Now that I finally understand that a love of Martinique does not necessarily equate to an endorsement of colonialism, mental slavery or white supremacy, I’m coming out of the closet as a Madininaphile. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that my chosen residence at present is the centre stage of an animated feature at cinemas now. Enter Battledream Chronicle.
It’s not often that artistic genius seamlessly meets serious political commentary. But it seems to happen all the time in Nigeria. There’s no less-dramatic way to say it so, in a nutshell, Nigerian artists have changed my life. I’ve never been there, which is perhaps why Nigerian storytelling has not just captured my imagination, it has demonstrated the boundless possibilities of literature. Over the years I’ve heard so much about Nigeria from (admittedly annoying) patriotic Nigerians that it’s long been number two (reasons to visit, number one, Ghana can be found here) on my Must-See West African Countries list (you have one of those right?) It may well be true that stories grow on trees in West Africa. I love Nigeria for gracing me with an abundance of stories that are at once 100% rooted in a specific locale, embroidered with such detailed analysis of the universal, and told through fully-formed African characters. I frequently lose myself, investing totally in outcomes which are fictional creations based on somebody else’s reality. If there’s any one country, where a lot of my favourite novels come from, it’s Naija. A fiction festival in Nigeria would look a lot like heaven to me. With no further ado, here’s seven reasons to be ridiculously excited about going to Nigeria: Continue reading
So, I’ve written about some of the less exciting stuff associated with starting a new life abroad, and from what I’ve written, you would never guess that all things being fair and equal, I’m actually having a great time. This post should hopefully rectify that.
Take this weekend for example. On Friday afternoon, I took stock of the weekend ahead and realised I had sweet FA planned. It didn’t quite fill me with fear, was just aware of the fact. However by the end of my working day I had Friday night sorted. One of my colleagues had told me about (not quite invited but hey, who’s counting?) an exhibition of the work of contemporary local-ish artists (local in the diasporic rather than geographic sense of the word) and my lovely boss said I should go, and he might be going too. Reason number one to love this place: colleagues who you like as people. So few and few between back home. So abundant here already!