When I would leave Nigeria in 2012 to search for a vision for the rest of my life, my thoughts were geared towards going to Ghana for a soul-search and coming back home to Nigeria. However yesterday with 6 days left to stay in Ghana, I would leave Ghana and head to Kenya.
Why? Well I got a once in a lifetime opportunity to get funding for a start-up that I was with in Ghana. So I headed out. Hard to think that I was packing up to go home.
In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins states that the trouble with leaving home is that you can be swept off down the road far from where you started from. That is what happened to this Nigerian.
The trip would start off with the decision to go. Here I was about to go home after 14 months away and I could get a chance to get VC Funding in Kenya. That is like asking a devout muslim if he wanted to go to Mecca. So I said yes.
I would be traveling with a member of the team Kojo Ayirebi who would be handling the financials on this operation. My job would be to go in as a programmer.
We would have to get our yellow fever vaccinations ahead of the trip. From then on, all hell would be let loose. We would have like 5 days to leave Ghana. Buying the tickets was a breeze because they were bought online but the other preparations of traveling at short notices like the saying of goodbyes to friends weren’t.
Our trip from to Kenya would involve stops at Lagos, Nigeria and Kigali, Rwanda. We got to Lagos on time to pick up more Nigerians for the trip and I was happy to hear Yoruba once again. When the plane landed at Kigali, you could hear the Yorubas enter church mode. I have forgotten how much Nigerians love God.
Getting into the Nairobi was easy getting out of the airport wasn’t. All West Africans entering Kenya must apply for a visa. For Ghanaians it is free but for Nigerians (The Kings of Africa), it is not. You have to pay a fee of $50 and you better hold cash because the immigration officials will detain you until you come up with the money.
Being from Ghana, we assumed that since this was the almighty Kenya, getting an ATM at the airport would be easy. Wrong move! Since the fire at the Kenyan Airport, all the bank ATMs no longer work. So here I was stuck in a foreign country for 2 hours until we could come up with the payment. Lesson Learned :- Nigerians are the kings of Africa and it doesn’t help a king not to bring tribute when he is traveling to the house of another king. Kenyans are the Kings of East Africa. If you are a Nigerian and you think that way, you will never have a problem.
With the immigration issue out of the way, Kojo and I get a taxi that had been waiting for us since we arrived and he took us to our apartment from where I am writing this. We met our caretaker and thankfully there is food to eat.
A note about the weather before I leave. KENYA IS COLD. LIKE REALLY COLD. Even now with no air conditioning, I am freezing. My hands are chilled. We didn’t bring sufficient clothing so later today, we need to get clothes as well as know where the iHub is.
This is Truston Ailende. I am a member of the Zished Team and this is my 1st day in Kenya.