ?
Nigeria is underrated, as is the case with most other African countries. There are so many lovely places to visit. I know I’m generally an optimist, but that does not prevent me from being real. Most of these places are greatly inaccessible and sometimes, dangerous. Any time I think of the many waterfalls I wanted to visit or the mountains I hoped to hike but couldn’t because of lack of security I want to cry for my mother continent. Most African leaders disgust me. Still, I made it to lots of places that were glorious in every sense of that word.
That’s just a few reasons to visit this West African country. As a parting shot: be the change you need. Africa will rise if people get tired of mediocrity and demand better services. These governments owe us everything. Scaringly though, leaders are a reflection of their societies. Maybe it is time each one of us sits down and reflects on how shitty we actually are. Maybe you’re the definition of perfection, but the bottom line is that the majority of us are just greedy people walking this continent. As always, I believe travel is one of the most effective tools if any tangible progress is expected. Africa rise.
Light & Love!