Popularly known as Atorise, Lanre Teriba, shares his exciting experience in the United States of America with OLUSHOLA RICKETTS
Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?
I have visited many beautiful places since I started my music career. Music has given me the opportunity to experience the world and meet different people, and I thank God for that.
However, the most interesting place I’ve ever visited that comes to mind as we speak is the United States of America. I have visited different states in America, either for work or pleasure. It is like an extended home for me as I have a lot of friends over there as well.
Do you always travel alone or with your band?
Like I said earlier, I visit for work or pleasure. When it is a work-related trip, I go with my band. But once I go there for vacation or pleasure, I don’t necessarily go with my band members. You know these are two different things. If I travel with my band, it means I will spend more money from my pocket even though we travel for a purpose.
What was the first thing that caught your eye when you first visited America?
That will be the country’s diversity. America can be said to be a country that is like a world. You will see different people from different races but doing things together.
In America, you forget that you are white or black. People from different parts of the world live in America; no wonder they call it, ‘God’s own country.’
Which interesting place have you visited in the US?
America has many exciting places and I have visited many of these places, especially during my tour of 22 states in 2008. But I specifically remember visiting Chinatown in New York and New England. Also, I had a nice time when I visited Hollywood and Miami Beach in Florida. As a matter of fact, it is always interesting whenever I visit America and it is something I always look forward to.
Does the country share any similarities with Nigeria?
Yes, to a very large extent. Nigeria, like America, is a diverse country. In Nigeria, people from different places cohabit. This also explains why Indians and the Chinese can do business comfortable in our country.
When it comes to economic development, Nigeria still has a lot of work to do to catch up with America. I believe we will get there someday, however. But regardless of the challenges we face in Nigeria, it is a great country and I cannot choose any country above it.
Do you always eat American food or Nigerian food whenever you visit?
Yes, I eat their local food, but you know they don’t like pepper over there. Nigerians are used to pepper and we prepare our food in certain ways. Also, they don’t have ‘amala,’ which is one of the favourite delicacies of most Yoruba men.
So, I still prefer our local delicacies anytime and you can get them in America if you know the right places to go. There is no food like the Nigerian food. I will choose eba and ogbono over a Big Mac meal anytime.
How would you describe the hospitality in America?
Without sounding unpatriotic, when it comes to hospitality, we are still behind. There is actually no basis for comparison; Americans have better customer service. If you are admitted into the hospital, the attention you get makes you feel like a king or queen.
Nowadays, most men want their wives to be delivered of their babies in America because they know they will get good medical care and they have a sophisticated health system as well.
What do you think Nigerians can learn from Americans?
A lot, but we are a different people and we have our different traditions. All we need to do is to believe in ourselves and we shouldn’t be afraid to tell ourselves the truth at all times
Did you see anything that reminded you of Nigeria while in the US?
Yes, my fellow Nigerians in the US, who own legitimate businesses there and are doing well, despite the harsh economy and inclement business weather. I appreciate them anytime I see them going about their businesses with so much enthusiasm.
Despite being in different countries, do you still have a place you dream to go?
Yes, I do actually because I like adventures; I am an adventurous person. I will love to visit different countries in Asia and South America.
What’s the best travel advice you will give to anyone?
It is important to have a lot of money with you so that you can experience many things. You should take out time to enjoy your trip and try learning something different from what you already know.