I come from a place where memories are a must make and people are a must know. Where I come from, there are always stories to share and things to talk about. The place I call home is a place where we accommodate all, laugh about serious issues and strive to progress regardless of the odds because we believe that in as much as we are disadvantaged; we are not disadvantaged.
I come from a place where family is made up of father, mother, siblings, relatives, friends, strangers, guardians, community, the concerned and less concerned. Here, we learn from birth to play in the sand, the sun and in the rain. We learn how to cook with grass and tomato tins and perfect our culinary skills years later in a kitchen with a gas cooker and stainless steel pots with the recipes handed down to us or adopted from others.
I come from a place where weather changes bring tears of joy and tears of pain. The rain could be your friend or your enemy- to cool the grounds and produce green or cause a flood and invade homes. Here, we are diversified in language, religion, marriage, festivals, food, labor and a lot more. Some to marry many, others to marry one and some others to live solo and married to their religions. Where I come from, gender expectations still resurface no matter how much technological advancement and influence from the world around us has enhanced rapid revolutions or perhaps evolutions.
I come from a place where identity is stained and culture which is meant to be our brand is constantly amended to fit a person, people and purpose. Here, democracy is politicized and the changing governments act on personal interests with everyone aiming for a place of authority; but who leads the leaders? We encounter poor governance as each has a manifesto they never live by and promises they leave unfulfilled. With corruption stemming from all sectors of the economy with none to hold accountable for. Did I mention to you the unemployment downsides with 5000 applicants for one job vacancy?
I come from a place where trends are higher for entertainment purposes than information and educative reasons. Here, insecurity is not only discussed in congress rooms, but in beer parlors and play grounds in schools. We have the rich living in overly secured mansions and the poor in far less secured places of habitation, but both are threatened with insecurity. Yet, insecurity is simply debated upon, laughed about and just made to trend for a day or two with less progressive impacts made daily.
I come from a place where girls are groomed to be extremely self conscious and prideful in their virginity while the advice to cover their legs constantly echo in their minds to remind them of how easily vulnerable and lured they can be to the careless boys and savages in form of lustful men. Here, I couldn’t wear my panties outside and I still don’t for fear of being ostracized, verbally abused and body shamed; despite the fact that boys who have grown up to be men still wear their boxers with bare bodies in private and in public without remorse, shame and fear for what nobody will eventually say.
I come from a place where good and bad has a lesson to learn, with stories to share and memories to keep. I come from a place I call home. Home is where everything happens in uncontrollable proportions and sometimes, unexpectedly. Home is where I come from and home is Nigeria in the African continent.