Warning: This is a cool story.
Nigeria is a funny place. Well I’ll say the people are funny.
I went to renew my visa at the embassy in Abuja, and after all kinds of long story, (standing in the hot sun for 3 hours, security talking to you anyhow, our people still refusing to stand in line, etc) I finally finished my business there and headed home.
Caught a cab, and the cab driver told me 1000 naira. (I paid N500 to come o), so I told the guy “bros, american embassy no dey give free money o. Just respect yourself. Nah 500 I get.” Dude laughed and said “Ok, enter. But as u get money to go america, u fit get to give us now, nah why I increase price for you. But all of una wey dey go sef, why una go grow here, get sense here, education here, then go USA go dey better their country. If all of una stay here una no go help Nigeria small? The tree wey don grow here finish, una go carry am go give another country.”
This is a cab driver. Not someone I would expect that kind of speech from, but in plenty aspects he was right. A lot of bright brains in Nigeria end up leaving Nigeria for one reason or another, and not many come back.
So I explained that even though I know he’s right, you can’t blame people that want to leave. Using his analogy, “if you grow the tree, tree don tall finish and fruit no comot, wetin man go do? Man gats chop and feed his family.”
Then I started thinking of the numerous people, families, old men, old women, young boys, fine babes etc that they were just denying visa. “I’m sorry you don’t qualify for a US visa. Next person please.“… And the numerous ones standing outside waiting to get in. It’s always an interesting debate? Why do Nigerians want to leave Nigeria? And why don’t Nigerians want to come back? (Not all, but a lot).
This taxi driver from all his yarns doesn’t even like america and I don’t think he’s been. It was quite funny actually. As he was explaining “There’s no freedom there (abroad). U can’t just park your car outside and start washing. U can’t just do anything. Police will come and find you. See me now. I have 3 girlfriends. If I was in america, I can’t have it. One of the girls will come and break my window for me. But here, they won’t do anything.”
I was just laughing cos I knew he was right. Whether or not I believed in what he was saying, he was very correct. He proceeded to tell me of one Oga that is a chief in Benin and all his children say they won’t come to Nigeria again. And none speak their language at all, but their dad is a chief. That it’s very bad.
Dude was just telling this very cool story until he got to my destination. I paid him N1000 and told him to enjoy. I entered my house and thought to myself. “This cab guy just sweet talked me into still paying him that 1000 naira”