Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Journey to a Cultural Connection
My first trip to Nigeria at the age of 27 was one that has helped to further me along my path of achievement and self actualization. Yes, even at the ripe age of 27. The towering palm trees. The majestic blue sky. The smell of sweet mangos and pears dangling from vines that flanked my grandfather’s compound. On that compund was my grandfather’s “palace” where he sat in a wide, mahogany-rimmed chair for years, decades really, talking to me over the phone and often times through static. The former British colony is filled with several languages and cultural sects. I was fortunate to be informed about my roots at a very early age, thanks to the cultural connection that my father initiated when I was a child. The values. The struggle. The pain. The perseverance. The hope. The future. Instilled in me as an elementary schooler were the codes of life that I would live by. I went to school and studied faithfully because I knew that there were kids in Nigeria who wanted to learn, but because of circumstances could not, or had to do with much more difficulty than I would ever experience. The maturity of life and of the spirit embedded in stories my father shared with me helped develop my mind and perspective on who I was, where I came from, where I am going, and what to do and how to do it along the way.