One of my favorite haunts in London is the Victoria Pub (AKA Tah Ndi) on Queensbridge Road, in the Eastern part of the city. The grilled fish and plantains as well as the oxtail pepper soup are always a delight within an ambience of African music and the habitués nostalgic for their African homelands. Last Thursday night I was back for my helping of grilled fish when I overheard two guys speaking in Hausa. I moved close to know who they were; one was Yusuf a Hausa (and a Muslim) and the other was Ezekiel (a Christian). “We are both from Jos”, they told me.
Knowing how tragic life has become in their city and the deep-seated angst on both sides of the divide, I did not ask them any questions about Jos. Yusuf was drinking Coca Cola while his friend drank beer. The crowning moment for me was when their plate of fish and plantains was served; they actually ate together from the same plate! I was moved by the experience and that gave me hope that we can still find a silver lining in the very dark clouds of mistrust, prejudice and tragic killings enveloping good old Jos and other parts of our country. Yusuf and Ezekiel taught lessons of brotherhood in London which must be re-discovered at home.