Goodbye, Nigeria...For Now

by Dr. Michael Bitz / Oct 25, 2013 /
Dr. Michael Bitz's picture

My final day in Nigeria was a very good one. The teachers continued the workshop from Wednesday, this time writing comic book manuscripts and creating their actual comic books. It was clear that they were truly understanding the "language" of comics: the balance of art and writing that makes comics what they are. We took lots of pictures after the workshop and then said goodbye to my new friends. They all wished me a safe and peaceful journey. They also asked me to spread the message that Nigeria is a peaceful and welcoming place. That has certainly been my experience.

 

Educators in Nigeria

 

Educators in Nigeria

 

I hope to return to Nigeria to build upon this foundation of support that has been built for the Comic Book Project. I've applied for a Fulbright; I should hear about the status early in 2014. I will also explore additional grants and opportunities that will bring me back here. After all I have to keep up my role as an honorary "naija"!

 

In Nigeria

 

It will be most difficult for me to say goodbye to Professor Obiajulu Emejulu, who was my guide throughout the entire trip. I can't begin to imagine what this trip would have been like without Obi. He had coordinated every little detail. He attended to my every need. He was looking out for me every step of the way. I've never seen anyone work so tirelessly to make things happen--and it's not easy to make things happen in Nigeria. He knew the protocols, the systems, the hierarchies, the ins and outs of doing business in this country. He knew his way around town. And he seemed to know every single person we passed, especially on university campuses. They simply refer to him as "Prof," and they all greeted him with a warm embrace. I know I will see Obi and Nigeria again, but for now it's time to say goodbye.

 

Educators in Nigeria

 

 

 

To follow along on the journey, please see: The Comic Book Project in Nigeria

 

 

Dr. Michael Bitz is the founder of the Comic Book Project (www.comicbookproject.org), where he helps young people write, design, and publish original comic books as a pathway to literacy and creativity. He is currently in Nigeria at the invitation of the Reading Association of Nigeria and the Ford Foundation's Institute of International Education, and will be working with teachers and students in Nsukka and Owerri to help build creative pathways to literacy through the Comic Book Project.
 
 
 
All photos courtesy and copyright Dr. Michael Bitz