Night life at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos

Welcome to the city that never sleeps. No wonder they say the life of the Lagosian is on the road!

This is Ọjà Alẹ́ (Night Market) and it is 10pm at Iyana Ipaja Bus Stop in Lagos State. I am here for fresh Ofio (tigernuts) and dates from Mallam Musa.

Iyana Ipaja in Yorùbá language means ‘the junction to Ipaja road’. Iyana Ipaja is a settlement community and also doubles as one of the busiest commercial hubs on Lagos mainland.

Tribute to Meruschka Govender, Our Mzansi Girl

Mzansi Girl, Meruschka Govender

A year or two ago, my husband introduced me to a blog by Meruschka Govender – a travel activist, experience seeker, and tourism thinker. Meruschka started her travel blog, Mzansi Girl, in July 2012.

On the 27th of August 2019, Meruschka posted her final blog post ‘Where are South Africans flying to?‘.

Today, I was deeply saddened to read that Meruschka Govender passed away in mid-January 2019. Bizcommunity and Traveller24 reported that Durban-born, Meruschka Govender (38) passed away after a private battle with cancer. My sincere condolences to the Govender family. Meruschka might have passed away but she touched many lives and left many memories.

Tribute to Meruschka Govender

I hope that this tribute to my husband and I’s favourite girl in Mzansi will help to spread her memories wider. Meruschka was well-known to the travel industry and happily shared her love of travelling with South Africa on her blog and social media platforms.

Here are some interesting things about our Mzansi Girl.

  1. Meruschka’s first independent African travel experience was backpacking from Joburg to Malawi via Mozambique in 2003.
  2. She started blogging as a ‘micro-blogger’ via Twitter during the 2010 World Cup. She used Twitter (@MzansiGirl) to share her love for Africa with the world.
  3. She was born in Durban and travelled to 40+ countries but Johannesburg/ Joburg was her first love.
  4. 16 months after starting her blog, Meruschka Govender resigned from her day job to focus on sharing the African travel love.
  5. Prior to starting the Mzansi Girl Blog, she spent 8 years working in the tourism industry. She ran a backpacker hostel, to working for South Africa’s only tourism NGO and eventually working in tourism policy in national government.

Rest In Peace to Meruschka Govender, our favourite girl in mzansi. Thank you for filling our lives with your remarkable experiences and memories.

Read related articles about travel

Image Credit: Image Credit: Meruschka Govender (Mzansi Girl)

Nigerians in South Africa: Globetrotters, Pros & Wanderers [Opinion]

Why are Nigerians flocking to South Africa? What are they doing here? And what are their plans?

To answer these questions, we first need to differentiate between three types of Nigerians living in South Africa. It is important to note that the main differentiating factor between the three is their ‘intention for relocating to South Africa’. Based on this, we have formulated three categories of Nigerians living in South Africa, namely; Globetrotters, Pros and Wanderers.

1. The Globetrotters – Widely travelled Nigerians

The Globetrotters are Nigerians in South Africa who have travelled and/or lived in developed countries such as the USA and UK.

This category of Nigerians see South Africa as a rebound or Plan B. Having lived in a developed country, they have become accustomed to the comfort and convenience that comes with living in a developed country. As a result, they do not see themselves being able to cope with the harsh living conditions in Nigeria. Having had an uninterrupted supply of water and electricity, they can no longer tolerate not having either one of these regardless of how much they love their country. They see South Africa as the best of both Africa and the Western world. With its world class infrastructure and relatively stable governance, South Africa is perfect for this category of Nigerians.Passport and bags packed

2. The Pros – Highly skilled Nigerian professionals

The Pros usually relocate to South Africa in pursuit of personal and career growth. These individuals are typically self motivated and have a solid plan for achieving success in their chosen career.

This category consists of highly skilled professionals such as doctors, project managers, academics, and masters/ doctoral students.
As sought after professionals in their respective fields, they are good at their jobs and are in South Africa to advance their careers. Their goal for relocating to South Africa is to make a better living for themselves and their families. These talented Nigerian professionals love the African continent and are proud to be part of a thriving African country. They enjoy the orderliness and opportunities that South Africa presents to professionals. Their long term plans are to stay permanently in South Africa and make a name for themselves while also developing the country and its people.

Nigerian doctors in South Africa

3. Wanderers – Nigerians who drift from one African country to another with the aim of settling in a developed country.

Wanderers see South Africa as a gateway/transit point to travel to a developed country.

This third category of Nigerians have no desire to officially settle in South Africa. They have their heart set on bigger and better countries and have applied to or tried to obtain visas from the likes of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Wanderers spend months or even years accumulating just enough funds to leave South Africa for ‘greener pastures’. They usually have no set career and are self-employed e.g. hairdressers/ barbers and small shop owner.

Wandering nigerians

What do you think of our three categories of Nigerians in South Africa? Do you agree or disagree with our opinion piece? Please leave your comment below and see what happens.

Lagos to Jozi is also on YouTube

Related article: Audio: 3 questions for Nigerians coming to South Africa [Listen]