From Brown Roofs to Safari

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

Taking a leap from J. P. Clark’s Ibadan, the city of ‘running splash of rust and gold – flung and scattered among seven hills like broken china in the sun’ I flew to Lagos en route Safari. On Thursday, the devil was on loose in Eko, the OPC had a rally and the resultant effect on traffic on the mainland was catastrophic. Spending almost three hours from Ojota to Surulere in guttering heat was not so much fun. However, I survived, I dare not complain.

I am in Nairobi for a seminar. It was an uneventful trip. Save the slight harassment at the immigration, the dude thought that perhaps that I had ulterior motives. My baby face did not help matters, even with my sprouting beard. Had to scrutinize my papers and the few Benjamin’s I had as well.

Nigerians, we would always show ourselves. There’s this lady that was sitting beside me in the plane. Omo, the babe downed 12 small bottles of Bailey’s cream! At a point, I became embarrassed on her behalf. The way she was harassing the air hostess for this drink, brought out our mentality to the fore: “I paid for the air fare, it’s my money and I must enjoy every cent of it!”

Oyi ooo!  Nairobi welcomed me with a chilly breeze. I have never felt this cold before, to think that this is Africa. At 23 degrees Celsius, it should be bearable for a normal person. However, at this temperature without humidity and the sun as mild as ice cream, it is a different story for me!

These guys are more adapted to the British – our common colonial masters. Most people bear their Christian ‘English’ names. Many cannot pronounce Nwachukwu! Nevertheless, they are warm and hospitable. My hosts have been over themselves trying to see to my comfort.

Power has not blinked and I noticed the astonishment of my host when I inquired how the electricity situation was here. It was almost as if I had asked a dumb question. Basketmouth is very popular here and believe it or not Naija music rocks the Nairobi airwaves.

We think that corruption is a synonymous to Nigeria. It is not! As long as human beings live, it is part of every system. I am yet to see most of the city but with the little have I glimpsed, order reigns here!



  1. Welcome to Kenya, Nwachukwu! I hope you enjoy your stay and find time to see various parts of Nairobi. You marvel at the popularity of Basketmouth and Naija music on the Kenyan airwaves… the Naija influence doesn’t stop there! Nollywood is very much at home here with several Kenyan TV stations featuring several hours of Naija movies…. “Afro sinema continues shortly…” LOL


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