7 Things I Miss About The Motherland
I have lived in two African countries, one of which I was born in – Nigeria. But I also spent a decade or so in Botswana. So for me, The Motherland is not just one place. I am as Nigerian as the day I was born even though my family and friends tell me otherwise; I’m often teased as “the girl without a home” or a “global citizen.” I guess I sort of am but I’ll always carry the Motherland that is Africa in my heart wherever I choose to be.
Maybe I’ve just been missing my family a lot lately but I’ve had Africa, the Motherland on my mind a lot lately too. See Africa is a very big place – it’s a continent as I so often like to remind people. But there’s something that ties African identity together, something that makes me very proud to be African. It’s something that transcends language and speech; it just is. Anyway, because I’m an emotional-cutter, here’s a post about just some of the reasons I love and miss my Motherland.
1.The warmth of the people
I know Americans get tired of hearing this but a lot of Americans really are cold compared to people from African cultures, and other cultures as well. Africans are warm people – we go out of our way to make others feel welcome; it’s a part of who we are. I miss being around that.
Notwithstanding that when I went to Nigeria during Christmas one time, I fainted because it was so hot, I really do enjoy being warm. Now this is my fault for choosing to live in Chicago so I guess I can’t really say it’s only a Motherland thing. But there is still something about that scorching African heat. Too bad I can’t stand it for too long anymore.
Oh how I miss African food. Sorry America the food here is crap. The way food here is produced just leaves much to be desired. And sure I still cook once in a while but not as much as I should and African spices are ridiculously expensive here. I miss the spiciness and the taste and the love in which food is prepared.
African parties are basically a weekend affair. First of all they won’t start on time. Ever. Second of all, they won’t end on time. Ever. But whether it’s a wedding or a christening or a promotion or a party just because you could, Africans know how to put together a celebration.
5.The sense of humor
I’ve tried to explain the African sense of humor before to non-Africans. It doesn’t work. Our sense of humor resolves around making fun of ourselves and each other and talking about how our parents “disciplined” us or the way African guys approach women. I don’t know, you either get it or you don’t.
6.The straightforwardness of African guys
I never thought I would ever say this but I do miss how straightforward a lot of African guys are. There is no silly playing games or staring at you without doing anything or claiming to be intimidated. As a girl with three older brothers, this is how African guys are raised to approach women: You like a girl, you go and tell her, and there’s no wasting time. (You can see why I legitimately just don’t understand most American guys in this context.)
7.The happiness of the people
For a place where people have a lot to be grateful for, the truth is I find that many people in this country are very unhappy. It’s exhausting to be around sometimes. Most African countries do not have the comforts of America in a lot of ways but people are contagiously happy despite this. I like living here, I do, and I am very grateful that I am here but sometimes I miss how happy people are in the Motherland – it’s the kind of happiness that comforts don’t bring. It’s authentic happiness from gratitude and community and neighborly love. And I guess no matter where I choose to be, I’m grateful that I learned this from my Motherland and will take it everywhere I go.
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Nobody actually expects you to act like an adult for a while.
“What are you going to do with an English degree?”
I’m finding it hard to muster any sympathy for this asthmatic leatherneck. Instead, there is only contempt.
He noted that during trial, the women (we made up three out of the four mockers) mumbled to ourselves in between questioning witnesses.