It’s been a while I ventured outside the shores of Nigeria, and trust me, it is not like I do that all the time anyway. However, a visit to Ghana, the land of Nkrumah, the land of Kente, and that special Ghanaian jollof rice…the land of the black stars was one that I was not going to let pass me by.
Several weeks, after what I would best describe as a rewarding back and forth with one of the most wonderful woman I have met, in the person of Elisa, we were right the at the eve of this particular trip.
How would you know that I am Nigerian; delayed flights, rowdy, dirty, but really exciting Lagos, and barely an hour we set foot on Ghanaian soil. Tired, worn out, but very alive to what I hoped would be two exciting days, yes, two exciting days talking Religion and Spirituality in Africa.
Day 1…Do adults still dream, I guess that was the question on my mind, as I stood in front of what was called the Kwame Nkrumah Building which housed the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana. And talking about that dream, here I was reminiscing of the story my uncle told me of this great African icon:; was I just reminiscing, or really, I was on the same grounds he walked, structures he built, environment that all bore his signature.
So, talking Religion and Spirituality from the African perspective, and with the lenscope of Journalists and academics, I was here to learn, to share, but really it was going to be a BIG learning curve…so whether it was little me talking about Religious Dialogue and the Inter-Faith synergy, or I was listening to Yazeed, share his South African experience, or paying rapt attention as Moh’d take us through the Ethiopian narrative. I was learning!
And all through we cascaded Liberia, Algeria, with Larbi, Blessing scared us with the Boko Haram narrative, and the Cameroonian end of it was explored…
And finally we were going to Oxford, I mean Oxford in Ghana, not in the UK, and I dare say it was the sum reflection of the two beautiful days, one filled with so much expectations regarding humans, and one ending with gladly hard learned lessons from my dear friend ‘Situation’ (And I am sure she is smiling reading this), and wow…Yazeed’s gospel of (zero expectations). And who would want to be crucified for leaving out, the happy-go-lucky chimney from Sudan, our lovely Liberian Pastor, who acted as assistant to the one we referred to as MOG from Cameroon.
What’s that axiom about saving the last for the best, in this case, everything was the best. The damsel with the beautiful Italian face…Elisa, you missed #Oxford. If humility were a medal, my big brother from Ethiopia the Ambassador would get one.
I purposely left out those dudes, that were bent on rendering my purse fallow because I wanted some sweet Ghanaian souvenirs. Ghana was not just beautiful; it was organized, very organized, save for the Africa-timed meal we ate at the africoco…toothpicks before meal. One in which I was flaring like gas from the oil wells in the Nigeria Delta basin. But I sure danced my butt off…saying good by Ghana, having indulged myself to some wonderful learning experience that sure would make me better at the job I do, was with a heavy heart, but remember they say home is where the same heart is…I would see you soon Ghana, and to the entire IARJ team, you are the best!
By Odinga Adiwu