Still on Moving Back to Nigeria, let's call this part 2
I saw this video during the week and shared it on Facebook with this long caption that was pretty much an endorsement. It was something like "Yup, we definitely have a culture of aggression (plenty yelling and noisiness), and politeness is often misinterpreted as didirin [half-witted] behaviour. Or how else would you explain why it is so weird to say "please" and "thank you" to a shop attendant to whom I'll still pay money?" But I deleted the post after five minutes because I felt like I had been too active on Facebook recently. I know, I know, who does that? Me. I'm on this constant self-regulation thing where I'm thinking about my own thinking, my words, actions and inactions. Sometimes it's helpful in making sure I'm conscious of how I'm living and other times it's just draining.
Then , I come to my dashboard on blogger and I see that my e-big sister (who doesn't know it yet) Sisi Yemmie, has shared the same video! So here I am, back with the video for your viewing pleasure. It is definitely well-done and less-biased than I am. It has people with "move-back" experiences spanning across different fields and lengths of time.
Still, I'll add my two cents to it. When you're making accommodation plans, try to live in the centre of the 'party'. If like me you lived in Ipaja before you left, don't forget how rough, uncool and far away from most things it was, because it's still like that. Call up that
aunty or uncle cool aunty or uncle that lives in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki, etc. Those areas still have life going on there, and all those pioneers that were talked about in the video are in the happening places. From the frozen yoghurt folks to amazing Nigerian clothing brands, everybody is in Lekki or at least Ikeja 'upwards'. This Ipaja is still dead. Apparently, there's Uber in the posher parts of Lagos, but of course, we didn't get the memo in Ipaja. Truth be told, Lagos traffic is probably not Uber-freindly, and I'm better off flagging down a yellow taxi instead.
|Motor Park shot. Location: Iyana-Ipaja|
A quick note on picking aunties and uncles that might accommodate you: while we are generally quite accommodating as a people, staying with family should be a short-term arrangement. You will most likely be unable to keep the late nights and self-governed lifestyle that you're used to. So putting all those into your planning process will help ease the transition. Try to make concrete plans regarding your source of income. Make sure the aunties and uncles you pick are the ones that have always been amazing, the ones whose company you actually enjoy, not the ones that will merely tolerate you. Not much kills buzz like feeling like a burden to your host or being uncomfortable and realizing there's nothing that can be done. It also doesn't suck if your cousins or family friends who know their way around town are willing to help you figure Lagos out. Don't be shy ask for help; you need familiar faces in this city. It's not too difficult to reconnect with old friends, but that could be another topic on its own. Don't be like me, don't just wander off solo all these years with the occasional "like" and "comment" on social media. Do more to keep in touch with your friends everywhere. So far, mine have been forgiving, but everyone is scattered around the country and so, meet ups are difficult.
In addition, if you don't already do so, follow "returnees" on social media. Either by being a ghost follower (checking up on their Instagram and Twitter pages regularly without hitting the follow button...yes it's a thing), or by actually following them and interacting with them, keep up with them. It helps to find someone living a lifestyle that is similar to what you would like. Personally, I like Yagazie (because she takes nice pictures and is pretty real) and Titilope (because I can relate with how she really wanted to be a poet and so left Engineering in Canada). There are also many friends of friends who I find with my Ph.D in social media creeping. (If you really want to know how to find your type of people, ask in the comment section and I'll tell you more).
You will have to put in some work here, because many people aren't open, maybe it's a cultural thing to be discrete about everything. If you're bold enough you could send a direct message to a person of interest, and I'm almost certain people would be flattered to mentor you. Read their interviews and their blogs and check out their Linkedin profiles to see the types of jobs that they have been able to find with their level of experience. Don't sound like a total stalker (they don't need to know that you know their favourite food and family history) because you're not trying to be creepy, you genuinely want to make informed decisions and their stories might help. Don't be shy to work your connections, too. Call an uncle or friend's father to put in a good word for you if you have to. Somebody somewhere worked hard for you to have that connection ... or if it's just luck, well, don't be silly and let the luck go to waste!
That feels more like a dollar than two cents. Hopefully this helps someone out there!
See here for part one in this series, it's titled "So would you make the big move back to Nigeria ?".Join the edited party on Instagram and Twitter and the real time party on snapchat @fopsyyy !