My Nigeria showcases friends of Nigeria who have either been to the country or have an interest in Nigeria. It is an avenue for them to tell the world their thoughts about Nigeria and her people.
The 10th edition of my Nigeria features Gerwine Bayo-Martins. Enjoy!
CTN: Please introduce yourself to our readers
First of all, I thank you very much for giving me the honour to feature in the magazine. I am not a tourism expert but used to travelling and ready to go anywhere. I am connected with Nigeria and Nigerian culture, languages and people through my long marriage to my late husband Bayo Martins.
Forever I will see Nigeria and Nigerians as part of my life. I used to live in Lagos for over ten years where I used to work for a German airline. Now I teach at a Secondary School, I paint, I write stories and I have published a novel. I am from Hamburg, Germany and live near Frankfurt now.
CTN: What do you think about Nigeria and would you advise anyone to visit the country?
Nigeria is a country with so many diversities and different faces. It offers so much; over 250 different ethnic groups and languages. It is so wide, so huge, so overwhelming in all her facets. In Nigeria you learn from people all the time, about ancestry, religion, practical daily life advice, the art of improvisation.
I have been privileged to pass through ten Nigerian states, some I stayed for a few nights, others a few weeks. For me, all the people I have met have been nice and lovely to me.
This is no flattering. In my ten years stay I have not experienced any harm to me or my family like robbery or such. In my travels I have had no accident, I consider myself so protected always, I am deeply grateful for this experience.
I will advise people who have a genuine interest in a country with a difference to visit Nigeria. Those who can appreciate a totally different culture. Even with my statement above – it does not mean, that travelling by road in Nigeria is easy. Some roads are bad with deep holes, one has to drive so slow, often for hours.
Most of my travels were with private cars. But I once insisted to travel with one big public bus transport with my husband from Lagos to Calabar. It was something I had never experienced before but it was a really good experience.
CTN: What do you think about CometoNigeria magazine and the website?
The project is very good, it needs support. The magazine looks beautiful, glossy, but when in Nigeria things are not always so glossy…if you permit me to say this and there needs to be an introduction of certain standards, like I mentioned above.
CTN: What do I miss about Nigeria?
First of all my dear friends there who always welcome me any time I need to go. I miss the easygoing way of accepting life with its challenges, the laughter, the “don’t mind them”…. Of course, the sunshine, the wonderful beauties of nature, the gigantic trees, the lovely flowers, the rocks…all I miss.
I miss the tremendous energy that emanates everywhere in Nigeria. People work, they are on the way forward inspite of great obstacles, there is movement, the challenge of everyday life is so great, transition is on the way and showing everywhere.
I miss the akara and moyin-moyin, my favourite foods, and other foods too. But here in Frankfurt I can get it when I need to taste it at Nollywood Restaurant and I cook stew for myself and eat eba when I need to. I miss the stepping out from the plane at Murtala Muhammed airport and feeling the humidity.
At the passport control the officers smile at me and greet me with “E kabo, Madam” when they see my passport. They say “Ah, you are our wife” and we laugh and joke.
Nowhere else I get this kind of feeling! And the laughter… the laughter that usually ends even the most serious situation or topic… it’s there and that I miss always…
Read more of Gerwine Bayo-Martins’s interview inside new (10th) edition of CometoNigeria Magazine
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