Home Is Where The Heart Is, And My Heart Is Here In America…

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Photo credit: (http://mysilentranks.blogspot.com/2010/04/carried-away-on-care-packages.html)

Happy new year folks! It’s yet another January…the month that most of the people who visited Nigeria for the holiday season slowly start to find their way back to ‘obodo oyibo’.  The month that those of us who didn’t visit the homeland are stuck looking at all the pictures on Facebook and feeling quite oppressed by all the sun, small chops and general enjoyment.  January is also the month that some of the people who visited Nigeria come back with all kinds of awesome tales about the homeland, and how they can’t wait to move back home. They come back and say things such as:

Ahh, money dey Naija o…we are dulling in America

Man! Naija is such a fun place…I can’t wait to move back home

Ahh, correct guys dey Naija o…forget! I had way too many toasters

And so on, and so forth.  It’s like a never ending cycle…

And, I will have to agree with them on most of their points (with some of my personal disclaimers).  There is money in Nigeria (if you have the right connections/opportunities).  I think that sometimes folks move back home and expect the money to be lying on the floor at Murtala Mohammed airport.  If that was the case, everybody in Nigeria would be a baller right? Right.
Secondly, Nigeria truly is a fun place to be in…I can’t deny.  As someone who started out in a Nigerian university before relocating to America, and was used to engaging in all sorts of fun activities, I too initially thought that this ‘obodo oyibo’ was quite a dry place.  And we all know that the social scene back home trumps the very watered down versions that we engage in around these parts.  However, I think that if you’re basing a decision to move back home off two weeks spent partying at hotspots like Rehab, Tribeca, Marquee, Swebar, Autolounge etc  then you really should take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Third, yep the menfolk back at home are more forthcoming.  Every time I visited home, I gathered more toasters in a 3 week period that I’d gather in a year living abroad.  However, there’s a slight K leg to that factor because in my opinion, I think that most of them are kinda trifling.  We all know how a good percentage of married men in the homeland have absolutely no respect for their marital vows and will marry today, and be seen the next picking up babes in Unilag for some fun in between the sheets. Hmm hmm…

But…personal disclaimers aside, Nigeria can be a very fun and interesting place to be in, and live in.

However…the truth of the matter is that, I’m not one of those individuals who is jumping to move back home.  Sure, I’ll go home for a 2 week visit and bubble at the happening parties and things, but when all is said and done, I’ve never felt that pull like ‘Jeez, I’m itching to pack up and relocate back to the homeland’.  And I’ve definitely never felt the urge to go back home and do something positive for Nigeria…*shrug*.  This issue of whether or not to moveback home is one that will continue to be subject to heavy discussions and arguments.  I’ve certainly had many arguments about this in the past, where I stated that I’m not in a hurry to move back home, and the other party countered back and said that how can I be so comfortable in another man’s land? Again, I can only shrug.  What can I say? I’m very comfortable in this foreign land, and I’m in no hurry to give up everything that I’ve become accustomed to for what I like to imagine would be a pretty stressful life in Nigeria.  Granted, if I stumbled across the right (and it must be very right) opportunity, I’d consider a relocation, but in the meantime I’m quite content where I am.  Maybe I’ve become a lil ‘westernized’ after almost 11 years of residing in this country, and have gotten so used to the simple comforts of American life.

I know that some people judge people like me, and consider us to be ‘sellouts’, but ah well…it is what it is.  Judge all you want (if you are) and free me to enjoy the simple comforts of things like constant electricity (unless I do not pay my energy bill) and water.  I don’t quite understand how in 2011, human beings in our country cannot even live with something as basic as constant electricity, yet we will claim that we have progressed as a country because we now have movie theatres, malls and ATMs. Talk about misplaced priorities…
Besides the huge power issue, I enjoy living in a country that is free of major glitches in the education and health care system.  Around these parts, one doesn’t have to worry about strikes in the education system that will turn a 4 year college career into a 7 year career or worry about getting healthcare abroad because it is not readily available in your country.  I enjoy living in a land with some form of law and order, where there are consequences for not obeying the rules.  I enjoy living in a land with structure…things happen when they are meant to happen (for the most part).  I enjoy living in a land where you work hard for your money and learn how to be independent.  America is the great leveler, and I love it.  For the most part, it’s not about who your father is, and what kind of connections you have…it’s about your own credentials and capabilities.  Not to mention the more shallow reasons like having things readily available to me when I need them, not having to import all the goodies that I like, and what have you.  Need I say more??

To summarize this entire spiel, I enjoy living in the US of A (just in case you hadn’t already picked that up), and have grown to love and consider this place as home.  After all, home is where the heart is abi? I know that a lot of foreigners in this land say that they always feel like outsiders and strangers around these parts, but I truly cannot say the same for myself.  I have never felt like I didn’t belong in this country, foreign name, foreign accent and all.  So, for now and the near future, I consider this to be home…watered down social scene, non-forthcoming men and all… 😉

In conclusion, if moving back is something that you want to do (for whatever reason), then by all means go ahead and do it. But please don’t give me the judgemental ‘I’m better than you because I’m loyal to my country and you’e not’ side eye for not wanting the same for myself. On this matter, I will continue say what I always love to say…’to each his and her own‘.

78 COMMENTS

  1. Ok I've read this, i get what you're trying to get at, but I do think you have a bit of skewed perception of what Nigeria is really like. Yes you need connections, just like you do any where else, but you can also go back, apply for a job and with the right credentials you can get it. Nigeria is not all about connections, and who know who…

    Those who move back move back for various reasons. Some for the money, some for the peace of mind of being home (no matter how bad it is, people still survive), some others just want a sense of fulfillment that they are in some way being a positive force in the country no matter "hopeless" it might seem at the time

    Like you said… to each is own, but you cant frown on people that do want to move back for whatever their reasons are.

    • I agree with what Naija Kolo Babe just said.

      Like you said to each their own. Moving back to Nigeria might not be for everyone.

      I have been out of Nigeria for almost 11years as well,and I have gotten accustomed to the western world but I plan to move back as soon as I am done all my schooling, because I am tired of the west and I want to be home. It's my own way of trying to help my country no matter how hopeless it might seem. I don't know exactly how but I feel like by being there I am making some sort of difference. Yes there is no light, no water and everything is more difficult but these are all things that I can live with. To me I get a different feeling when I am in Nigeria, I just feel like I am home, I am where I am meant to be. Like someone said our parents, family and friends live there and they survive.

    • I don't think OM has a skewed perception of Nigeria, she nailed it with all her points. I know u can't sit here and tell us that Nigeria is secure or that there's constant electricity or that you don't need connections do land a good job. yes, u can go apply with your credentials and you may get the job but the pay is not going to be worth it unless u have connections.

  2. Nne I think you might be lost. How will Nigeria ever change if everyone leaves?.. Plus this is the same Nigeria our friends and family still live in, and haven't died yet.

      • Being in Nigeria for one, rather than running of and hiding behind B.S(no disrespect, it is what it is) excuses is an example of doing something for Nigeria.

        America was built by patriots, the benefits you claim to enjoy are available because someone felt they(benefits) was worth fighting for.

        Gandhi

        Be the change you want to see in the world.

        The merits you list, to justify America a better place, are not true. Corruption, Nepotism et al play a big role in the way American society functions(from Hoffa to Madoff). There is a lot of who your father is and who you know at play, visit country clubs and ivy league schools.

        Put aside your so called comforts, try to experience, on one of your visits to Nigeria what the people who put in the same efforts as you go through.

        With your exposure and the amount of experience garnered, pause and reflect on how you can help make where you come from a better place.

        Ask not, what your country can do for you. Ask what, you can do for your country.

  3. Personally, I am okay if I go home or if I stay here. Everyone can't be like minded. For me, my desire to move home when I think about it is because of my state of mind, despite all naija wahala there is some kind of peace of "being home" that I get when I am there that makes up for some of the things that we lack. Granted, i am more motivated by money I can make than making a difference but maybe after being there for some time I *might* be inspired to make a difference

  4. Ronkizzy, I really hope you are typing from Nigeria and not America or Europe. It's just a thought because I see no reason why some Nigerians in America keep advising other Nigerians to go back home and make a difference, or ask questions like "How will Nigeria ever change if everyone leaves". Well if that's your case, you should lead by example and be the first to move back home. Better yet,in the first place, you shouldn't have left that country that you love so much.

    • Sometimes, you do what you gotta do for the long term.

      No shame in that. If you left Nigeria, because the education system was in disarray and you choose to go back because with your degree you feel you have something to contribute….nobody can knock that.

      Look back in History. The wave of Migrants who liberated Most African countries from colonialist went back home armed with knowledge. Same with civil right activists in your adopted country who paved the way for you to enjoy equal opportunity- they got their education, rolled their sleeves and got to work.

  5. it doesnt matter because ur still not American…and living in america DOES NOT MAKE U AN AMERICAN….u can get all the naturalization u want. Your not american get that in ur head. *toodles!!*

  6. you love america so much, if only u knew that america is declining as we speak…when it all falls down i wonder where u will run to…u talk as if you were born n raised in America but ur nothing but an IMMIGRANT and ur in FOREIGN land, america isnt ur home and you know it.

  7. Come on guys! cut it off, Original Mgbeke is not claiming or trying to be AMERICAN from her article. all she is saying and I agree is that she loves the organized society we live in as USA.

    I am sooooo pro-Nigerian and I am an ardent believer of Naija but we need to get our acts together at home. I would love to move back home someday but why would I go and expose myself to all the security hazards at home ranging from robbers to bad roads to inept and inefficient work system to the kidnappers to a system that is just not in place all to profess to God knows who that i love Nigeria. hELL nO!

    I love and enjoy the security in this land, constant electricity and water supply which are basic needs and a structured society like she so rightly mentioned to our lawless home country so if that makes me AMERICAN wanna-be in your books, so be it…you are sooooooooo entitled to your opinion but trust me sweetie, I love my life and peace of mind and I still love NAIJA!

  8. LMAO at these disgruntled individuals getting mad because of my post. Reading is FUNdamental, people. You should have read my article carefully before you got your panties in a twist. Where did y'all see me claim to be American?? Uh uh, I thought so.

    • I beleive there's only one disgruntled individual here coz I dont believe alot of Nigerians will post mumuish comments like Ronkizzy posting comments under names like Amy,Jae and Lox because she can't back up her first post. Check out the time difference between posts by Amy, Jae and Lox (so ridiculous). The ignorant patterns between those 3 names and Ronkizzy is very similar. Another similarity between those 4 comments apart from ignorance are d dots(….) This is how dumb criminals are usually caught

  9. I have to say that on many counts, I agree with OM. I lived (and studied) in the U S of A for over seven years and made the reluctant decision to move back in September of 2010. If my career was still on track, it's unlikely that I would have left.

    I have to admit, though, that for several reasons that would probably get me in trouble on this post, I prefer the social life in the part of the United States where I was at, but, that's just me.

    Moving back, I have had to come to grips with certain things – the electricity situation, inadequate security, unnecessary hustling and, most importantly, the absence of readily-accessible folk to have meaningful, non-loaded conversations with.

    Very often, I find myself wishing that I could go back to where things were much more organized and predictable, but, every so often . . . I stumble upon extraordinary individuals that remind me of the progress this country can make.

    Make no mistake . . . I seriously hate the current Nigeria, but, as a self-proclaimed romantic (was that too much?), I love what it can become.

    • Otondo blogger just basically captured me and naija’s relationship perfectly in the way he described it. I don’t even have anything else to add. That’s exactly how I feel on a regular day! Also came to serve and some days, I get so frustrated I think what the hell am I doing here again and what was I thinking coming back, then someone or something comes my way and gives jst a minute of sense and keeps me hopeful again. Don’t know yet if I’ll end up settling here completely but I can’t even hate this place no matter how much I bitch abt things. Ps – Otondo Blogger. Jst checked out ur blog and I was laughing at my office like a mad woman. In the same boat as you and we seem to have some of the same experiences dealing with nysc but yours is way funnier described while mine is more straight laced. Will keep checking you out and from one otondo copper to another, here’s praying we survive nysc. Either way, we r stuck with them for another 9 months. Funnnnn

      • Thanks T.I. Bridges. The NYSC program could really use some work. Being the gateway program between people returning home and beginning their careers, I think people's preconceptions can be changed if more critical thinking is applied to organizing the program.

        If you have any ideas as to how to improve the program without necessarily involving the governing bodies and would like to share, I would be more than happy to discuss them with you.

        Baby steps.

        • Well since almost anytime i have to deal with NYSC and am standing in yet another asinine line, i have about 5 ways the thing could be made much easier than it already is but hey, do they ever think we have any inkling of intellegence so i dont even bother with them anymore. Honestly i feel like (as with many other things in naija), the old and unprogressive fools need to be removed from position because they keep doing the same things even though they dont see a positive difference from it. From our standpoint though, what you and I are doing (giving people information about the experience and what to expect before they come in and are shocked with it) is a step in the right direction. now if the NYSC people would actually listen to and take feedback from us who are experiencing it, there could be some positive change but another thing i have noticed abt naija is that they r just getting out of the mindset that the youth are unserious and probably stupid and should be taken seriously. (As you can probably tell, i have some issues with them but i try to take it all in stride)

          • I totally agree. The old folk need to get their act together and realize that more and more of us (youths) are getting better and better educated or . . . step aside. (Wishful thinking, unfortunately).

            For the sake of this country's future, I really hope that the elections go well and the momentum is sustained.

  10. I think you've said it all. My heart is here where my family is. I consider that my home and it will always remain so. Not ever going to change. I feel very much at home here.

  11. Born and raised in California. I'm 22. My heart dey for 9ja as I find it the new land of opportunity. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I've learned a lot here and wish to take that knowledge with me to Nigeria, where differences need to be made.

    There's nothing wrong with becoming Westernized or anything of that nature. People come to the US to achieve the American dream, and those that do would like to keep it that way. Na crime? Don't think so lol. I wonder if those giving harsh criticism have come to the US at all. Not just as visit, for at least a year. Not everyone can give up having stable light, civility, Emergency Response System, and democracy to try and help Mr. and Madame To Know. E no easy lol.

    • My sentiments exactly. I feel like those of us "fortunate" enough to have the opportunity to be educated outside Nigeria will have a better impact back home. It's not for everyone though, and it's all a choice, but my hope is that everything I've learned here I can "hopefully" apply back home where it's actually needed. Nigeria needs more exposed people that America needs on any given day.

  12. i think we are missing a very important point about this article, has anybody even asked what about the emotional narcolepsy that vitamalt has caused on bad belle-ism…No…. i didnt think so, yet we homo sapiens galala in the notion of narcissistic and flamboyant hedonismas, caricatures of our once forbidden singlets

    i blame social chin chin-ing and and paralictic owambing for this descent into a normadistic alliainunfusknfkshbfkshg view of life. hence forth if we partake in gizzard and Schweps, what example are we leaving for the little ones…… Aki and Paw Paw…. Drakebars

    but i digress if i dont digest, we have to famz out familiarity of cataclysmic exigencies and adventurous ludo-ing, not to mention disastrous Snakes and Ladder-ing

    sorry…..whats the article about again??!!

  13. Nice Article..There is nothing to add, you are so on point. As for me US OF A is now my home. take it or leave it..I Having nothing left in that country (my country).I am where am meant to be. Like V said. I cant go back to a country that has deprived me a lot of things even tho i survived. Thats my opinion.

  14. OriginalMgbeke. Total Sellout. LOL

    Interesting article. I like that you unashamedly tell it as it is. Ignore all the screaming dissenters, Nigerians are fond of getting constipated when someone calls a spade by its name.

    I personally have never understood the excitement associated with moving back home. On balance, the trade offs in quality of life (security, basic amenities, social services, etc) do not come across to me as a good bargain for the benefits of "living in the father land."

    Abeg, I go dey go once a year to; Chop suya, party with friends, visit family, use candle, on/off gen every 30mins, dodge kidnappers, touch breast, etc. Yes, I like my Naija in yearly vacation packages.

  15. First off… KidKonnect is a massive problem. LMAO.

    ok. In my opinion it's all a personal choice, and your own sense of what makes you comfortable and fulfilled. I personally dont mind moving back. I actually do want to move back in the near future.

    I understand there are a lot of problems in Nigeria that I wont repeat but there's a certain peace of being home (like taynement said) when I'm in Nigeria. I'm not watching every immigration news happening or feeling like a part-time citizen in yankee.

    I can deal with electricity, water, slow internet, mosquitoes etc. Those things money can solve in heart beat, so nothing spoil.

    I also think another important factor is where your family is located. If you have your family is with you in the states then you're less likely to go back for any other reason besides a major minister job, but for someone like me that has majority of my family in Nigeria, I'm more likely to move. There's nothing really tying me down in yankee. So if GEJ says he needs a new personal blogger, I'll drop my life here and hop on the next Arik air flight to lagos. lol. Nothing spoil.

    On the subject of helping out, I believe that as an individual I might not make a huge impact, but collectively (other people like me with western exposure) there can be some difference made. Rome wasn't built in one day, so Naija wont change overnight but it will eventually. At least we're voting. That's better than Abacha era when we no fit even open mouth.

    All in all it's all a personal choice. If you feel more comfortable here, then by all means. No judgment. And for those that want to go back for any reason, all good for you too. Some people like meat and others like fish. It's all what works for you.

    • could not have put it more perfectly, you took the words right out of my mouth. some people get success abroad and some in Nigeria, if Banky W etc had not moved back to Nigeria they would not be the stars hat tthey are today. Some people like moi moi others like akara all na beans!

  16. Enough said OM!

    Like you so rightly pointed out, it is mind-boggling how in 2011 we're struggling to have basic electricity, still battling with inadequate healthcare, sub-par education, in-existent security, and so on. Don't even get me started on the death traps, a.k.a naija roads. Chickens have more values than human lives in naija, it appears. Every thing we do, even just walking down the street to purchase recharge cards/toast a babe, is backed up with MFM prayer of divine protection & God dey. It's very depressing. Plus NO ONE should have to be 'content' with slow internet, contaminated water, mosquitoes. We deserve more than that. Naija's situation is just ugh!! Hopefully these will become things of the past and naija will become great.

    Yet despite all my gripe, and as much I love America, I do intend on moving back to naija. I've been blessed to be exposed to great ideas in America and personally, I intend to put these skills/ideologies to good use back home. I'm of the philosophy that naija cannot progress if all I do is complain and do nothing. Sigh. As we say, God dey.

    Peeps shouldn't sha forget to #RSVP.

  17. God bless you for this. Doing my post-grad and there are loads on Nigerians on the course. I keep hearing "when are you moving back?", "There is no place like home". Home is where my heart is, my heart is in London. My family is in london. If i move back to Nigeria now, it isn't exactly going to be 'home'.

    Then again, i'm grateful for 'choice'.

  18. I feel you on this one. I've had this conversation with different people many times. They go back home for 2weeks and are love how they are waited on and pampered for that period. Try a 1-2month vacation and that's when you'll really see how things are when people get back to their regular lives and you're home dulling to the max.

    There are way too many people getting rich off Naija's disorganized state for it to get better any time soon. Everything is sha connections. The hardworking hardly get what they're worth. I just can't wrap my mind around it. There are simply more opportunities here.

    On the other hand I really applaud people striving to make a difference in Naija. Moving back home is only a small fraction of the process. A solid plan to change things needs to be in place first or you'll just end up being a part of the wahala.

    For those that sha decide to go, no love lost. I'll vote for you on CNN Heroes but me sha na for Yankee here I de.

  19. This article is written by a young impressionable person who is yet to fully comprehend the meaning of culture and homeland. The bottom line is living in the western world is not all that it is made out to be and if you are really honest with yourself you will agree with this statement. As a young parent raising a family i have come to realism that raising kids in a grounded and holistic manner is near impossible in the western world. Help that is so easy to come by in the form of mothers, MILs, house help or aunties is next to impossible to get in Yankee. You end up raising kids that cant speak their native tongue and thanks to articles like this, consider the white mans land as home.
    The simple fact of the matter is that we all envy people who are able to be successful and provide for theirs in the uncertainty and turmoil that is 9ija and would trade places with them in a heart beat. Yes we have light, water and fast internet connections but those things dont take away the feeling of being a second class citizen and never being able to aspire to occupy the highest political office simply because you are a nationalized citizen. At least in 9aij whosoever can aspire to be whatever if you were born in 9aij, case in point Goodluck Jonathan.
    My conclusion is this all of us will end up going back home either sooner or later the question is just when. The sooner we wrap our minds around this the better and the more prepared we will be when the time comes.

    • That is based on YOUR experience and not MINE. Please, my dear…speak for yourself and not for us all. This is one reason why I really dislike attempting to get into intelligent arguments with my people, y'all just love to push your opinions down other people's throats. Well, guess what? I pretty much disagree with majority of what you typed but I'm not going to push my opinions down your throat because like I've said and will continue to say…to each his and her own. If you feel like a second class citizen in the western world, that's too bad…'cos I don't.

      • There is a difference between superior intelligent debate and ramming opinions down peoples throats. The former is based on well thought out principles and philosophies while the latter is just noise. When arguing from a weaker position people tend to get defensive and chippy, hence the " intelligent argument with my people " comment i believe.

        I will intelligently state that if you have never been made to feel like a second class citizen in this country its only a matter of time. By the law of averages your number will soon be called. The question is how will you respond.

        Most of the things i touched on are drawn from personal experience and as you rightly said to each his own.

        My simple humble conclusion is i really hope and pray we as a country do not lose a whole generation of young intelligent minds to the western world just because we cant get our act together and make things work.

        • @esrigger

          Your conclusion may be "humble", but the preceding set of arguments in which you qualify as being "intelligent" are, unfortunately, not.

          I'm not going to disseminate your entire response, because responding to someone's comments as being "defensive and chippy" without stating FACTS to support your initial argument is being exactly that.

          You rightly said that "At least in 9aij whosoever can aspire to be whatever if you were born in 9aij, case in point Goodluck Jonathan."

          I would say that that point applies to the United States as well: case-in-point . . . Barack Obama.

      • u dont feel like a second class citizen but to americans you will always be just an immigrant…sorry to say that but its true. You can speak like an oyinbo all u want to, u can get citizenship etc. Home is home, and another mans land isnt

    • @Esrigger
      I think you raise important points like the nanny issues and the cultural identity crises young Nigerian children being raised in a foreign country face. I am not and have never been a parent, so, I would have to defer to you ON THOSE POINTS.
      That having been said, from what OM expressed in the original article and responses from Deez, T.L. Bridges, Jayla and, conversely, Bonnibelle, who we choose to identify with culturally, is entirely up to us as adults.
      For many of us that left Nigeria in our late teens (or even earlier) to study abroad, there almost inevitably be internal conflict. On the one hand, we want to hold on to some parts of our culture (in my case, the parts that make sense to me), on the other hand, at that age, I am only beginning to enter adulthood, and so, the person I am going to become gets forged during that time.
      A piece of paper that says I am Nigerian is just that . . . a piece of paper. It doesn’t mean that I have to identify culturally with Nigeria and if I understand Bonibelle’s comment, the same applies to her, just with the roles reversed.
      I think it is of the utmost importance that youths are allowed to think for themselves and to speak up for what they believe deep down is right.
      I’ve heard many people say things like “Oh, Americans don’t have any culture”. Frankly, that’s all hogwash.
      What American Culture means to me, is a celebration of individuality and the fostering of an environment where people are recognized for their achievements and their abilities and not what is written on a piece of paper.

    • I can't stress how much I disagree with some of your opinions but that's OK because they are your opinions; I have mine.

      Each country/culture/empire/nation has it's good and bad sides. You just have to see which one you are at peace with. I love Naija in ways that I cannot explain but that doesn't mean I will turn a blind eye to all it's bs. I would also like to be a part of the generation that changes Naija but I don't have a plan yet. I'm not just going to go home and start looking for stuff to do.

      I can agree with you on the fact that the western world isn't all that it's cracked up to be. After a while nothing ever is (I think). There is crime here, injustice also and they even rig elections here sef. You have to work very hard and have a plan to succeed (as with everywhere else). When you do work hard and smart here you usually get paid. The odds are simply better. I have friends in Naija that get paid around N30k/month. How does one not grow up to be a thief with that kind of blatant disregard for hard work and talent? The people with connections almost always get one up.

      As far as raising kids goes, all it takes is God and a serious determination to raise them well. I have many friends that were born and raised here and check this out: they are well behaved, responsible, speak both parents languages, pidgin english, fully knowledgeable about their cultures and have a support system of friends, aunties, uncles and family friends.

      If I ever felt like a second hand citizen I would have packed my load and gone back home but I'm pretty comfi so I shall chill. But hey to each his/her own. We are who we are & we like what we like.

    • @esrigger, No offense but contrary to what you have been told, not everyone wants to be president be it here in the US or in Nigeria because being president or a public is over-rated. Its nice to have all that power until you lose all your privacy and the ability to be anonymous if you so chose. There are lots of people who aren't public figures and live very fulfilled lives so its not that serious. Secondly, if your entire family is in the same country as you are then you can have the same perks you described above. the phrase about being a second class citizen is one of the most abused phases in my opinion because there are lots of Nigerians living in Nigeria as worse than second class citizens. which in my opinion is waaaaay worse. how can you be at home in your "kingdom" and still be a peasant? Yes people are thriving in Nigeria's chaotic situation but every other second you have to keep looking over your shoulder to see who is following you. It is insane when you work hard and make all the so called money but have to live in fear of enjoying it because everyone else around you is living in poverty. And lets not fool ourselves, Goodluck becoming president was a matter of "good luck " no pun intended because if not because of the predicament of Yar'Adua he would never have been able to wiggle into presidency the way he did. We should stop deceiving ourselves about being able to be what ever you want to be in Nigeria because there is great tribalism. It is relatively more palatable when you are being discriminated against because you are a different color than the "ruling class" but in Nigeria we are all black but still we discriminate against each other. It is just a sad story. I was born and raised in Nigeria and I love my country but my sanity is more important than anything else so anyone who doesn't like my decision can bang his/her head into a brick wall.

    • I agree with you COMPLETELY. I love Naija too; no doubt. But having lived in America for two decades, I have come to realize that this is home. I have done everything in my power and continue to do so to move up the economic ladder. I went to college, graduated, got my first job moved up the ladder over the years with my eyes set on being a CEO of a healthcare system in this my adopted country in the nearest future. Need I say I knew no one when I started. I was afforded the opportunity simply based on my credentials and personality; period. There is no doubt in my mind that this would not have been the case if I was still back home in Nigeria. For those who want to move by home to Nigeria, more grease to your elbow. For me, I ain't going no where. I rest my case.

    • 2 weeks in Naija wonderland and they think life is a bed of roses there? I pity em holiday makers. They should stay a month longer then their eyes go clear small. By then the novelty would have worn out from their hosting families and reality hits them in the eye like a slap from an area boy.

      For me…I shall alter your tagline to 'Home is where you choose to make it'.

  20. our parents failed to secure d future of dis country like d Americans did 2 theirs ,now u r towing their line too..nice write up coward!!!

  21. i think i sense hoplessness in OM's words,i just registerd 4 my voters card yesterday gettin ready 2 vote..i dnt think u can do that over there!!!!

  22. I was born and raised in the US. and I'm kind of torn on the whole subject. There are some things that I don't like about the US but it doesnt mean I hate it. I have never been to Nigeria so I wont speak on all that other stuff…as of now I just want to travel the world…staying in one place doesnt do much for the mind. 🙂

  23. oh and people should stop forcing the idea on one another. If the opportunity presents itself for those to get a good job back in Nigeria then ok . I mean menial jobs in America is better than no job in Nigeria is not so good ( so i heard) But anyway I think people should do their research before they start talking about how perfect/organized america is, you have to know whats really going on…im just saying.

  24. I can tell I'm hitting some nerves with this article, and that's fine. I definitely expected the backlash. I've stated my opinion on the matter. If you like, no like am…wetin 'consain' me? Like I said, this is home for now, so say what you want to say, and think what you want to think. MY own experience is that I'm loving this place, 'immigrant' status and all (as some people have stated). On that note though, please keep the comments coming :-)…and thanks to everyone who has made a constructive comment on this post.

  25. Stop lying babe. Me i know the real reason why you don't want to move back to naij.

    It's cuz there's no CHIPOTLE!

    Your immigrant azz iz tew cool for Mister Biggz!

    Hehehehehehehehe.

  26. Great article…I love how u didn't hold anything back and told it like it is. I guess it depends on where one's family members are located. My family moved from naija and where ever they are us where my heart is and is where I consider home. Obviously, if they were in naija and not in the States I would be itching to move home to be with them…although, I still wanna VISIT naija not MOVE back.

  27. Mgbeke, I agree 100% with everything you have said.

    For those that disagree, good luck.

    Just this afternoon my mother tried to Skype with her sister in Lagos and as they were speaking PHCN "took light". I cannot imagine that in 2011 after living in a place with constant electricity and water, good roads and transportation, and good healthcare I would remove myself from all this just to go back and deal with BS in Nigeria. For what? Because I had the misfortune to be born there? Clearly God has decided Nigeria is not the place for me, so why argue?

    All of you that want to go back, please do. I cannot understand WHY, but to each his own.

  28. Original Mgbeks…nothing do u

    Home is where you are never turned away when u get there. And If you have found a home in the United States…then lay your head there.

    No mind world people with their plenty BS

    Lovely Article.

  29. I don't think anyone is judging you or have any intentions of judging you. I moved back to Nigeria after living abroad for 4 years…… 3 years on I am yet to get used to living in Nigeria. Nigeria is a stressful place to live in. Period…. But some people have it easy. Period!

  30. I cackled loudly as I read this article and the comments. People are so funny…acting like their opinions entitle them to 'speak' anyhow. The babe talk sey she happy where she be…why is that a problem? Why should she suffer when she has option not to and Obama has not said she must to leave by force by fire?

    I agree that those holiday small chops pics on Facebook get me ALL the time. I remind myself that life ain't about food alone and keep keeping on in the land of milk and honey…even if the milk/honey is not flowing quite as much right now.

    Loved the article; great job. And thanks for the humorous comments; even though I'm sure you did not mean for them to be funny.

  31. As for me shaa, I know where my bread is buttered and it’s buttered right here in the UK. Even the once a year ” trip” to Nigeria when i can be bothered to go is a trip not a holiday by my definition. The constant fear of armed robbers, the darkness, 5 year olds trying to rip you off, the muslem “call to prayer” at 5am or whatever ungodly hour that was. Yes oh I love Nigeria but I love me more.

  32. Original Mbeke,

    Its easy to move to your Neigbours Luxury Home and abandon your own, forgetting the long period of time they spend renovating….TheseCountries are not made Great by Magic but by the actions of INDIVIDUALS.

    When the most capable Nigerians say such things and then Flee Permanently to the comfort of another Country, they Unwittingly leave the Country to the most Uncapable, the most Uneducated and the most Immoral.
    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

    Nigeria is bad, but its not permanent. Gone are the Days of cowards like you that sat back for over 40 years in resignment and let it Happen. With a new Generation we will get there. Enough is Enough

    I detest when people behave as if these countries got there by magic instead of Struggle over Long Periods of time.

    People don’t Understand that these Countries that he Runs to Permanently went through Hell for hundreds of years to get to where they are now.

    I could Countless Movements, Stuggles, Revolutions, Laws and Wars that created these countries but it would take the whole day. Heck, these People fought the most bloody tribal/ethnic wars known in the History of man (World War 1 & 2), the UK till today has tribal strife between the Irish, Scottisha and Welsh, who are Essentially under Colonisation by the English for hundreds of years AND only succeeded in establishing Universal Equal rights 40 years ago.

    Countless brave individuals lost fought through unimaginable odds over long periods of time to establish the lifestyles, ideas and systems in the societies he has fled to. If those Individuals were “siddon-look” people like he is, these countries would have got nowhere.

    I know you enjoy your America and I enjoy it to, but why not see Nigeria as your own Home plan to Build up the things you see there and then put your own style through this through either Business or Politics/Governemnt. Your Life and the Lives of your Future Generations will be Better for It.

    Have a Good Day

  33. Original Mbeke,

    Don't get it twisted. Personally, I hate Nigeria as it is. Infact, if you close your eyes when I speak sometimes, you would think that you were talking to a righ-wing racist.

    I have been in the UK for about 10 years studying, but my determination of Nigerian is based on the Idea that it is like My room/ Flat: Right now it is pretty littered, dirty, smelly and generally fucked. i could easily go over to my Flat mates/ Neigbours luxury Home, but Instead I want to use the Ideas they used and then make my Home Better.

    Nigeria Needs you/us in Business and/or Politics. Now or Later.

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