A Long Weekend in Nigeria

A Long Weekend in Nigeria

Two weeks ago I took a quick trip to Nigeria. Ridiculous right? Who takes quick trips to Africa unless you’re a business[wo]man? But effectively I was there for a long weekend. It was quite the distance to go for a short space of time, but when you have a business to run / lots of work to do and you’ve already been away twice so far this year, it would have been imprudent of me to have stayed longer.

I went because my parents were being honoured and given chieftaincy titles. While I knew it was a big deal, I didn’t realise quite how big until the event drew closer. People flew in from all over the world for the ceremony (which took place in my father’s town Ekpoma, in Esanland) and we were privileged enough to go to the palace where the onogie (King), supported by the other chiefs, conducted the formalities.

To say I am proud of them is an understatement but it will have to do as I cannot find words sufficient enough to express my feelings. Titles are not given out randomly nor frequently. Considering that they don’t even live in Nigeria and my mum is from a different tribe entirely made it even more impressive and special.

      

My brother and I above – not my boyfriend or fiance as some people on my Facebook presumed! There were tonnes of pictures taken on the day – my parents look amazing right? I just wanted to share a few with you as I love the vibrancy of our traditional attire and I am proud of my heritage. Lots of people mistook it for a wedding because of the extravagance (no, I didn’t secretly get married! My parents just like excellence) At least I have an idea of what my traditional Nigerian wedding will be like when the day comes!

      

The impact they have had and continue to have on people in the UK and in Nigeria is admirable and I can only pray that I am able to positively influence others and leave such a legacy one day.

  

Human Family

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Maya Angelou

10 Comments

  1. May 20, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    Thank you so much; for the compliment and congratulations 🙂
    It was a surreal yet amazing experience so I’m glad I got to witness it in my lifetime as I love learning more about my culture and other cultures too! 🙂

  2. May 21, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Congratulations babe!!
    And thank you for sharing.
    You have such a beautiful family (you and your brother really look like your mom – it’s the smile haha) and I can feel your pride through your pictures 🙂

    What does the bestowed titles mean? It seems like such a significant event – do you guys get a palace now too?
    That would be awesoooome 😀

    • May 21, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you hun! And I’m glad the photographers took pics nice enough to share 😀

      You have a good eye because many people don’t notice that my brother and I have the same smile as my mom. Having said that, I was a carbon copy of my dad growing up (I have his broad nose and lips!) But ever since I started wearing makeup a couple of years ago, apparently I look like my moms mini-me lol.

      The titles basically make them senior members of the community (despite their relatively young age). They may also be called on to attend important functions, settle disputes plus a couple of other responsibilities (that I’m not 100% sure of) and kinda just being a figurehead for Esan people! lol

      As for the palace – if only!! Lord knows I could do with the closet space! I still have clothes at their house AND my apartment! Ideally they should just build me a palace of my own.. I think I’ll suggest it 😉

  3. June 19, 2015 / 1:44 am

    Wow your parents look AMAZING! Actually, you and your whole family look amazing LOL. Such a privilege to be able to see your parents receive such a prestigious honor and title. I’m glad you allowed all us readers to share in the happy occasion. I must say… I do love the vibrant colors of the clothing, they are absolutely stunning!

    • June 19, 2015 / 8:51 am

      Thank you kindly! Nigerian culture and fashion is so vibrant and rich – I love that about it. It was so amazing being there and witnessing the ceremony plus getting to dress up! I’m really proud of my parents as they are so loving and truly epitomise servant leadership and benevolence. I’m happy that they are reaping the rewards of their hard work in their lifetime!

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  5. August 1, 2015 / 3:17 pm

    I love all the colours in the traditional dress!!! So amazing! I seem to remember Alex and I drunkenly having a chat with your parents in their living room about their chieftaincy last weekend at the party, haha.

    And totally get the brother/boyfriend thing, whenever anyone thinks my brother is my boyfriend it’s always super awkward, especially as we often do things together like go to the movies or see concerts. A while ago my brother had his Facebook profile photo as one of the two of us, and one of his friends made a comment and my brother just replied with ‘she’s my sister’ ha.

    C x

    • August 5, 2015 / 7:10 am

      Ha! Not just us then?! Good to know
      Peter and I used to hang together sometimes too (e.g. go to the opera) when he lived here so I totally understand!

  6. December 29, 2016 / 12:25 am

    Oh my gosh I loved this post – I recently reposted my article “Could Nigeria be Home Permanently?” on my site mybreakingviews.com and these pictures remind me the reasons of why Nigeria could be the home for me in the future.

    Thank you for sharing

    MyBreakingViews

    • December 31, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      Thank you for reading! I’m so glad you loved the post. Your post sounds interesting – I’ll definitely check it out as I’ve considered the possibility of Nigeria being home for me too one day.

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