Fashion

Sunday best: Mainland folklore

When I moved to Lagos, people told me all these different legends about “The Mainland”. You couldn’t go there cos it wasn’t safe, you could get jacked, kidnapped, or some other form of evil. Seriously, it’s ridiculous the tales of the Mainland and the Island. You have to belong to a gang – either you’re a Mainlander or you’re an Islander, but there’s no in between. Growing up, my folks always lived on the Island but my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and family in general lived on the Mainland and we kiddies visited often and every time we were in the country. In fact, when I was moving back, I imagined that I would have all the time in the world to spend with my family and would even get sick of spending time with them. As for all those aunties and uncles that would visit London from time to time? Well, I somehow imagined in my head that I would see them on a near weekly basis. And honestly, those thoughts filled me with a little bit of dread! The reality is that since I have been back I have probably seen everyone who I thought I would see on a near daily basis fewer times than I used to see them when I lived outside the country. Some I just don’t see at all. Part of the reason for that is the legend of the Mainland. I worked myself up so much over driving to the Mainland and made it into such a big deal, bigger than it ever needed to be and completely unnecessarily. I got a wakeup call last week when I went to see my Aunty on her birthday. She’s my godmother and like a second mother to me. I called her “Mum” up until my twenties. And yet, last week was the first time since I think my early teens that I had been to her house in Nigeria. I’ve seen her so many times here in Nigeria and in London, but just not at her home. We had so much fun with her last week and actually getting to her house really wasn’t the top secret classified mission impossible that I imagined in my head. I felt awful when I realised how much more effort I could be making in seeing my nearest and dearest, particularly when I could see just how much joy it brought my aunt to have us there.The horror show that is Nigerian law school has put a complete squeeze on my time at the moment but I am learning to prioritise better and use my time more efficiently. There’s so many places I want to visit and I really need to get past this fear of the Mainland. It’s not completely unfounded but it’s not Mordor either! I will start the attempts to conquer my fears when I head back to my second mom’s again this week, this time for my uncle’s (and her husband) birthday. Let’s see how I do. Wish me luck and have a brilliant week!

Wearing: Top – A.V.E.NG; Jeans and Sandals – Zara

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