Living in Lagos
- 25 Articles
I live in the developing world, also known as the Third World. Let me admit that I have particularly gotten tired reading about what our problems are. Everyone and every medium seem to be talking about it. It’s in the news and everywhere on the internet. Sometimes the argument is whether we really have problems or mere challenges that can be surmounted. All the attention can be good, by the way. It has inspired initiatives and endeavours that are solution-oriented and development-focused.
When you live and go out every day in a developing nation, nobody needs to remind you what the challenges are- you face them all day even in the simplest of things. On some days, you cannot get your clothes ironed; you face horrendous traffic frequently because the road is bad probably due to corruption, etc. Regardless, you try to be thankful for making it to the hustle and bustle (amidst poverty and hunger) in the city.
Recently, I sought to uncover what is truly great about my society. I would ask myself, “Was there nothing or was I just missing something to be truly proud of?” One thing I hear the most is the perception about how people are and how they just cannot be trusted. People talk a lot about how our problems have pushed people into the ‘every man for himself’ lifestyle and they back it up with the very frequent abduction incidences and other atrocities. When there are many evidences it is easy to buy into popular perception but one rainy day helped me think differently.
Rainy days are about my worst days out. I do not worry about losing a few kilograms of body weight as long as it is not against my will. Then came one fateful ‘against my will’ days. I was sure I had lost much more pounds than I would ever have agreed to shed but I had to keep walking, often wading in leg deep flood. It had rained, it was getting dark, I could not get a bus, and even if I did get a bus, the roads were simply blocked. The traffic was terrible! By the time I arrived at the next bus stop, I had walked for about one hour thirty minutes and I still could not get a bus. I simply resolved to keep walking and hitch a ride if anyone cared to stop. After a while, a car stopped and by the time I walked up to it, there were four men in it. Guess what I did? I entered. It is just not the thing to do as a lady in my society but I did it. I came off with a whole new angle to my perception of my society after I dropped off at my destination safely.
We are third world but not all third class people. There are still many, very much existent wonderful people around. I believe our people are our greatest asset. I admire Nigerians. Their struggle, will power, and resolve to do good despite our challenges are everything!