Facing My Ebola Fear

On July 23, gravely ill Liberian-American diplomat Patrick Sawyer flew into Murtala Mohammed Airport. He died at a Lagos hospital four days later, after exposing scores of airline passengers and medical personnel to the Ebola virus. Ebola had arrived in Nigeria. It has since spread to other…

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Is Kidnapping Ever Justified?

My friend forwarded me the security advisory, which began, “There have been three kidnap incidents in Ikoyi in the last five days.” I read this while sipping my morning coffee, a knot hardening in my chest. My husband and I moved to Nigeria with our three young…

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Saying Yes

Most of my life, I haven’t said YES. I’ve said NO. I didn’t want to learn the tango. I didn’t want to try Mongolian food. During the break-up my boyfriend and I had post-college, I refused to be set up on a blind date with a man…

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Choosing Happiness

Twenty years ago—when I was a college freshman—I fell in love with a dreadlocked Nigerian boy. This boy, whose name was John, loved me back. He told me about his idyllic childhood in Lagos and swore that one day he would return there to raise his family….

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Thoughts on Hair, Beauty, and Race

Nigeria is the Promised Land I’m an Indian woman, and you know what? I have BEAUTIFUL HAIR. It’s shiny and lustrous. I have the kind of hair you see in hair commercials. I married a Nigerian man. When I met him, he had dreadlocks. Now he shaves…

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