Popular comedian, Emmanuel Edunjobi, aka Emma oh my God, shares fond memories of his trip to Dubai, with JOY MARCUS
Where is the most memorable place you have been to?
I travelled to Dubai.
How long were you in Dubai for?
It was a business trip and I was there for four days.
What was the first thing that struck you about Dubai?
Their hotels. Everything in the room where I stayed was controlled with an electronic tab; from turning on the lights to opening the curtains. I was also impressed by their transportation system. The Uber that took me from the hotel I was lodged to the location of my shoot was actually a 2017 Mercedes Benz. This is a car that people in Nigeria are contributing money to buy its second-hand. Meanwhile, the car is being used as a taxi in Dubai.
Is Nigeria similar to Dubai in any way?
I don’t want to create the impression that Nigeria can never get there because it’s achievable. But there is a particular hotel in Abuja that is close to what I saw in Dubai. I have not really travelled wide, but based on the little experience I have, Dubai is way ahead of Nigeria.
What did you find particularly impressive about Dubai?
That will be the technology that I experienced while there. I wasn’t really thrilled because I studied science, so I could understand how they were able to achieve most of what I saw. The attention they pay to details is amazing. The buildings and environment in Dubai are fascinating. I was particularly impressed by how far Dubai has come, considering the fact that many years ago, some of those things seemed impossible.
What interesting places did you visit during your trip to Dubai?
I heard that Dubai is a desert and everything there was built in a desert, so they don’t really have any natural resources. We went to shoot a movie and at some of the places that we went to, I could see that they didn’t have soil but they created the environment for what they wanted to achieve.
How was the weather as of the time you visited?
The weather was hot.
Did you eat any of their local dishes?
No, I did not. I love Nigerian food.
If you could import just one thing to Nigeria from Dubai, what would it be?
That would be their system and mindset, because that is what got them to where they are. It’s not like they have more resources than we do here in Nigeria.
Nigeria should learn the way their system works. We all need to change our mindset; from the government to the man on the street. The way I was attended to at the hotel was very impressive. The hotel attendants are very respectful and the cab drivers were nice to me. The people in Dubai are extremely nice. On the part of the government, they need to work more on our amenities, provide basic things such as electricity and transportation.
What was the reception at the airport like?
They were friendly and very watchful. Once they know that you are a young Nigerian guy, they just want to thoroughly check you at the airport. I don’t know what Nigerians have done to them. When I went there, I actually wore a native attire thinking that when they see me, they would say that I am a responsible person. But they stopped me and checked me thoroughly. But once I was done at the airport, everything became normal again. I think it has to do with what Nigerians in Diaspora get up to and that is why they have doubts about people from this part of the world.
Do they know much about Nigeria?
I can’t really say. Some people know and some people don’t. Most times they have misconceptions about Nigeria. It’s only people that have had direct contact with us that know us well. But there is a general misconception about Nigeria. Some people don’t even know that Nigeria is a country.
How does the entertainment industry in Nigeria compare to what obtains in Dubai?
Every show I attended in Dubai was organised by Nigerians that are there. People see what I do on social media and they invite me.
What’s your dream travel experience?
None. Based on my background, I don’t have that mentality of vacation. It’s just something I am trying to imbibe now. Each time I travel, it is for business and not to relax. It’s not like I am working to kill myself but what will be on my mind is the business I am there for.
What’s the best travel advice you can give?
Don’t go beyond your means. Don’t follow the crowd; only do what you want. I remember the first time I travelled to the United Kingdom. I went on the trip with a senior colleague, Buchi, and I had just started to make waves in the industry. We went shopping and I saw him packing many things, then I started packing my own too without knowing that the items were graded. I wanted to buy joggers and they said it was €45, so because I was paid in dollars, I quickly paid. But now that I am mature and have responsibilities, I won’t just buy just one item for that price. If I have to buy anything, it must be worth it.