Despite Its Dangers Experts Say Football Is Safer Than Ever The True Nigeria You Never See

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The True Nigeria You Never See

Countless media sources highlight the bad, immoral and ugly Nigeria, leaving the good behind. Now as a Nigerian living in the West, I know to take everything I see in the news about my country with a grain of salt. I turn on the news and almost every headline I read about Nigeria is “Nigeria in crisis”, “Hundreds killed in Nigeria”, “Terrorists in Nigeria” and a long list of ugly and depressing headlines. However, the media does not celebrate people who work to turn the country around; People who believe in their home and are ready to glorify it no matter how long it takes.

Nigeria as a country is far from its negative portrayals and you have to believe it before reading this. Although, I cannot deny it to some extent, Nigeria is not really one of the safest places to live. In fact, why would I leave my home and move to the West if it is so safe, beautiful and generally positive? The truth is, like all other countries (but mostly developing countries), the people are fed up with their corrupt leaders and have decided to take matters into their own hands. People have opted out of moral social norms of survival, and have started doing anything and everything to survive, including crime…corruption, disregard for human rights, child labor and more. So, I cannot sit here and deny the fact that Nigeria is indeed a land where many crimes and inhuman acts take place. But it is home; home for me; Home to many others born into that system of living; A home for people who have no choice but to live a broken lifestyle; A home for people who have no choice but to live.

So even as I sit in my plush chairs, and type freely and safely on my laptop in public, with no fear for my general safety, while sipping a pretentious but delicious drink from the Starbucks on the outskirts of the West, I can’t help but yearn for my home. . to the east. I long for my family, and hope that one day Nigeria will truly be a safe haven for all those who have left. While exploring my country, I came across the incredible work of Devesh Uba (also known as Snap It Oga). His name has spread all over social media in the past year. From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr he is everywhere and especially because of the nature of his photographs.

In 2013, Uba, a street photographer from India, ignored many of the negative labels that the propaganda media loved to associate with Nigeria, especially its commercial capital city, Lagos. The city is widely recognized as the second fastest growing city in Africa and is undoubtedly rich in diversity, culture, vibrancy, tourism, as well as population. Uba marched from his hometown in India to the vibrant city life of Lagos – unfazed by all the negative information he had previously heard about the country – traveling to the city on his own to work and live for a year.

“Before moving here, I spent a lot of time researching Lagos and Nigeria, only to be disappointed when I couldn’t find any positive stories or pictures. However, when I finally arrived and started spending more time around the city, I realized there were so many positive things about the culture. are conveniently ignored by most of the media. There is art almost everywhere… on Danfoss, on the streets, on shop notice boards, school walls etc. Smiles. The colors of the bazaars are so vibrant and the ‘never say die’ spirit of the people here is so inspiring. The food, The Nigerian love for football and music is simply infectious”, Uba revealed about his immediate perception of the city life in Lagos in a feature interview for the blog and social media hub Spirited Pursuit (SP) for travel photographers.

With a total wonder of how individual Nigerians look different, Uba launched his widely known brand called Snap It Oga. However, he also says in his SP interview that the name was not his idea but, “The first few people I photographed in Lagos were like ‘Snap it, Oga!’ When I was looking at them through the viewfinder of my camera; the name just stuck, so I just ran with it”, he explains. And for many Nigerians reading this, we can all agree that Snap It Oga is indeed incredibly Nigerian and an invitation to his people’s way, as ‘Snap’ means ‘take a photo’ and ‘Oga’ is usually a foreigner or something considered superior in Nigeria. Any name.

Aside from Lagos State, Uba has traveled almost everywhere in Nigeria from east to west, and his reactions to the disparity between the people he meets and the people he hears about in the media seem to grow in the vastness he spends every day on the streets capturing. Photographs This difference in the images of people living in the country inspired Uba to launch Snap It Oga, a blog space where he catalogs all the photographs he captures and shares them on his various social media accounts and to his followers, without any media filter.

In my opinion, Uba has the right formula. Experiencing Nigeria and its people should be subjective, real and non-judgmental. I am not saying that there is no truth in the Nigeria you see in the media, I am just saying that like every country, Nigeria is made up of people and it is the people that define the country. It is unfortunate that we have allowed our perception of Nigeria to be shaped by a select few bad people, while ignoring the vast majority of great and genuinely kind Nigerians. Uba also echoes this, as he says in his SP feature, “One of my worst memories as a photographer in Lagos was when I went to capture street art on the streets of Ajegunle. The roads were very bad, so our car came. Stuck on a bump. Nowhere.” The ‘area boys’ surrounded us and started smashing the car windows in a frenzy. Somehow my driver calmed them down by telling them that his brother lives on the same street and runs a salon in the local market.. After all the commotion we got some help from some kind people who stopped by. Still I lied. Can’t speak; it was the most uncomfortable 20-25 minutes of my life. Despite this negative experience, I got through it. There are so many great and positive experiences in Lagos that make up for the bad.”

So even if danger is what comes to mind when you hear or think about Nigeria, don’t let that stop you from visiting one of Africa’s most culturally diverse and successful nations. Nigeria is made up of deeply rooted traditional and culturally rich elements that will shock and excite every curious and intrepid explorer who has the opportunity to visit its land. From beautiful clear blue waters, incredible ranches, incredible game reserves, warm springs, majestic waterfalls, rich African history museums and more, Nigeria has it all. So, do yourself a favor, turn off the television, plan a trip to Nigeria against all odds like Uba and explore like never before.

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