Yesterday was an interesting day for me. I was at the bus stop for a while and even made a new friend (Hello Rukky 🙂 ) Yes, making friends at funny places is one of my super powers. After waiting for a while, an ex-colleague (this sounds funny to me) saw me and picked me and my new friend up as we were going in the same direction (Thank you Koko! Was so good seeing you :-)) Then we did catch up a little and we started to talk about Nigeria. And it was really just heartwarming to hear Nigerians talk about Nigeria like that. That discussion inspired this blog post.
A lot of people find it weird when I say I don’t want to live abroad. I just want to go for study and vacations and come right back. This of course is subject to my future family. I just am not one of those people really freaked about the ‘abroad’ life and I find it really funny when people make it seem like I am silly or I hate the good life for wanting to not japa (run away) from Nigeria.
Here are some of the reasons why I think you should think twice before moving out of Nigeria
- There is nowhere like home. I know this sounds cliché. But that’s the truth. No matter where you go and how long you are away for, this remains your root. At least some of your family remains here – your root remains Nigeria. So somehow whatever becomes of Nigeria has happened to you too.
- There is hope in Nigeria! I’m going to act like I didn’t see you yinmu (turn your nose up) at me. And I know Nigeria is neck deep into trouble but I still believe in Nigeria. I see so much potential in Africa and particularly Nigeria and that’s why I speak the way I do of Nigeria. Many people complain of no money and no job, yet some people are milking away millions of naira from the same country. Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources. Also, her population is huge and growing with over 65% aging under 35. These two features are common features in emerging economies.
If we play our cards right, in the next 50+ years, Nigeria would be one of the most desirable countries to live in. No jokes. Opportunities abound everywhere, there is lots of money flying around in the streets. These definitely come with their challenges but once you are able to go past those, you’d find gold.
- Because Nigeria needs Nigerians. You see, Americans built America… Romans built Rome. If we keep running away from Nigeria, please who would build Nigeria? If all our smart professionals keep running away, what then becomes of Nigeria? I mean, from the way an average person speaks of Nigeria, you’d realize Nigeria is really on her own. I have a couple of blogger, twitter friends in other countries and every time they say the love Nigeria and would love to visit, I find myself doing kpekele kpekele (wondering) in my mind. Even I…. I don’t always believe in Nigeria but I am making a conscious effort to see my own bit of Nigeria as my own – as a personal project and make it better. If everyone can own their bit of Nigeria, at the very least, the roads would be free of litters and life would be better.
- Because of the Nigerian vibe! I promise you, you’re gon’ miss this country when you leave. We are extra as a people, too extra if you ask me but we are fun! We are warm and bubbly .A friend was saying the other day how that when she got back from her masters in the UK, she kept asking everyone she knew schooled abroad, “Why didn’t you tell me that is how it is???” She narrated how on Christmas day, she ate pizza on the floor in her room all alone. No neighbors to bump into or bring you food as we do here… everyone minding their business and not bothering about you and it was a huge culture shock for her. Nigeria is extra but we are one of the warmest and the most dramatic people ever. If you live in Lagos, you’d get what I mean… even if you don’t live in Nigeria, you can catch a glimpse of it when you tread upon our streets on Twitter. Or what other country can you crash a wedding at like Nigeria? Who is going to do aso-ebi or give you owambe rice in Canada? And have you been to Lagos…. Have you seen the men from my city??? lol..
See enh, whatever it is, there’s no people in the whole wide world like Nigerians!
- The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I know of professionals who left their 500k+ jobs and sold out their thriving businesses only to go and start over in ‘the abroad’ Some had to wait tables and do funny jobs while studying again or gathering ‘relevant’ experience enough for them to work in these countries. These are people who wouldn’t have driven a cab in Nigeria, yet when they get to Canada or the UK, waiting at tables isn’t such a big deal for them. We need to tell ourselves the truth. Some of these countries don’t consider your experience as enough experience and your qualifications don’t exactly count. So why exactly would you leave your not-so-bad life in your fathers’ land and go and struggle over there? Why not invest that sweat here and let’s make a beauty of the current mess called Nigeria? Again to be very honest, when you work as a professional in a country where you are not a native, there is often times the ceiling factor: Where to get to the peak of your career is a struggle, you get to a point and you are just pegged there.
Now, I am not saying Nigeria is rosy, at least not at the moment. Neither am I saying ‘the abroad’ is hell. All I am saying is do not be in such a hurry especially if you considering permanent relocation. Calm down, think twice. Relocating abroad works well for some people but truly not for all.
Nigeria can be great again but that depends on YOU and ME. Let’s forget our leaders for a second, every one of us needs to stand up to the monster called corruption and take our beautiful country from its clutches.
I believe in Nigeria, Do you?
Please leave your thoughts, stories, arguments for and against in the comment section. I realyyyyyyyyyyy would love to hear from you!