By Ikechukwu Odu
The Chairman, Creative and Performing Arts, Morehouse College Glee Club, in the United States of America, Uzee Brown, yesterday, bemoaned the chaotic nature of road traffic in Nigeria.
Mr. Brown who is currently touring Abuja, Enugu and Lagos States with students and faculty members of the Morehouse College as part of the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the first visit of the Club to Nigeria, said that the road traffic situation has remained as chaotic as it was in 1972.
He however, appreciated the hospitable nature of Nigerian people, adding that the unique culture of Nigerian people have permeated different countries of the world.
“The strangeness of the road traffic remains the same in Nigeria. The year that I was here was the year that your country began to drive right, because they have driven left previously. It was a very strange time in terms of mobility on the highways.
“I look at it now and it is still a kind of chaotic, not much better than it was then, ” he said.
While talking about the uniqueness of Nigerian people and culture, he said “I remember when our bus broke down in one of the local villages in Ibadan. I can never forget the warmth of the people who came out and greeted us. They brought us things to drink, they welcomed us to their foods and even took us home and gave us Coca-Cola.
“We took the moment when our bus broke down as a period for celebration. We danced, laughed and talked together. It was such a tremendous fellowship.
“In America, everything is politically polarized and it is still extremely difficult for people of colour, but here, even though you have your challenges, the fact that you have leadership that are blacks represents a kind of optimism that is reflective of the history of this country in terms of your creative adaptability to new circumstances. It has impacted so much on the Americans.
“I went to Brazil last year and one of the striking things I observed was that Brazilian culture has been so permeated by Nigerian culture; the food, religion, lifestyle, and the music.
“I am here symbolically because it represents a return of Morehouse College Glee Club to Nigeria more than 50 years ago. It gives me chance to connect with some of the experiences that have an impact on my entire life which are the music, the warmth of the people, the culture. So many things are memorable and I find them as impactful and meaningful as they were 50 years ago, ” he said.