I’ve spent almost half of my life outside Nigeria. I moved back in late ‘05 after many years away, and completed my youth service, or as I like to call it, my “year of slavery”, in ‘07.

My life in Nigeria has been a mixed bag. Some of my favorite memories include: running away from the sound of gunshots in Lagos Island while I was covering a political story for a TV station visiting/spending time at a beautiful resort in Osun State, exploring Calabar (I think I may have gained several pounds due to the fabulous food there), winning a Future Award in 2009, filming all over Lagos for a documentary project, expanding my closets with my never-ending stream of “Ankara couture” and so much more.

Nigeria can be complicated. It can be pretty tough, and it definitely can be really scary. It took me a while to figure out that’s not all there is. I still get frustrated about certain things, like the rotten politics, the lack of electricity, & the many things that drag this country down, but then I also remember some of the things I’ve experienced here that I would never have gotten to experience anywhere. This country, and the people in it, helped me make my mark as a journalist, in my own small way. This country provides the soundtrack to my happy days, my sad ones, and all the other days in-between. Most of all, this country has wonderful people who are pushing hard to make positive changes in the status quo. I support that, and I want to be part of that. The way I see it, if we all chip in to make a change, it’ll happen sooner than later.

My name is Lamide Akintobi, and this is my Nigerian Story.