I have been back in Lagos for over 2 months now and haven’t really written much about my experience thus far as I wanted to have a better picture of reality (my reality anyways). To be honest my first few weeks were not the best weeks of my time here. Not that there was anything significant made my experience less than pleasant but because I genuinely believed people weren’t that nice. They were not so welcoming.
Coming from business school where my classmates were literally like family to an environment where people barely said hi or met each other with clear reservations unless there were close mutuals of close friends. I literally was battling whether my choice to move was going to be as great as I anticipated. You will be glad to hear that I feel differently than I did before. So to dive into what I have grown to learn here…there is a lack of trust/openness amongst people (perhaps more so amongst women).
I was having coffee on a weekend with a friend and we were discussing this issue of trust. The coffee shop was like a creative space where likeminded open individuals worked. I was pleasantly surprised when a lady interjected into our conversation and a two-way conversation became a three-way one. This I found surprising as Lagos people form (Nigerian slang meaning a little up themselves) too much. We talked about how Lagosian were not themselves and also how they seeked to live the status quo (Apparently, some girls lie they have boyfriends when they don’t…This is a slight distraction so I will leave the topic for another day lol).
What do we gain from thinking we are better than others (not necessary better but maybe thinking people are “not on our level” and as such they don’t deserve our light of day?) To be honest I understand a bit why people “form”, it’s simply a coping mechanism to avoid people from over stepping their boundaries and a distrust of others. The saying “give them a inch and they take a mile” applies very much in the country.
With that said, I still believe we need to be more trusting of others, to be more open, more welcoming because what we could gain is more than anything we could lose. I have gained the best friendships of my life my simply being open. Just because others are untrustworthy doesn’t mean we should meet everyone with distrust. To change the environment we inhabit, we need to stay away from the norm and get to a place whereby we create our versions of the lives we want for ourselves, our community and our country, not the versions laid for us. That is something I am learning to do myself everyday.
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” || George MacDonald
#SassyFunke – Stay tuned for further posts on my move to Lagos. Let me know if there are any topics/issues you would love to hear about xx
Photo credit: http://nigeriavillagesquare.com