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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

#NigeriansinDiaspora- Tade's Story


When Moyo told me about 'Nigerians in Diaspora', the first thing I thought of writing about is how friends and sometimes family, and even strangers expect you to fulfill some kind of financial obligations to them. You know it's like people think it rains money abroad. Well I would not want to expatiate on that, because that's only gonna teach you to stop asking your friends abroad to buy Nike slippers for you (lol).

I'm gonna try to go ahead and talk about something more in-depth, based on my experiences. Now, these do not necessarily apply to every situation because 'the abroad' is a very big place.
Most Nigerians abroad  or lets say the ones we hear of /see are in English speaking countries. I'll list some popular examples
  • USA
  • Canada 
  • UK 
  • Malaysia (their official language is not English but 62% of its citizens speak English, which is more than the 53% of Nigerians that do)
  • Ghana (lol, Moyo might probably take Ghana off the list)
Well, my case is quite different from the conventional. I live in a predominantly Muslim country where only 17% of the population speak English. I think that's enough to make 'the abroad' experience different. This can either be galling or exciting, depending on the kind of person you are. Oh yeah, did I also mention the black population is almost Nil?

Here's what it looks like for me:

1. IT'S NOT AT ALL LIKE NIGERIA 

Living in my 'abroad' is not like Nigeria...I don't care how much TV you have watched, John snow knows more than you if you think you are familiar with foreign cultures. You really have to see with your own eyes. I mean, I watched movies, I heard stories but actually you just have to experience some things for yourself.

The government and the people have very different priorities, they interpret situations differently and react to situations differently. While some of them have you thinking: "who does that" others make you think "hmmn why didn't I think of that". For example in 'my abroad' romantic relationships are a completely different ball game (story for another day, haha). I could talk about one tho, here you go:

Now, as a Nigerian guy, I found it very uncomfortable when I received pecks on both cheeks from my male friends here; at least pecks last for just a second. They also might wanna hold your arms while walking with you. Took me a while to adjust to this and it's one of the things I have to deal with while in my abroad.

 2. IT'S JUST LIKE NIGERIA



lol...Yes, I said it...it's just like Nigeria. I won't confuse you, let me explain. You know how people say "It's only in Nigeria blah blah will blah?" Well, I have news oh
The people in "the abroad" say exactly the same thing in exactly the same situations (obviously in some cases) but you get my point. They also make some jokes I totally thought was archetype in and specific to Nigeria. When they make these jokes or expressions 'obviously in their language' it really fascinates me. They also complain about their government, employment and some random things we complain about. So, when next you wanna tweet 'its only in Nigeria that....' think twice.

3. GET READY FOR 'CURIOSIM'



'Curiosm'; that's a new word I made up about three seconds ago."Curiosm" is a mixture of prejudice, curiosity and defense merged in one person's attitude towards another. Most people will interpret curiosm as racism but it's a little more than that. I'll give some examples.

1.) Someone asking me for permission to touch my hair.
2.) A small boy walking up to me just to rub my skin to see if some of the 'black paint' will rub off.
3.) A group of passersby alerting themselves to the fact that a black person is around.

When I discovered this interesting phenomena, I developed a mechanism to deal with it:
Eliminate prejudice, Feed curiosity and Soften defenses.
I could say more but I think I have fulfilled the goal which 'Nigerians in Diaspora' seeks to achieve.

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