Travels Around The World‎ > ‎Africa‎ > ‎

Nigeria

Country #35

Both loved and hated,
Wealth, poverty, side-by-side,
This African beast.

Nigeria is really a beast of a country. It's huge, and in some respects it dominates the region. It has incredible wealth, and incredible poverty. It can seem like it is teetering on the brink - of both development and destruction.

I spent about 2 months living in Abuja, while I was fortunate enough to get an internship with UN-HABITAT in 2010. Overall, I quite liked Abuja, although it is a little bit soul-less. But it has some great bits too, and as a 'designed' capital, it's not going to have the history or energy that, say, Lagos has. My 2 days in Lagos, by the way, were a bit hectic - I was there on a work mission, but I got a flavour of just how bustling, chaotic, and dense the city is.

You do get all sorts of people in Nigeria - some amazing, some terrible. I guess that might add to the charm of it, although I didn't always feel totally safe. I did have a rewarding time there, without really feeling that I was 'desperate' to return in future. One of the highlights was visiting a national park with a friend, where we were basically the only visitors and saw lions from pretty close up. For the sake of the whole continent, virtually, I hope Nigeria can put its massive challenges behind it, and live up to its potential as a country that could lead the continent forwards.