Nigeria: Unsung paradise

nigeria-[1]-CopySIR: I woke up on a morning wondering where else I could have been in this world. The fresh air and scintillating sunshine coming from my window make getting up from my bed unappealing. The realisation comes to me that the sweet comfort of my home is the best feeling. The blessing of living in Nigeria is awesome. The quiet sound of mumbling leaves and crisp air of tucked away towns are rejuvenating to my being. I could have been anywhere but I will rather be in Nigeria and feel the beauty of paradise on earth.

We chase the ghost of elusive world. The stream flowing and the spring falling in the thickest of bush yearn for our attention. The long stretch of nature spread wide for our embrace. Hill tops awe us with amazing mystery, providing cold wind when we need to sleep at night and warm air in the morning for our blissful rising. The moon shines at night and the sky is flushed with kaleidoscope of colours. Magical ornaments conjure subliminal meditations and make sleep effortless. Stars sparkle like an ensemble singing mellow lullabies to ease our journey to dream land.

Sections of the nation are virgin promise of wonders presenting luxurious living. The universe is kind to the land. No worries of earthquake or antagonistic weather to trouble steady flow of gentle existence. Nomads roam the forest to raise their cattle. Farmers wait in idyllic habitations for the seasons to plant and harvest their bounteous crops. Various fruits compete in the gardens and forests with succulent flavours to sweeten the mouth during dry and rainy seasons. A walk in the backyard delights one with variety. Cultural fanfare spices the uneventful hours. Travel far and wide any period of the year, colourful festivals will welcome you at each and every stop. Masqueraders and dancers decorate the streets like life paintings.

The bazaar of assorted dishes and delicacies specialised in different geographical locations will make a traveller on hunger strike re-think of his or her philosophical underpinning. Unstoppable music trails the air in each and every way one follows. The sound of quietness of the forests and exotic voices of the natives caress the strings of the human soul. One is enamoured by abundance of beauty.

Cities scatter the vast landscape with modern hospitalities. Hideouts to romance our insatiable fantasies sprout like ornamental trees. ‘Point and Kill’ spots, Suya huts and bush meat rendezvous make evenings the most exciting times. Folks relax at clubs in the backdrop of naija beats drinking and reminiscing of a glorious past and mapping out vision of a fantastic universe. Socialites dress in the best of native wear and present themselves at abundant occasions taking place daily as if everyday is fashion show. Slow drive at any gathering becomes sightseeing.

Life is like a celebration for all.

I have shopped in the best boutiques in New York and I have tasted the best cuisines in Paris. Seating among friends or family enjoying hearty laughs and dipping my hand in a bowl of bitter leaf soup and washing it down with sipping from a bottle of beer is the climax of my happiness. It is for no other reason that Nigerians were once rated the happiest people in the world. Generosity of the earth on our land permeated the wisdom of the ancestors. They created a culture that celebrates the rising and falling of the sun.

• Pius Okaneme, Umuoji, Anambra State.

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