With the World Cup kicking off today, a friend launching a new line of Made In Africa tees and a recent spate of telly shows shining a light on the Motherland (Welcome To Lagos, An African Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby) - not to mention my growing obsession with singer-songwriter Nneka lol - I actually think it’s about time I start preparing a trip back to Africa you know. I miss:
1) Fanta Orange. The last time my family were in Nigeria, my brother and I backed crates of this like water (that’s actually quite disgusting in that kind of heat). And I don’t know what it is - the slim design of the 35cl bottle, the mild aftertaste, the fact that someone will shove it in your car window in traffic anyway, making it pretty hard to resist - but Nigerian Fanta Orange is ridiculously tasty.
2) Braids on the cheap. I just keep my mouth shut, let mom do all the talking and leave a hairdressers in Ibadan with a head full of single braids that took 4 hours to do and cost less than a tenner. Jeeeeeeeeeez…. Value. For. Money….BEYOND.
3) Grandma’s place. So I planted a coconut on my Grandma’s old farm in the village of Egbele (Uromi) in 1988 and a second coconut at her current compound in Oretu in 2002 - and both have flourished and are still going strong - while everyone else’s fell off! Boom, boom, POW! Wouldn’t mind seeing those again, not to mention Grandma’s farm. (And I feel no way about enjoying that chicken I played hide and seek with, merely hours earlier, in a beautiful stew - it is what it is.)
4) My friends. I’ve got peeps in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Berundi. They’re waiting PATIENTLY for me, bless ‘em.
5) Beauty of the culture - People, places, food, et. al. My camera is ITCHING to do a project in 2011! Tourist boards, holler at me!