Suncolor's Blog

Eye teased in Lagos

Posted on: November 21, 2011


story by john otim

Oh it was a night

Early last year I returned home to Uganda after years of teaching on a Nigerian campus. To my surprise I found that Nollyhood, the Nigerian equivalent of Hollywood, had taken over the local video scene. It was generating a lot of interest in all things Nigerian especially the Nigerian woman. Friends would stop me on the streets and ask. Are Nigerian girls that cute? How would you compare to East African women. Are they that sexy?

I told the story of my encounter in Lagos years ago. When at the arrival hall a uniformed official confronted me. It was my first time in Nigeria. Nothing hostile mind you, Nigerians are a warm and friendly people. Anyhow the official demanded my passport, whereupon I surrendered.

You are a teacher? She asked, as she scanned through my details.

Yes! I nodded. Whereupon she looked me in the face, straight and direct in the eyes as only a Nigerian can. She said or rather commanded.

Teacher! Teach me!

I was nearly put of balance but I considered the prospects. And for the first time I saw beyond the uniform. She smiled. I smiled. We exchanged personal information. And I thought no more of it. Weeks later at my new quarters at the Ahmadu Bello University up in northern Nigeria during the cold months of the harmattan far from steamy Lagos on the coast there was a gentle knock on my door one evening.

And there she was: my uniformed interlocutor at the arrival hall, adorned in national costumes, totally transformed, a more beautiful woman I never saw. The words returned to me. Teacher! Teach me!

John Otim
Kampala Nov 2011

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