This article is a rebuttal to the earlier post “this article Home Is Where The Heart Is, And My Heart Is Here In America” so here goes:
…Well mine isn’t.
So I read this article in which the Nigerian author was expounding the merits of living in America and why she feels that this “glorious” country is the best thing since sliced bread. Suffice it to say I was not sold on any of the arguments she put forth.
Disclaimer: Since the day I decided to come over here for school, I promised myself that I would go home eventually (preferably before my 30th birthday). It’s been 5 years now and I’m 23 – hopefully wiser – and I still feel the same way. I’m not from one of the “rich” families in Nigeria; there’s no job or inheritance waiting for me back home. I have just always felt that I wouldn’t be “complete” if I settled here away from my family.
Why would I give up a place that has law and order, 24/7 electricity and water, and an excellent education and health sector among other things? For starters, while those are some very splendid advantages worth proselytizing about, they are certainly not all that (not to me at least).
The whole “no constant power/water” thing is something I lived with for the first 18 years of my life and it’s not a deal breaker for me. While I enjoy having constant power and water here, it definitely does not factor in to whether or not I return home. If I am that badly inconvenienced, I’ll get a generator and/or water tanker. Besides, from what I hear, the power thing is not exactly as bad as it used to be. This past Christmas, my mum was telling me that there was constant power at my ancestral home in Enugu state for the entire 2 week period that she was home. That is what I call progress, slow progress definitely, but a step in the right direction.
Now about this “almighty” education system; while I submit that America does have within its borders most of the highest acclaimed schools in the world, you have to admit that the education has not really done much for the indigenous population within it. The numbers do not lie. If you think they do, spend an evening watching FOX, MSNBC, or CNN and you get an idea of how “smart” the common American is. In Math, Science, Geography, and even English, the US doesn’t even come close to other countries.
As for the health care system, I am not even going to go into that. Just turn on your TV and watch some “economist” or “lawmaker” tell you about the demerits of “Socialized” medicine. Consider the millions of people without insurance in the United States. This is the only developed country in the world that people become bankrupt because of their health care.
I will give it to this country in the “Order” category, the
y do know how to keep the country and its citizens safe. As for “Law,” I can’t be so generous. There is corruption in Nigeria, it has eaten into the fiber of our society and it is what it the root of most of our problems. But corruption is the root of American society too…it’s just a more “legal” here. What do you think Lobbyists in Washington are doing?
The comment about connections not being relevant in America I think is quite funny. Why do you think people go into ridiculous amounts of debt trying to attend Ivy League schools, join sororities and fraternities, and even get on waiting lists so their toddlers can attend prestigious schools? Take a look at the CEO’s of fortune 500 companies and you’ll see that most of them come from country club backgrounds. There are definitely some rags-to-riches stories among them, but we also have those in Nigeria.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had to do it again, I would probably make the same choices. If not for anything, but for the opportunities I got from going to school here. The people I met and the cultures and value system I’ve been exposed to. But that’s about it.
So for those who proselytize about the merits of living in this “promised land” lets look at some facts:
America did not get to be the “paradise” it is now by people sitting on their asses and waiting for things to be handed to them. They worked really hard for it; for hundreds of years, they toiled, they bled, and they killed to make their country what it is today. Why do you think they are not so eager to let just any Tom, Juan, or Ngozi to come in here? Nigeria is not America; we probably won’t be America even in the next 20 years. But I do believe that in my lifetime, my country will become a great place. Call me a Pollyanna, I don’t care. It’s how I see it…Yep! I’m one of those people.
I only have to look at my friends to know that what I’m talking about will come to pass. These budding Neurologists, Health professionals, Physicists, Economists, Engineers, Fashion designers, Painters, Authors etc WILL make Nigeria the “paradise” I want it to be.
PS: If you want “paradise,” you would be better of moving to China; Awesome education system, World-class health care sector, and the next Mega-economy.