Endless traffic, fuel queues, sentences like “gosh, it’s so hot here”, busy restaurants, crowded clubs, long waits at “cash points” + a variety of accents! Yup, you got that right… IJGB’s are here.
IJGB- I Just Got Back is a term used for Nigerians who just got back from outside the country for holiday, job hunting, NYSC or a final move back home.
December in Lagos is peak season for IJGB’s. It’s the busiest and most expensive time in the year. Everywhere is spiced up with a variety of accents. It’s always interesting to watch IJGB’s complain and fight about everything from the terrible customer service and “unbearable” weather to traffic (that they have caused) and rudeness.
Residents of Lagos have a love-hate relationship with IJGB’s. I get excited at how creative Lagos gets in December! These cool events you see happening in Lagos only happen in December. Thanks to the IJBG’s. There are all sorts of interesting pop ups,award ceremonies, stage plays and concerts. We are really spoilt for choice in December.
We also love the fact that we get our favorite “abroad” treats when our IJGB friends and family are in town. Top on my list is the Marks and Spencer all butter cookies from the U.K and underwear from Victoria’s Secret. We all have those items we miss so dearly and December is the time we can get them all in for little or no cost(too many people coming into the country so we don’t have to pay for shipping, lol).
Now to the not so great part. TRAFFIC!!!!! Apart from traffic we are also battling faux “gas” scarcity and it’s quite frustrating. People spending hours unending to get to their destinations and in the process getting robbed. It’s so crazy. Some of us have vowed to jet away from Nigeria every December! I’m on my way out and i can’t wait (edited* at the time of posting, I would have arrived my destination for the Christmas holiday)
While we are busy complaining about traffic, the IJGBs are so excited to be home with friends and family. It’s such a cold (literally) world out there and nothing beats the warmth, comfort and the sense of familiarity home brings.
We caught up with four IJGB’s who are home for the Christmas holidays and they shared 5 things they were looking forward to doing in Nigeria! One thing on their list was family time. Family time is just too precious. Enjoy their answers below:
Name: Fiyin R
I just got back from:Good ol’ London
How long have you been away from Nigeria: 7 years
How often do you visit: Try to come once a year but sometimes ticket prices say NO
Five things you are looking forward to doing in Nigeria: Best part of coming back is that I calculate everything in pounds and the exchange rate is in favour. Look forward to eating out, and just not having to cook. Clubbing, Going to IJGB events, Family time, Being driven around. (When you run after a bus or wait for the train in the blistering cold, you’ll appreciate simple stuff such as this).
Name: Tobi A
I just got back from: Ohio
How long have you been away from Nigeria:I’ve been away for 3 years.
How often do you visit: I haven’t visited since I left 3 years ago.
Five things you are looking forward to doing in Nigeria: Exploring the Lekki Conservation Center, New Afrika Shrine, appreciating the best of African art at the Nike Art Center, beach bumming day at Tarkwa Bay. I’ll also be exploring all the snazzy restaurants that have sprung up in my absence
Name: Dee O
I just got back from: Edinburgh
How long have you been away from Nigeria:In person : 15 years . In spirit not one second
How often do you visit:used to visit every year then took a long break, now I’m back to every year so help me God
Five things you are looking forward to doing in Nigeria: Hanging with family, Reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new ones esp travel community. Eating eating eating eating. Shopping: I came to buy Nigerian made outfits, Ankara, professional wear all of it. I’m here for made in Nigeria 🇳🇬. Really keen to support theatre and see a few shows – fela and queens and adesewa plus I’m a big adekunle gold fan so I expect to be singing and dancing along at his concert ! Catch up on sleep because this year been cray, I’m just tired let someone else cook and let me eat 🤣🤣🤣
I just got back from: Illinois
How long have you been away from Nigeria: a year and half
How often to you visit: once a year!
Five things you are looking forward to doing in Nigeria: Catching up on my favourite foods( amala. pounded yam, efo, egusi, goat meat, snails….you get the gist!). Add suya, asun and Nigerian Shawarma to that list! Relaxing with family. Visiting Badagary.
If I was spending Christmas in Lagos, I’ll surely be looking forward will be spending quality time with family and friends, watching all the stage plays out there (specifically Fela and the Kalakuta Queens), attending food festivals, maybe one concert (bez live for sure) and supporting the Christmas food kitchen by Kinnect.
I asked my husband his top activities and his answers were Wasiu Ayinde live, Ebenezer Obey, hang out with friends to eat expensive dinner. LOL! Clearly married a YORUBA man.
IJGB OR NOT WE’LL LOVE TO READ YOURS. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING IN NIGERIA THIS FESTIVE SEASON?