With love, from Abuja
It’s 3:45 AM in Abuja , Nigeria
the family and I we are in Barca Liga hotel and I’m the only one awake . Its quiet and I love it that way , these times are perfect opportunities of reflection for me without any interruptions.It’s our third day in the nations capital and I can’t help but feel an overwhelming peace , the type of peace you feel only when you’re really home.
I’m glad to be here , seeing family friends , the scenery , the people.
I really need this trip to recenter my spirit.
It has been a long year of peaks and valleys, 2018 was an interesting one but I’ve been looking forward to end the year off on the other side of the world.
The western world has been brainwashed and lied to you about Africa .
They showed you the beat up refugee children on ASPCA commercials while they tried to capitalize on your sympathy for personal gain.
They told you we were war torn in history class.
They brought non-profit organizations to come and speak to you , pass out brochures and play what was supposed to be a tearjerking , emotional story about how they are trying to help Africa , all to ask for your money in the end.
Lastly they might have even convinced you that we were nothing but a savage land of lions, tigers & monkeys and when we finish chasing animals we spend the best days of our lives in huts.
I say all this because these are the type of brainwashing agents I had to sit through and endure as a child growing up . Imagine people trying to tell you about a place you’re from and how bad it is ! While the other kids would subscribe to this information and even go as far as to clown us for our identity , “ African booty scratcher “ amongst many other things they would call us that are laughable now. But at the time of my youth those words were painful . After this circus I would go home after school and be reminded of how beautiful it was to be where I’m from , how blessed I am that I am the grandson of a king or “ igwe “ in my language .
I would try to educate my friends and channel my anger into passion , but the ignorance often thrived . So I decided to drown in my own truth and let the rest of the world catch up which is exactly what happened.
I was born in Dallas , Texas but we went to Nigeria almost every year from to the time i was 7 months old till my younger sister Amarachi and I were ready enough to go to boarding school there at 10 and 12 years old.
The culture was intrinsic in me , it was valuable to me at a very young age because I was immersed in it so the love only blossomed within me and grew me into someone special.
They lied to you and I’m sorry , not really for their lies but for the raw beauty that was consistently hidden from you about Africa.
As I look out the window now at 4:00 am , I think about the journeys that we’ve made throughout the city so far. I’ve been taking plenty of pictures and writing a lot of notes . Although Nigeria, like everywhere isn’t perfect it is raw and beautiful but I must say we have a lot of work to do from the top down . This is where my generation comes in. We either fix the mess that our forefathers created, or we completely pick apart the things we deem valuable from the foundation they left. Together we unite in a act of disruption or innovation whatever you want to call it, and we join hands to build a new steady, strong and sustainable foundation moving forward.
The people here are geniuses also the spirit of hustle is alive and well , sometimes too alive . Nigerian kids here and abroad have to gather all of our resources to truly revitalize Africa. This will require empathy, forward thinking ideas, and innovative skills to come together and turn this thing up.
As I am finally about to sleep I can’t help but think there are several more days left in my trip , through the holidays and New Years . It didn’t take long at all to come to this conclusion , I actually might’ve just reaffirmed what I felt to be true . My mind has been evolving rapidly all year , if this is how I feel now I wonder what the next few weeks will bring , I guess we will find out day by day.