I’ve just returned from my third trip to Nigeria. I don’t know what you think about when you hear Nigeria – computer scammers, oil fields, colonialism or African movies – but each trip there has given me a new perspective on this country of 160 million people.
I visited one of the minor cities in the south, which after I returned home, my husband informed me has a population greater than Amsterdam. It’s just a densely populated place with many people trying to carve out a life.
Corruption is rampant, and so deeply tied to every part of life that you can’t get away from it. One example of this is electricity. It goes off intermittently, and everyone (who can afford it) switches to generator power.
According to my friends, the companies that sell generator fuel have some sort of agreement with the electric companies that keeps them in business.
But there are some beautiful people there. I have the sense that everyone understands how important education is and they strive to get the best they can. School is a privileged, rather than an obligation. It’s not free, and it’s something parents highly value for their children.
I was so encouraged to meet a young girl I met four years ago and see how she’s succeeding in school and studying to become a doctor. I have no doubt that she’ll achieve those dreams.