I can’t believe it’s been months since I last posted on the Nigerian Elections and the Xenophobia attacks in South Africa. But just because I have not posted does not mean things have not happened, believe me living in Lagos, Nigeria is certainly a very interesting experience for me. You see I find myself in a very interesting position. I am a stranger in my own country. Well thanks to my parents for taking me with them as they moved from one country to another. So sometimes I have to put aside my experiences of living in Ndola, Mkushi, Los-Angeles and Nairobi aside, and learn to adapt to life in Nigeria after 16 years of gallivanting around.
Living in Lagos, I believe takes courage, and now with the rainy season at hand, it takes even greater courage to leave your house to go anywhere. Since the elections that took place in April, a few things have happened that have made me appreciate life more.
First there was the intense fuel scarcity that happened just before the new government came into power. Oh yes, we have a new government and party in power. Still waiting to see how life under the new leadership unfolds. But back to the fuel scarcity, I hope never to experience such a thing again.
It showed us as Nigerians, how much we depend on one source of energy, and we paid heavily for it. There was no fuel for our cars, and even public transportation was derailed, prices went up, that is if you even found buses along your route. There was no fuel to power generators, and without light, Computers, phones and other electronics went blank with dead batteries, leaving people stranded and out of touch with loved ones and business associates. And for some of us who ran out of cooking gas, it was another level of stress and anxiety. But it was good to see I survived, now I see why Nigerians are very strong despite all the challenges they face.
And then just as soon as we were finished with the energy crises, nature conspired against us. Rainfall is a blessing, but flooding is not, and because of lack of infrastructure, and bad habits by citizens, the streets and houses felt the impact of the continuous rain.
It got so bad, that a few weeks ago, we were literally stranded with water reaching the front of the house. I have never experienced that before, and to be honest I don’t want to experience it again. I had this fear, that if the rain continued, water would enter the house, destroy our possessions and may be even wash us away. Thank God, it did not, but it happens to people all the time, you read about it in the newspapers, or watch in on TV. Now I think I will be more compassionate because I can now imagine how it must be like to watch the rain fall and destroy everything you have worked for.
Needless to say all these events have given me a lot to think about, when it comes to governance, the future of my country and what role I can play to make a difference. I don’t have the answers, but I am on the lookout for solutions.