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RIGHTS OF LIFE (NIGERIA THRU’ A BRAZILIAN’S EYES) written by KLIVIA MELO

Brazilian Klivia Melo has fallen in love with Nigeria and its people


I came from a trip to Africa, specifically to Nigeria last September.
Adding a thought, I want to talk about Pangaea, if you look at the map of the world, my state RN-Brazil and Nigeria fit perfectly in their geographical forms, they look like two of a whole. Maybe that explains the feeling of “coming home” when I landed there.

But talking with a friend about Pangaea, I tried to discover the meaning of this separation … it may be God’s reason, to see the performance of each people of exceeding challenges. Today I think would be overcome, but not for Africans .. Our overcoming , mine, to arrive there, in the promised land …
Arriving there I felt tiny, just remembering that until then, I had been part of a world of such mediocre thought.
The self-esteem and strength that emanates from the African people had a devastating effect on me. In one week in Nigeria I was transformed into a better human… not at a sense of charity, more towards knowledge.
Since then, I feel motivated to get better every day, so quietly I can fit into them without calling much attention to all that’s missing in me.
After impressions and sensations, I saw that what most amazed me was seeing white men wearing typical Nigerian costumes.
Although so many people around the world were telling me to be distant from “those people” … even on the plane from Johannesburg to Lagos, already inside Lagos airport “what are you doing here?” was the greeting.
Of all the fears that I had to think about, no one ever told me that I would find foreign from developed countries, Brazilians, “white cool people”, smoking shisha and wearing traditional Nigerian outfits. Maybe, the world prefers that Nigeria would rather be covered by the smoke produced by outsider companies, instead of knowing how pleasant is to smoke shisha by the lagoon, and when they go back home will take out the traditional clothes and talk about how ugly and dangerous that country is.
But what I really see, is a lot of people trying to work, and they really work, and when I say a lot of people, I want to say TOO much. The public transport is overcrowded; active people from all over, are on the streets to derive daily living.
In Lagos, different tribes have different activities such as desert tribes that serve as a lookout for constructions, they camp with their families inside construction sites and sleep right there on the floor … The Nigerian has by nature a spirit of entrepreneurship, they sell phone cards and other things that residents may need while they look out of the under construction places.

A certain tribe leads the herds of cattle, during my tour around the state, I could see some of these tribes, that second I was told, they are the keepers of the secret of a delicacy that won me over, “Suya”, a type of barbecue smoked beef with spicy onion. I recommend it.
As Lagos is an industrial pole city, the number of people coming every day from all places is huge, which leads to daily population of the city of a staggering 33 million. Now you imagine all these people going home after work, having to cross the bridge … I can easily tell you, I got a traffic jam on my way to the airport when I was returning to Brazil.
Well, the numbers speaks for Nigeria, and if it is so bad, someone could explain to me the amount of foreigners that there exists.
I can, they feel what I felt, only that the interests are very different. While Nigeria has something to be exploited, it will remain for the rest of the world, the African underworld, when those resources are no longer in abundance, so charitable eyes will begin to look at Nigeria, talking and attracting funds for reconstruction and recovery programs that never ever reaches the destination mentioned.
With a thirst for knowledge that took care of me in my time at Lagos, we were walking through that state to learn more, to see the people. It was a Saturday morning , people in their traditional dresses smiling, getting in and out of cars, going to weddings, baptism, birthdays, and also keeping up with the geles (traditional head gear), don’t even imagine ruining one of those. The Nigerian people like to celebrate, and with reason, they are Nigerians, and a person only gets this phrase when get to know Nigeria.
In the middle of so much wealth and disregard for nature at this exploration process, there are the people, the people of strength and self esteem to a people who seek excellence but who has the vision polder by a story told by others, which make Nigerians think that is normal. Mother Nature cries, asking for help with a people who every day lose the right to this wealth, the right to their health, the simple right of life.

Klivia writes in from Brazil and has since become a very special friend.

About the author

Omojuwa

In the beginning...Let there be Light http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japheth_J._Omojuwa

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