« Now Everyone Can Buy Ink by the Barrel | Main | How do you say Chutzpah in Farsi? »

January 21, 2006

Life in Nigeria

One of the wonderful things about blogs is that they enable one to step into another person's shoes for a while, even if they are halfway around the globe. An excellent example of this can be found in this blog by Teju Coles, based in Lagos, Nigeria. Coles writes extremely well, and his descriptions of everyday life in Lagos are, well, evocative. Take this example describing the trials and tribulation his parents went through to bring in a shipping container of household effects and supplies for the elementary school they ran:

My mother built a school on the outskirts of Lagos in the late eighties. She spends all her money on keeping it supplied with resources so that it can compete with the many other private primary schools in the city. For the school as well as for their own private use, my parents had in October filled up a medium-sized container in Chicago and sent it to Lagos. The shipment contained books, personal effects and a car. The car was a Kia Sephora that my mother had bought new three years ago. It was one of the cheapest of the four-door sedans on the American market, but nevertheless a fine car to have in Nigeria. The container had arrived in Apapa only near the end of our stay in Lagos.

But the field in which we waited was not at my mother's school. This was an older school belonging to our family friend Mrs Wuraola. We had decided against sending the container all the way across Lagos. Instead, we planned to off-load the container at Mrs Wuraola’s field in Surulere and then use small school buses to carry the goods to Ojodu. The reason for this was to avoid attracting the unwanted attentions of hoodlums in the neighborhood, for whom the sudden appearance of a large container might be an invitation to robbery.

Read the whole thing. It is sad, but all too typical of life in sub-Saharan Africa. (HT to Instapundit.)

January 21, 2006 at 07:31 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Life in Nigeria:


i just wanted to give my opinion...get over there and help them soon!! they need us..this isn't fair

Posted by: Jennifer | Feb 7, 2006 9:33:12 AM

yeah i agree with jennifer..this is NOT right, i'm in love with brian filburn and we both agree that the way they're living is unfair and cruel...i'm making a huge donation to the people in Nigeria!! they need us and don't worry we're coming!

Posted by: ashley maynard | Feb 7, 2006 9:35:07 AM

very touching very touching tears tears tears sike

Posted by: buff_dollaz | Apr 3, 2008 12:13:54 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.