Saturday, April 21, 2012

A decade away from the motherland

It just dawned on me that I have been out of Nigeria for 10years!  I had a feeling yesterday that April 20th was a special day, but I just didn't know what made it so special. I mean, no one in my family was born in April, so it couldn't have been someone's birthday. But while reading some blog posts by Nigerians in the diaspora, I suddenly realized that around this day 10years ago, my family and I bid our farewell to the country.

Why don't you go back to contribute to the development of your country?
Just about two weeks ago, a Nigerian friend (who was inspired to venture to China after coming across my blog) told me about an older African woman in the diaspora who asked her why she is not back in Nigeria developing her nation? As a respect to the woman, she didn't give her a response. I just thought if it was me, I would have said "the same reasons you're not there yourself ma". Coincidentally, I read a relative's Facebook status update about why so many Nigerians are sweeping the streets of China, India and the U.S when so many Chinese and Indians bribe their way to get into Nigeria. I immediately left a comment saying that I've never seen a foreigner sweeping the streets of Beijing or any other Chinese city I've traveled to. Besides, those foreigners bribing their way into Nigeria are no different from Nigerians who "sweeps" the streets abroad. In that both see all the available resources on the other side of the world which aren't available to them in their home countries.

I mean if Obama senior hadn't gone to the States, the country wouldn't have the Black president it has today. Or if Roger Jean hadn't fled to Canada as a refugee, after being abducted and tortured in his home country, Canada wouldn't have had it's first visible minority, Haitian-born governor general.

President Obama with Canada's 27th Governor General  MichaĆ«lle Jean 

If the grass is greener on the other side, why remain in an environment where your talents are not being maximized? Or remain in a country where basic human necessities are made to seem like luxuries? Or in an environment where you might not be able to fully enjoy your wealth due to political or social instabilities in the country. It is very common here in China for rich Chinese families to immigrate to Canada or whatever country they choose to call their new home. Because being a millionaire doesn't exempt you from the one child policy, pollution, daily traffic jams and other unnecessary stress a rich person doesn't need to go through.

I think what people need to do is to first research the LONG history of immigration before they start talking nonsense about immigrants or people leaving their home countries to go build other people's nations. What annoys me the most is when I read hate comments from people who are descendants of immigrants themselves!

 I think whatever reason a person decides to leave their home country to go pick up another citizenship or get a new one after renouncing their natural citizenship is their business. I believe America wouldn't be the nation it is today if those early immigrants had just stayed in their countries. And Canada probably wouldn't be the second biggest nation it is today if it wasn't for those thousands of immigrants helping to fill up empty lands.

As an immigrant and currently an expat enjoying life in a country where so many citizens are looking for a  way out, I am most thankful to have the opportunity to be mobile. Because after all, the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Therefore, If at any time I feel the grass is greener in another part of my heavenly Father's creation, then I will most definitely go explore it!

**So, have I visited Nigeria in the last 10years? No. Will I ever go for a visit? Of course, as soon as I can gather some funds. Will I ever move back? No one knows the future, but luckily, my dual citizenship gives me an option :).**

And to you Dear reader, where is your home country and where do you now currently call your home? And if you have moved back to your home country, under what circumstance(s) did you had to relocate and do yo feel you are helping to build your nation?


Naija4Life said...

I believe people who make cynical comments about where you live or question how often you visit home need to travel a bit and understand the way the world works.

Migration is a feature of human existence and will always be. As long as people are legal and happy where they are then it's nobody's business what they get up to.

Nation building is the responsibility of everyone and not just those in diaspora or those back in Nigeria.

Unknown said...

Naija4Life: I think you said it ALL! Make your contribution regardless of where you live. Living outside Nigeria should not disqualify you from giving back. People have varied reasons for migrating and not moving back home. It does not make them less patriotic.

Unknown said...

I am a Nigerian and identify as that, even though I have lived in the US for as 10 years too :-) I used to be on the bandwagon of those who felt that you had to go back to give back. But not anymore. For those who want to go back, I admire and applaud them. For those who choose to stay, same reaction. Either way, it comes down to a matter of choice and I feel that people can give back and help with nation building regardless of where they live.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way.

JenJen said...

Born and raised in America, but I did leave my home state to move to where I could get paid better at my career choice (teaching). Sometimes you have to leave to help yourself and there is nothing wrong with that.

~Adeola~ said...

very true indeed. Your geographical location shouldn't restrict your responsibilities as a citizen of whatever nation. It's just unfortunate that some of us can only be effective and truly give back after moving OUT.

~Adeola~ said...

That is true. Also, there are so many Nigerians abroad starting up businesses in Nigeria, creating jobs and building the economy. But it seems like such cohort are overlooked.

thank you for following :)

~Adeola~ said...

Exactly, and also to help those who are not comfortable with leaving by creating more employment opportunities for them.
I think immigration is no different from youngsters who leave friends and families behind in the villages or countryside to go seek better opportunities in the cities. And may be return to their hometown one day to give back by building a school, shop, hospital or whatever it may be.
thanks for commenting

Molara Brown said...

I left Nigeria, because I found an opportunity to explore a career I am very much passionate about...Also I have not seen any Nigerian or African sweeping the streets of India. Some people will just sit in one place and be judging people. Let those who are ready to give back to the Nation, give back to it. Also I do not believe you have to return to Nigeria to give back to the country. There are a lot of people living outside the country who contribute more to its development than those who actually live in it.

Lishylikes said...

wow u said it all! all those people who keep questioning y i havent gone back should go and roast jor. whats their own?