October 4, 2016
So many people go through their entire life searching for love, purpose, and happiness. Some find it quickly, while others never find it. As the daughter of Jamaican parents, my childhood was heavily saturated in African culture. This would increase during the early 1980’s when my mother became a Rastafarian. Mommy dreaded her hair and wrapped it with beautiful headwraps that made her look like a queen to me. The “Roots” style reggae we listened to in our South Bronx apartment filled my ears with a rich history of African empires and their many accomplishments. She taught me to be proud of my Jamaican heritage but most importantly, she taught me that although we may not know exactly where in Africa we were from we must respect and honor that heritage.
The moment I set foot in Nigeria I felt welcomed and that I had found my home. If I were to put Nigeria into perspective I would have to say it reminds me of a much larger Jamaica. The styles of the homes, the people who hustle daily on the roadside, the noisy marketplaces, and roadside taxi stalls. As a result, it has enabled me to adjust extremely well and has me eager to become part of society, whereas I retreated into myself while I lived in China. I am comfortable here and that’s important!
I also think my adjustment to Nigerian life and culture has been so easy because of my exposure to my Igbo friends in New York. One of my dearest and best friends Ugochi and I have been friends since junior high school. I’ve spent many days at her house soaking in Nigerian/Igbo culture and she has spent many days with my family taking in Jamaican culture. Everything I know I owe to the Akoma family as they have made me an honorary Nigerian lol! Even my Naija accent is done in the style of Ugochi’s mom.
In my next couple of posts, I will slowly bring you into my life and introduce you to my new family here. I hope you’ll enjoy this next part of my journey here in Naija.