Notes on Nigeria

I have made various edits based on feedback – fact checking, typos (which I’ll never entirely be without), and I added  few minor lines.

I spent 12 days in Nigeria, and saw the cities of Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, and Abeokuta. Even compared to my other travel writing, I have barely scratched the surface of Nigeria, but these are my notes on what I saw and various historical rabbit holes I went down.

My first big secondary source is Martin Meredith’s The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence, which gives a phenomenal overview of a huge topic with exactly the right amount of summary and detail.

My other big secondary source is Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa by Paul Kenyon which is narrower in scope, but somehow even better at storytelling history.

I also want to give a special thanks to the people who hosted me in Lagos and the person who connected me to them. The trip wouldn’t have been possible without them.

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Shadow of the Sun

Travel book review: The Shadow of the Sun, by Ryszard Kapuscinski | Travel | The Sunday Times

Sometimes I want to abandon any pretense of a normal life and live like a drifter. I could drop the burden of ordinary work, friends, relationships, property, and just go to unusual places, see unusual things, and exist on the margins of civilization where society doesn’t really make sense, but is never boring. I’d have to give up on safety, stability, and the traditional building blocks of happiness (family, structure, etc.), but I’d gain adventure, ruggedness, and assuredness born from being solely responsible for my safety. I’d live by my own rules.

In other words, sometimes I wish I could live like Ryszard Kapuscinski.

Fact and fiction | Financial Times

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