This year has been one of the most uncertain of years. Many of my friends will understand.I mean, after going to school your whole life, 2016 comes and says “I will take out the ground from under you… careful, don’t fall”
It was this year I realized I don’t have talent, the only thing I can do is read book and speak English and it’s not as if I am a first class student. But you know what I’ve always taken comfort in… I have always been sure that I am a fine girl. Not only that, but also I can pass for Oyibo.
Let me just say, my new name is Humble.
You need to understand, this is not my first time out of the country. It’s not even my first time travelling alone, but in my previous sojourns to obodo oyibo, I was carefully blanketed in this tight knit Nigerian community.
So now, I live by myself, go to work by myself and I’m surrounded by all these people from all these different places. You cannot imagine my culture shock. Sometimes I just want fold my arms and say “Chai!”
Quick side note; I am very ashamed to say that out of the 4 random guys that have walked up to me to start unsolicited conversations on the road, 3 of them have been Nigerian. You people have no shame
So anyway, to my greatest disbelief, I have discovered that I am not oyibo. At aaaaallll.
You see, my nose maybe pointed, but it does not point in the same direction. I maybe skinny but my African assets are very distinguishable….If you know what I mean. My accent is not like Jenifa but they still squeeze their face when I talk. I may not be able to dance skelewu but to these people, I’m Usher.
I suffer from a serious case of confused identity. I belong to nobody.
Another great discovery, I’ve made is that as an “African”, I am meant to be a walking encyclopaedia of all things Africa. Yes people, Africa is still a country and we all know each other. I mean, Mandela and my grandfather used to play Ayo together.
I have been asked “What’s the capital of Chad? “, “When will they bring back the girls?”, “Do you know Nana from Ghana?” and a slew of others. I have decided I will answer any future questions of this sort with every ounce of sarcasm I can muster.
That’s how two of my colleagues were discussing about living in Liberia and one of them asks me how much it would cost to rent an apartment in Monrovia.
Sister, is your suit alright?
Another thing that my home training is having a hard time adjusting to is going to work in the morning and greetings my mother’s age mate “Hi”. This one lady walks up to me and says “Oh My God, you look so much like my daughter!” So we get talking and then she proceeds to give me her card and says “Call me Mandy”. Not even Amanda. Every time I say her name, I imagine my mother giving me that look like “You will see when we get home”
But honestly, I can deal with all these things, if those were the only factors. But of course, there’s more.
It pains my heart that whenever someone invites me for a BBQ or something and the person is like I should bring food.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to this “Ghana” party. It was supposed to be live, with afrobeats music and food of course. That was the most important thing. So it took me 2 trams, one bus plus a 15 minute walk to get to this thing.
My first shock was that the party was not on the road. But you know, it’s obodo oyibo, so I forgot that side. Then, as I was getting closer to the venue, I wasn’t hearing loud tungbatungba music and I was like warrisdis, I hope I have not miss road? I had to enter inside before I could hear any music. But that was no even the betrayal.
As soon as I landed there, I greet people, I’m like how far, where the food at? They point me to the place, plenty people where gathering and making noise. I was like mad mad…the food must be sweet. Only to get there, someone gave me menu, and I was seeing some magic things
Jollof Rice – 15 francs
Shitow – 10 francs
Abeg, I carried my legs back to my house. When there is rice at home.