This is (most of) the truth about why I live in America instead of Nigeria. Interpret it as you wish. Hope you enjoy! xo
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Two Comments I Always Seem to Get About Being Nigerian
I am really happy that I got my introduction out last week. There are so many posts that I’ve wanted to share but I haven’t done so because I didn’t feel comfortable.
I just didn’t know how you would receive them without knowing where I’m coming from and where I’m going with Beta Motivation. It’s such a relief to me that it’s done and dusted!
Today, I want to answer a question that I get all the time.
Every single time I tell people I’m Nigerian, I get two comments. The first is
oh my gosh, you speak really good English
When people say that, I always say thank you because I actually worked hard to be able to speak English with a minimal Nigerian accent. The reason I did that is a completely different topic. I’m not going to address that in this post.
The second comment I get when I say that I’m Nigerian is, why did you leave?
Why did you leave Nigeria to come to the US?
I always answer that question in a politically correct way.
I usually say something along the lines of “ohhh America is the land of opportunity” or “ooohh, you know, it just kind of worked out” but I want to be real for a second today.
Why wouldn’t I leave Nigeria?
I think asking why I left Nigeria to come to the US is the wrong question. The right question would be, why wouldn’t I leave? Why wouldn’t I leave Nigeria?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that thinks it’s okay to marry off 7 year old girls to 75 year old men? A country that goes as far as making a law that says it’s okay to do something like that?
Why wouldn’t I leave a religious country that has so much perversity going on under the surface?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that kills people that try to do the right thing? I think back to MKO. I think back to the Ogoni and the 9 people that were killed on November 10th 1995
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that would pay USD500,000 for Kim Kardashian to show up in our country and cannot afford to pay for education for young girls?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that forces university graduates to work for one year for money that can’t even pay their phone bills in the name of National Service? Shouldn’t national service be voluntary? How dare you force the youth to spend the best years of their lives in a system that doesn’t help them?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country where people spend 8 years trying to get a degree that should only take 3 years?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country where university professors sleep with girls every single day of the school year in exchange for good grades? Meanwhile, the government turns a blind eye and there is no justice for these girls?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country where I don’t feel safe walking down the street in broad daylight? Let alone late at night
Why wouldn’t I leave a country where there is so much kidnapping and killing and corruption day in and day out?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country where our leaders convene every single day of the week to share the money received from oil exports?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that the US sends millions of dollars to in exchange for oil every single day ($23 billion in 2012 to be exact), but yet, remains one of the poorest countries in the world?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, but has no plans for the next generation?
Why wouldn’t I leave a country that has so many people getting married and having kids and there is little to no sex education in schools? Because hey, we’re holy and sex is a bad word?
Why wouldn’t I leave such a country to come to the US?
Nigerians don’t Help Nigeria By Leaving – aka Brain Drain
For those of you that would say: “well, you’re not helping by leaving”. Here’s what I want to ask you.
There are 150 million people in Nigeria.
Let’s assume that half of those people are brain damaged. That leaves 75 million human beings with perfectly functional brains living in the system.
Why aren’t those people making change happen?
Why would I be the hero? Why would my presence in Nigeria make a difference? Why do I have to be person number 75,000,001 in order for change to happen?
Nigeria doesn’t have a people problem.
We have good people in Nigeria. We have smart people in Nigeria. We have world changers in Nigeria.
Nigeria doesn’t have a people problem. We have a system problem. Specifically, a justice system problem. Until there is a justice system in Nigeria, every effort we’re making is in vain.
Until there is some kind of system that brings justice to those that need justice, there is no progress for Nigeria.
You can go out there and rally and demonstrate and do all sorts of things but guess what? There is no justice system to make sure that if you die for standing up for what you believe in, at least somebody would be held accountable for your death.
And for those that are going to ask how leaving is going to help, all I have to say is this.
I have no interest or desire in instituting such a system in Nigeria. My desire, the only thing that I care about more than anything else in this world is simple—it is to care for orphans. I will put my heart and soul into doing that.
Unfortunately, I can’t really help orphans (the way I want to) if I’m physically in Nigeria.
Until a justice system that works is instituted in Nigeria, I plan to stay exactly where I am, supporting Starbucks every single day, and repping naija from afar.
Maybe You Shouldn’t Even Bother Reading This Part
The funny thing about this post is that if I were American and this post were about America, Americans would get angry. Americans would have an opinion. Americans will share this post. Americans would start a conversation. Americans would DO something.
I know many of you would read this and you’re going to go “hmmmnn *sigh* na wah oh. God will help that country sha”