Have a kinky addiction to self-flagellation? Visit Nigeria.

I have been so far unsuccessful in luring Tyler Cowan to Liberia. He did, however, express cautious interest in Nigeria. But is it safe? Certainly, I said, far more so than Joburg or Nairobi or (for that matter) New Haven. Just stay away from the Delta.

In a Guardian article, Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe still urges caution:

Being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting. I have said somewhere that in my next reincarnation I want to be a Nigerian again; but I have also, in a rather angry book called The Trouble with Nigeria, dismissed Nigerian travel advertisements with the suggestion that only a tourist with a kinky addiction to self-flagellation would pick Nigeria for a holiday. And I mean both.

Another choice quote:

Our 1960 national anthem, given to us as a parting gift by a British housewife in England, had called Nigeria “our sovereign motherland”. The current anthem, put together by a committee of Nigerian intellectuals and actually worse than the first one, invokes the father image. But it has occurred to me that Nigeria is neither my mother nor my father. Nigeria is a child. Gifted, enormously talented, prodigiously endowed and incredibly wayward.

Hat tip to Loomnie.

And Tyler, there’s always Monrovia…

3 thoughts on “Have a kinky addiction to self-flagellation? Visit Nigeria.

  1. Soon they are starting a direct flight, Dulles to Lagos…I really don’t like switching in Europe.

  2. Nigeria is… just dont go there for the food. Though I must say that my 3 months made me look more slim and handsome :)

    One day (maybe after my studies?) I’ll go back to Nigeria. But it’s primarily because of the personal relations.

    And maybe to figure out what it is, with that country. I was in Jos for only 3 months in 2006, and that was certainly not enough time to understand the country. It was enough to make me start blabbing like a self-proclaimed expert every time there are news about Nigeria, but I’m pretty sure that I make more sense than the average danish journalist.

    I was in the country during the violent clashes following the cartoon-crisis. Not a particular fun place to be as a Dane. One of the churces I attended burned down again just a couple of days ago. I say “again” because it also burned down in 2008.

    But Nigeria is a giant country. Just go to one of the more relaxed areas.

  3. I encourage Tyler Cowen, and you, Chris, to visit Nigeria. Achebe was having an especially grumpy moment when he wrote that book. Actually, I don’t think I have seen many tourism adverts for Nigeria.

    You will enjoy the visit, as long as you don’t get too involved with the exapt bubble, which is especially huge and thick in Lagos and Abuja. I would gladly recommend who to see and who to talk to…

    Nigeria is not a tourist destination, but it is not as dangerous for foreigners (especially for those who look like foreigners) as you might imagine…. that is if you don’t get to the Delta.