Small World – Nigerian Expats give back

To be born in a rich family is a privilege. Similarly, being born in a rich country is no different. However, one thing is constant regardless what your circumstances may be, the love for your mother and your motherland.

When people go to the foreign countries for better opportunities, it is easy to judge and believe you forgot your home country or love it any less. Trust me, no matter where you are , the love doesn’t go away. You get happy when your country prospers, sad when a tragedy strikes, frustrated when you see hopelessness and ecstatic when you win in any international sport. One experiences these extreme emotions only when there is a deep connection.

Small world is an annual charity event hosted by expats in Lagos. There are over 30 countries participating. The proceeds of this event go to charity. I had an opportunity to experience this event and was amazed by the patriotism of all the people there. Small World gives opportunity to expats to represent their countries , their culture and most importantly showcase their cuisine. There are live performances , music, overall a lively carnival which stretches all evening till around midnight.

Sampling food of countless countries and drinks is a sweet deal especially when it is for a good cause. So once you have bought the ticket to this event, everything inside is free which includes your food , drinks and entertainment. I can proudly say I tasted brownies of at least 3 countries 🙂 and they all tasted great . My personal favourite was an Israeli Chocolate dough like ball.

What really amazed me, is how my friends representing Pakistan worked tirelessly to put our best foot forward. They spent money , time, sweat and utter dedication to represent Pakistan in the best possible light. They prepared food for 100’s of people, decorations that they started preparing weeks in advance and organized everything from A-Z. Their generosity and hard work is commendable to say the least. And this goes for all the other nationalities as well. They were all proud ambassadors of their countries.

Small world (Established since 1996) is a great initiative to bring people together . It reminds us that we are all global citizens and how wonderful diversity can be. So if you are in town around this time next year, do come and show your support. You will not be disappointed.

New Year Calls For New Beginnings

So another year goes by in a jiffy . As soon as the schools ended , all the expats  left Lagos for their  winter break. It almost seemed like a crime not to. People catching the same or next day flights as if their houses were fumigated and they would suffocate if they even spend a second longer.  But that is how expat lives are like.  You wait for these breaks to meet your family and  friends or treat yourself to a holiday.

We visited Dubai. For us it was like going home. Or rather a home away from home.  Not too long ago I had bid farewell to this amazing city and now here I am, returning back as a tourist.  As expected Dubai greeted me with a warm perfume filled hug . Looking immaculate as always. I noticed it had become even more attractive while I was away  but I was not sure whether it was all in my head. After all the distance does make the heart grow fonder.

Lets have a moment of silence for all the fresh and beautiful fruits and vegetables I saw in Dubai, the shops bursting with all  kind of things you possibly want to buy and all  the food you ever wish to eat, because I will not be experiencing that anytime soon while I am here in Lagos.  So it is no surprise I come back with an extra chin and an extra roll of fat .

Can you guess what my new resolutions might be ? Yes, lose weight, get fit and healthy. This has been on my list for a DECADE , but yet I copy paste it every single year . You do have to admire my persistence. Also I REALLY REALLY need to use my time productively. Write, learn and focus. Life was much simpler before Netflix and WhatsApp. You hear and read such brave stories of people and their accomplishments against all odds, and here I am , struggling not to binge on Netflix!  How sad is that, right!

So what  are your resolutions this year and what helps you stick to them? Do let me know.

 

The Americanah Dream

Some stories are just meant to entertain you, but then there are some that entertain you , educate you and also move you . This novel #Americanah is a complete package. I have recently moved to Lagos, and as an expat this book gave an interesting perspective into the struggles of the black people generally […]

 

Some stories are just meant to entertain you, but then there are some that entertain you , educate you and also move you . This novel #Americanah is a complete package.

I have recently moved to Lagos, and as an expat this book gave an interesting perspective into the struggles of the black people generally and a life in Nigeria. The book touches racism, complexities associated with dark skin and Afro hair , income disparity and harboring the American dream.

The life of a Black living outside Africa comes with its own set of struggles , frustrations , double standards and stereotypes. The grass is greener on the other side, and each Black experiences this while trying to make a living abroad. Each black carries the burden of the entire race. Being from Pakistan , I can understand the obsession with pale skin , but one must wonder how it feels that in order to be regarded beautiful , it is imperative to change oneself, to conform to the idea of beauty which does not come naturally to you. Be it fair skin or straight hair . It doesn’t help much when even the global black superstars such as Rihanna , BeyoncĂ© and Oprah have also conformed to skin bleaching and hair treatments.

I am an expat living in the bustling city of Lagos and I am simply amazed by how crazy expensive this city is . Each item you get elsewhere in the world , is more expensive here. And one wonders that the supermarkets and restaurants that one sees in the island* are only catered for the local elite and expats. If you are wondering which island I am referring to, the Island is simply an island within the city of Lagos connected by a bridge which separates the rich from the commoner. The rentals that one would expect to pay to live in one of the posh compounds within the island is equivalent to living in The Palms in Dubai, yes the same place where Oprah and The Beckhams have a water facing villa. So living in the island is a cocoon within Lagos which shields you from the harsher reality of the city.

This book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a must read and will make you more empathetic to the struggles of the Africans everywhere in the world.