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‘.