I am writing this piece in response to an interesting article written by Tunde Leye titled – Why they are leaving Nigeria – To Create Hope.
Tunde’s beautiful write-up, something, I would strongly suggest you read through tells the story of many Nigerians cutting across the self made well-to-dos and the hustlers who want to remain legit and get a decent life and of course, those whose calling is fraud and nothing but fraud!
My response is to further confirm Tunde’s submission and reasoning as these are a true representation of my decision to relocate.
By myself, I have survived the harsh realities of trying to live clean and legit. For sure, I know I will survive under any given situation but also, survival would be in the context of being able to feed and have a roof over my head even if it means staying with any of my siblings, family members or returning to my parents’ respective villages. I will survive.
What about my kids? Those little boys and their sister who look up to me as a father and by natural dictates trust that I can see them through the rough course of growing up in a country that has accelerated its path towards social divide and imbalance?
I hate to see myself as I described above. A man able to survive alone as if I am blaming my kids for coming into my life. However sad, that’s a likely point you get to when you have to deal with the rapid decay and uncertainties becoming the daily conquest of an average Nigerian man and parent.
My case is not whether I am still thinking about leaving; I left over two years ago and by Allah, I have reasons to conclude as I write this article that the decision to leave despite how painful it was then seem to have paid enough dividends to say it is a good decision.
Since I got to the USA in 2015, I have personally been to the airport to receive 6 families/individuals relocating to the United States. Five of these six classes were doing well in Nigeria but couldn’t guarantee the future of their children. I think Tunde Leye clearly captured the fear of the kids’ future.
Do not get me wrong, there’s nothing here suggesting kids growing up in Nigeria will never make it to the top or do well when they grow up; some will and some not. Just as it is not cast in stone that coming to the USA or anywhere in Europe serves you a blank cheque of glory. However, one destination presents much more opportunities that the other; Nigeria being the one that provides the least.
Till date, I have suddenly become some sort of consultant to people in the process of making this decision. They call me everyday to ask questions and weigh their options. This new psuedo-role breaks my heart because these are the same people like myself who at some point had the believe that we could get this country back on track. We had the lofty ideas of how a country should be and how people should be treated but today, we have embarked on the new pursuit of the American Dream.
Many thanks to Tunde Leye for telling my story and that of others. I am on all fours with you on your submissions.
I will make out time to write another article to address what it looks like starting again in the United States hoping that it will serve as some kind of reference for people caught in the should-I stay-or-leave loop.
I grew up to believe that it is the duty of a parent to ensure his own children do better than he’s doing just as his parents, the children’s grandparents, did. If I can’t guarantee my kids a decent future by working hard and making meaningful sacrifice, I had better relinquish my position/title of a Father and bury my head in shame.
In conclusion, this goes out to everyone who stood by me when I was taking this bold step to leave in pursuit of hope for my kids and myself. And those who here in the USA, did everything possible to get me settled and going.
My immediate family, friends from way back, in Mayflower School Ikenne, the ExMAy 98 set and OAU.
When the decision was made, my good friend, Laolu Egunjobi said something to me and I start everyday with his words on my mind. He said, “Hustle hard and hustle clean, that is the way to survive in the USA”.
Thank you for your time. I’ll be back… ( In Arnold’s Terminator voice.)