Angel Okwuosa, NY

Junior Writer

Angel is a multimedia writer who has written for the stage and screen. In 2012, she self-published her first book, Diary of a Misfit, and in 2014, she published her second book, Homebound. She believes that writing is acting, but with words instead of movements. When she’s not watching character analyses on YouTube, she’s plotting a short film or editing a manuscript. She has written for numerous online publications, including Blavity, My Black Matters, Radr Africa.

As a Story Terrace writer, Angel interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Homebound

It’s been 10 years since my family and I boarded a plane to Nigeria to “discover our roots” and “get to know our culture.” I remember my mind being open, not to the possibilities but to the finality of it all.

The clash in cultures was just as brash as the heat that swallowed us whole as we landed in Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria. I was used to the harsh winds of Boston and didn’t know what to make of this smoldering heat that insisted on dominating my senses. But my I survived the change in temperature, the power outages sponsored by NEPA (now known as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria) and the swimming cars and drivers desperately trying to fly away from traffic jams. I survived changes in family dynamics, the discovery of the necessary evils of house helps, drivers and fetching water in the richer part of town. I survived the community feel, the “child of the whole village” mentality, the expected selflessness and generosity, the liveliness of its people, the big smiles and loud laughs, humor-filled suffering and loud, fervent prayers. You see, survival was never the issue. Rather, it was the feeling of being at home that started to surprise me. It was a feeling that I never expected.

I always thought I loved Nigeria more than America because it was “home.” To an extent, this is true. But I recently discovered that what made it home was not the country itself but rather the people in it. Pieces of my heart were sewn on their sleeves and I didn’t even realize it. And although the pieces have gone, the core is still in me, and will be for the rest of my life. More or less, my home has several branches, and the headquarters is wherever I decide it will be.

I am homebound. I am home.

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