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My collection of title-less stories about Nigeria (1)

Right from the second her plane touched down at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Sola began to understand and match what she had heard to what she was now seeing. Matching, however, was proving far more difficult than expected. The tarmac wasn’t looking very ‘tarmacy’ not as it had at JFK, not even as it had at the airport in Accra where the plane had stopped for an engine refill. The airport building looked forlorn. Sola admitted to herself that she was being very unfair in her judgement. She had, after all, lived in the relatively developed United States of America for the last nineteen years of her nineteen years. She alighted the aircraft and walked towards the airport building. The loud ‘thug-chug-thug’ of the by and large defunct conveyor belt hit her ears almost as soon as she stepped in. Some hefty uniformed men were operating the now semi-manual machine. Ignoring this, she took her place in the very long and very turtle-paced line moving towards the immigration desk. She now noticed the lack of effective ventilation in the room.  After what seemed like eternity, a now sweaty Sola reached the counter. A robust middle-aged woman, glanced at her once, twice and almost robotically stretched out her arm for her passport. Surprised at the alarming rudeness of the passport-lady, Sola hesitated a bit before noisily reaching into her Louboutin carry-on, fishing out her passport and shoving it at the woman who was by now staring her new-found adversary down. The woman picked up the blue book and flipped through it front to back, back to front, front to back again, as if to find a fault. When she had gotten tired of page-turning, she looked up dryly at Sola and chewing absent-mindedly on a piece of gum asked, ‘Where d visa?’. A very irritated Sola grabbed the passport, turned to the first page and held it directly in front of the woman’s eyes. A smirk slowly appeared on the woman’s face. ‘Welcome to Nigeria’ she laughed as she dramatically stamped the passport. With a half-hiss half-sigh, Sola picked up her bag and her passport and walked out of the airport building.

About Chidumaga Orji

Core Afro-modernist.


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