Coming back to the same house I grew up in from 1996 to 2002, was major throwback. The balcony is full of Ma's plants. My room was slightly different, adjusted and tweaked to the many visitors my parents have. The open white bookshelf is now replaced with a more modern one with a glass slider. My sister and I took great care in creating a library system for all our books, a library card made of flimsy paper and everything.
I stumbled upon a bag full of nostalgia. It was filled with love letters from lovers, best friends, good friends, class mates, birthday cards, friendship bands, apology notes and photographs. I never really understood the power of old photographs, and the wave of nostalgia that flows in . It's often hard to believe that you've outgrown your old frocks, barney cassettes, crayons and vocabulary books.
But it's been a great experience nevertheless. I came back with a fresh pair of eyes and ears. I notice the smaller details. Our driver of 19 years, Okere - has grown older, his eyelashes are white. Grace has grown in width, her pickin (son) is 23 now, but she can still dance just as good as 5 years ago!
Ma and I went to a few fabric markets in Yaba and Ikorodu to check out some curtain material. The buildings near Balogun Market are really funky, and are painted fully with brand endorsements! A very popular similarity to India.
She did warn me about the friendliness of our fellow Nigerians that I had forgotten about. When we were younger, the mamma's would pick us up and carry us to their shops until my mother didn't come to see their fabrics. Now, they just grab my hand or tug my shirt. C'est normal! We met tailors, sellers, adorable mother and their babies too!
I reached out to photographer Andrew Esiebo and I'm extremely glad I did. Growing up in the Indian community in Lagos meant that I was only surrounded by Indian families and friends. But seeing Lagos through the eyes of a local makes so much of a difference! Andrew and I met over coffee at the posh Art Cafe in Victoria Island.
The idea was to learn from him and shoot together but we've become friends since! We've been to the National Museum, Rele Gallery and Freedom Park together.
I'm seeing a Lagos that is a stark contrast from the one that I grew up in. People are still just as happy, they wear suits even on sunny days and the women have the loveliest hairbraids! At the National Museum in Onikan Stadium, the lovely lady issuing the ticket agreed to let me in for free if I gave her some of my long hair! No, really. I'm not joking!
Every street corner has Naija tunes playing, the radio plays some local hits that I hear over and over. Yesterday, I also went to a place called Bogobiri for their open mic night! The level of talent is immeasurable! These guys are killing it with their full band open mic sets, reggae jams and rap battles. It was a fabulous venue and night.
Can't wait for what the next few weeks are going to bring! But it sure looks exciting.