The Naija diaries|| A visit to Oro

 Hey guys, hope you're all well?

 Whilst in Nigeria, I visited my mom's hometown (basically her village but it's more of a town setting) Oro which is in Kwara state; as you know I spent half of my time in Ilorin and this is actually under an hour away from Oro. My grandfather has a mansion there and during the Christmas season all of us (that is, his children and grandchildren) would come together and spend a week or two there.
Even when I moved to the UK, anytime I visited Nigeria on Holiday travelling to Oro was a must in fact it was our main reason for coming back home.
 The house would be brimming full of people and noise as we (the kids) ran around the big house and massive compound, picking fruit from the trees, being mischievous and playing with the cows, lighting up fireworks and other crazy explosives like 'banger' (they used to SCARE me lol, to be honest they still do). My grandfather would throw Christmas parties and a lot of our extended family and family friends would come and there would be so much food and many drinks, music playing etc. You get the gist... it was a lot of fun, you could feel the joy and excitement from everyone as we were all happy to be together. There was never a dull or quiet moment at Baba's house!
  My grandfather died almost five years ago (it will be five years this summer). I still remember the day- I went shopping with my brother and my aunty called me sounding panicked as she asked me where my mum was. I told her I wasn't with her, that I was out and she hurriedly said bye before I could ask what was wrong. I started to sense something was up but then shrugged it off but I noticed that my brother was a bit quiet and wasn't saying much and all of a sudden this thought came into my mind "or is Baba dead?? no, stop thinking like that". I can't explain why I felt like that, maybe it was his spirit passing by or something, so anyway my brother waited till we got off the bus to break the news to me-knowing how emotional I am, he thought it best to tell me when we weren't in public- oh, my heart BROKE and I started sobbing uncontrollably and then coming home to see my mum in tears made it even worse. That was my first experience of losing a loved one and gosh it hurt a lot. My grandfather was honestly such a good man and an incredibly loving father, grandfather and great grandfather! As I write this now, I have tears in my eyes remembering him and his kind and genuine smile. The one thing that still comforts me is knowing that his pain and suffering has ended.
The last time I visited Nigeria (before this trip) was four years ago in December for my grandpa's thanksgiving service- I was unable to attend the actual funeral with my mum in the summer- and the the tomb (which is in front of the house) had not yet been built yet so this was the first time I was seeing it in person and it brought back all the emotion and the realization that he was actually gone set in again. But I'm glad that I was able to visit it and talk to him, I believe he was there with me and with us as we prayed for his soul to continue to rest in peace. Sadly, the usual tradition of the Christmas celebrations didn't happen this time and the silence in the house was kind of eerie. As my brother and I walked around the house, I reminisced on the many good times we had, how our feet used to smack the floors as we ran in the corridors and up and down the stairs, the laughter of aunts and uncles at the crazy antics of their children, the chatter coming from the old women in the kitchen cooking, sitting with my grandad in the living room which had two life size figures of a lion and a tiger (they're both unfortunately bald now) and many other fond memories. So I guess you could say the visit was bittersweet- I was happy to visit because I really missed him but then being there made me miss him even more you know? He was the one that brought everyone together and with him gone, being in the house just isn't the same.

  Regardless of things being and feeling different, I think I will still endeavour to visit whenever I go to Nigeria and thinking into the future by God's grace when I have children of my own, I would like to carry on with the tradition of visiting so that they too like me will be able to create their own memories.
Side note: No matter wherever we are in the world, I think it is incredibly important that we never forget our roots or where we come from, we should celebrate who we are, where we come from, our language etc with pride!

 Oro is a small town where everybody pretty much knows each other and as mentioned before this is my mum's hometown- I know you're technically from where your father is from (mine is from Ekiti) but I guess I identify more as being from Oro because I've been spending time there from a young age. I really like the pictures I took overlooking the town-I think it captures the raw and rural beauty of the town- from where I stood you can see my grandad's house and I can count at least four or five other houses which belong to other family members. That's one thing I like about Oro, everywhere is basically walking distance and you can get to where you're going in like 2 minutes- It's offers a nice break from the craziness that is Lagos!
If you are Nigerian, feel free to comment what your tribe is and what state you're from, it would be quite interesting to know! And to the rest of my followers, let me know where you're and a little about your culture :)
This post was an interesting and emotional one to write but I am happy that I am able to share it with you guys as it is a day I cherish in my heart.

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.
Until next time, take care and God bless xoxo



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