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Monday, February 6, 2017

#NigeriansinDiaspora- Doyin's Story

Did you miss Ayo's story last week? Click HERE to read

I had gone into the kitchen to prepare my breakfast on a school day, as I usually do but this morning was different. I heard the hushed voices of my parents.
In a worried tone, mom said:
" I just don't know what to do".
My dad in a composed manner responded: 
" You will take the test again and you will pass" 
My mom had prepared and taken a test that would qualify her to begin practicing as a nurse in the US and unfortunately, to her dismay, she did not pass. She was distraught and felt defeated.
It was early 2001 and we found ourselves staying at a friend of a friends' home in Texas. A few months prior, myself and my siblings had just boarded a plane from South Africa to be reunited with my mother, whom we had not seen in 2 years, in Texas. Dad would eventually join us too.Seeing my mom after so long brought a plethora of emotions that my young self could barely contain; I had questions too; questions like why we had to be uprooted from the motherland-Nigeria for South Africa and then leave for the United States with little time to prepare for the changes.

As I grew older, those answers became clearer to me. My parents left the comfort of stable careers, support of family and friends to secure, for us, better opportunities in the future. They basically sacrificed the stability of today for the uncertainties of tomorrow, leaving behind the intangible and tangible with hopes that the odds will be in our favor.
Back home, my parents were both medical practitioners (mom a Nurse and dad a Doctor) and despite the prestige that is often associated with these professions, we were barely getting by with the paychecks obtained.

Taking the test was a coin tossing experience for my mom and even for the rest of us. One side of things came with the excitement that her passing it would open many doors of opportunity. On the other hand though, it was tasking and required a lot of hard work. Especially considering the fact that she had been a Nurse, in Nigeria, for over ten years at the time and my dad, a Doctor. However, many who travel to America find themselves in the same predicament- having to begin all over again. A few months after her results, mom took her test again and this time, she passed!

As I write this, I look back at our days of humble beginnings when mom was a nanny for the family we were staying with and dad found a job as a cab driver. My 3 siblings and I slept on a makeshift bed of blankets and sheets on the floor of the living room. I was nine at the time and I also had challenges a 9-year could call hers- mostly associated with transitioning into the school system and social interactions. Although I dare not compare these to what my parents had to bear.

At that point, being young gave me the luxury of naivety as I never felt as though we were going through a difficult time and only in retrospect am I able to see the sacrifices that were made and the challenges that came up. Perhaps, the love, hope, and consistent ability to persevere through all the difficult moments shared by my family also shielded me from the negative side of things.
I have so much admiration for not only my parents but also those that take such a huge leap to start over in a foreign land. Coming from a product of that, I commend those who leave the familiar for the unfamiliar in hopes of a better tomorrow.

I started off with the conversation I overhead with my parents and I can't help but wonder why this particular experience stuck out to me years later.
At first glance, there was nothing special about that day when I overheard my parents' conversation. After all, it was just supposed to be a routine day of rummaging through the kitchen to prepare breakfast. I was not aware of the significance of the moment until after it had passed as its parallels have now become clearer to me.

 At times, I believe we cry out to God when we have failed or just uncertain of our future. In that situation, my mother represented to me the fear of the unknown. Just as my earthly father was the voice of reason and calmness in that situation, so is our heavenly Father when we are lost, confused, and uncertain of what the next moment holds. He comforts and reassures His children. He is right there in that moment with us. Perhaps that’s why that moment kept coming back to me, it was God’s way of speaking to me through a difficult moment. God reminded me during life’s uncertainties that there is certainty in the one who holds those moments.


  1. Love it. Thanks for sharing. "God reminded me during life’s uncertainties that there is certainty in the one who holds those moments."- Refreshing words

  2. Thanks for sharing Doyin, and keep sharing your story.
    The sacrifice our parents make for their children is incredible.

  3. We never understand the pain and purpose during the transition season, but in hindsight God reveals the lesson. <3


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