Guest blogger from Nigeria

The premise behind TLC middle school is that students are capable.

Given that premise, it is my pleasure to introduce a very capable young blogger named Karina. She will be teaching readers of this blog about Nigeria this summer — please share your comments/questions below and we will work out a way for Karina to respond.

My name is Karina. I am eleven years old and I am home-schooled. I am from Durham NC.  I have been living in Ile-Ife, Nigeria for three years and I will be blogging about my time in Ife this summer.

Here is a map from World Atlas, showing where Nigeria is located:

nigeria map

Ife is in the south west of Nigeria:


We constantly travel to Lagos, Ibadan and also Osogbo, each circled in red on the map below (the spelling from Google Earth is not typical).

nigeria context

All of these places are in the southwest.  I have also been to Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria, and Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital in central Nigeria.  Ife is about 225 miles from Abuja.

nigeria map2

We have not gone to the north because fighting is happening there right now because of Boko Haram.*

I am an avid reader and I like to write. I also love science and math (especially graph reading, logical reasoning, and subtraction).  I want to be a documentary film maker, a fashion designer, and a scientist when I grow up. This is my first time blogging and I am very excited to be answering questions from people in NC and the rest of the world. 

Nigeria is a very diverse place in some ways. For example, in Lagos there are arcades, nice hotels, and some restaurants like we have at home in the US.  In Ife, we have traditional markets such as the one pictured on the right below: 


In small towns like Ife and large cities like Lagos there are both grocery stores and markets. But, more people shop at traditional markets in Ife. Markets are usually outdoors and very crowded. In the markets they sell almost everything from fans to baby clothes.  The only problem is that most of the foreign goods sold in the markets, such as toys and glue, usually break in less than a week (if they even work). But the local fruits and vegetables sold in the market are delicious.

Next time, I will talk about what it is like being an American kid in Nigeria. (More pictures are coming when I get my camera from my grandma in my next care package from the US). Over and out!

* Note from Steve:

For those not familiar with Boko Haram, here’s one definition from the US Institute of Peace

Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes politics in northern Nigeria has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law.


About Steve Goldberg

I teach students at Research Triangle High School (RTHS) about US History. RTHS is a public charter school in Durham, NC, whose mission is to incubate, prove and scale innovative models of teaching and learning. The blog posts here reflect my own personal views and not those of my employer.
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10 Responses to Guest blogger from Nigeria

  1. winema jackson says:

    Dear Karina,
    Thanks for this information about your experiences in Nigeria. I’m really looking forward to your next post and your pictures!! Love, Aunt A.

  2. Dear K. Jacquelyn,

    Grandma is proud of you. I enjoyed your post and could relate to the stories from my visit with you in 2010. Well, your camera is ready to be shipped. We look forward to seeing what you send in the next blog. Luv ya, Grandma

    Grandpa sends his love, too!!

  3. Dear Karina,
    it was great reading this first post of yours!
    I am really looking forward to reading your blog! Take care!

  4. K Heyward-Rotimi says:

    Hey big girl. Congratulations on getting your first blog posted. We are really proud of you. Love Momy and Dady.

  5. Tori P says:

    Hello Karina!
    I think it’s really cool that you’ll be blogging about your experience in Nigeria this summer. Great job on getting started with your first post! Is your family originally from Nigeria? Or are did you move there for a different reason? What’s your favourite thing about living in Ile-Ife, or your least favourite, or even just something quirky about it? My friend’s family is all from Tanzania, and when she visits her family in the summer she always comes back with some funny stories — she has one funny story about getting attacked by chickens and how they ran her into the house.

    I’ll enjoy hearing more about your experience 🙂

    -Tori, from Cary, NC

  6. K Heyward-Rotimi says:

    Hi Tori,
    My Dad is Nigerian-American. We moved to Nigeria because my dad wanted to help out the community by making jobs for them. My dad is in business and my mom is an anthropologist studying Nigerian cybercrime.
    And, about chickens. I have taken care of four chicks, two baby goats, and an antelope since I moved to Nigeria. Also, I helped rescue a baby dove (my dad thought it was a dove, we don’t know for sure).
    Thanks for the comment,

  7. Steve Goldberg says:

    This is a comment/question from my son, who is almost 6 years old:

    “What are the local fruits and vegetables in Ile-Ife?”

    • K Heyward-Rotimi says:

      The local fruits are mangoes, pineapples,coconuts, paw-paw (papaya) and cashews. The vegetables are waterleaf ( a green vegetable that has a lot of water content) Ugu ( a dark green vegetable similar to kale) and Tete (similar to spinach).

      Steve please tell your son thanks for the question.


  8. Sam R says:

    Hi Karina!
    I was wondering what the common language is in Nigeria? Do most people understand English? Thanks for the great blog post!

    – Sam, from Raleigh NC

  9. K Heyward-Rotimi says:

    Hi Sam,
    The national language in Nigeria is English. Nigeria was colonized by the British, but there are over 250 ancient languages of Nigeria though the dominant languages are Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa. Also, Pidgin English is one of the most widely spoken languages in Nigeria. I will explain Pidgin English in a later post.

    Thanks for the comment

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