Buhari Should Sell the Nigerian Youth as Slaves


President Buhari like many past Nigerian heads of state is living proof of why slavery flourished along the coast of West Africa a few centuries ago. While the Europeans, Americans and others nurture, support and encourage their youth to build the edifices that have come to symbolise civilisation and world power, many African kings never had any use for their proliferating population of youths. Today is no different. Diaspora is the dreamland of the Nigerian youth. Under Buhari’s administration, the incentive for the Nigerian youth to go overseas for a better life has never been greater because of the lack of opportunities that stare them in the face. If leaders have no respect or value for their youth, who will? Continue reading

The “Diaspora Paradox” and the Nigerian

One of the most challenging experiences a Nigerian [or other African nationals] in Diaspora will ever face is encountered within the paradox of deciding either remaining in a foreign land permanently or going back home for good. Continue reading

Political Ambitions in Diaspora: ‘Obasanjo Say Make I Come’



Between 1999 and 2007 there was an acute frenzy of political aspirations occurring among Nigerians in the diaspora; it was quite an evident wave. The frenzy was about Nigerians seeking to return home to go successfully into politics and hold office or get lucrative contracts from the government. Pre-1999, many if not the majority of Nigerian males in the diaspora were quite content to live indefinitely overseas but after the 1999 return to democracy, it was rare to find a Nigerian male who was ‘away’ that did not want to return to Nigeria to make it big. That was the birth of the “X say make I come home” era.

For ‘X say make I come home’ the X was either, Obasanjo, Ibori, Igbinedion, Tinubu, Duke, Akande, Odili, Omene, Makoju, Clarke or any other leading politician or technocrat in power. ‘X say make I come home’ had a stilted drama to it. It was said in a smug, self-congratulatory, ostensibly humble, ‘I have arrived’ manner. ‘X say make I come home’ was perhaps the most prestigious thing a Nigerian in the diaspora could utter to his fellow compatriot expatriates at the turn of the Millennium. Nigerians were returning home in large numbers to make it big or have a comfortable life.

Many that went home to ‘the call’ experienced a mixed bag of fortunes and outcomes which could be classified into four distinct groups. The “Winners” went home and landed great jobs or won major elections or got juicy contracts without much ado or with a bit of a struggle. Some eventually became ministers, governors, state commissioners, directors in government agencies, local government chairmen, assemblymen, representatives, and senators. Others became personal assistants, special assistants and unofficial proxies to the winners, sharing in their often fabulous good fortune. Then there were the glorious contactors.

The “Runners” were the hustlers who had to work very hard to get any income or privileges to could secure. It was usually tough for runners but they eventually got lucrative contracts from their contacts in government. The fortune of the most successful runners was “win big, lose big”; their actions always had high stakes. More often than not, non-payment or severely delayed payments for contracts executed and completed was their Achilles heel. Many were crushed due to payment uncertainties.

The “Testers” were the ones that went to Nigeria with resources that would last them for up to eighteen months while they were prospecting for position and contracts in Nigeria. It appears that for this group of prospectors were quite pragmatic since many returned to their bases in diaspora when their resources ran out and the success of the ambitions remained unfulfilled. However, the testers were also a major feeder group for the winners and runners who eventually made it (big).

The “Shock Absorbers” are so-called because they appeared immune to the consequences and awareness of failure to the point of being rescued back to diaspora by third parties. A few shock absorbers did make it to the rank of winner and runner. The tales of the experiences of shock absorbers were often tragic and sometimes fatal. We leave it at that.

While the winners constituted (max.) 5% and the runners (max.) 15% of those who had said ‘X say make I come home’ the other 80% was a mix of unsuccessful Testers and Shock Absorbers. Most of the all the winners and most of the runners have remained in Nigeria while nearly all the unsuccessful testers and shock absorbers are back in the diaspora. In a nutshell, at best only 1 in every 5 made it well enough to go to Nigeria and sustain themselves enduringly there but only 1in every 20 fulfilled their dreams of “making it big in Nigeria.

These days we no longer hear guys in diaspora uttering the line ‘X say make I come home’. Most who got the call were disappointed by the patrons who “invited” them home. Some of such patrons strung their invitees along till they ran out of resources to fend for themselves then dropped them. Some invitees lacked the skills and acumen to make it in Nigeria even though they had sufficient opportunities to succeed presented to them. Others fell out with or lost the favour of their patrons. Quite a number had impatient wives back in the diaspora who were impatient with the delays in their husbands earning a repatriate-able income and pressured them to return. There were other factors too.

While the winners and some runners are smiling to bank many in the diaspora now realise that the days returning home was bound to bring a man success and financial independence just because he was from the diaspora or had very high ambitions are no longer here, they are gone… for most. You can still find people going home to make it big but in small numbers.

These days many Nigerians in the diaspora are content to earn their pension there or do so grudgingly without any recourse to go back home.


Grimot Nane

Nigeria’s “Medical Mail Brides”: Part 2



Not all medical professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists etc.) married from Nigeria into diaspora (especially the USA and UK) are “medical mail brides”. Female medical professionals are human and just like other professional and non-professional women; someone will desire them, court them and marry them where the possibility arises. The problem raised in the previous article (see http://wp.me/p1bOKH-vJ) is the “intention”, yes the intention, of men marrying female medical professionals from Nigeria or coercing them into becoming one after she arrives. If it is not loving, could it be pimping?

Before this matter is taken any further it should be emphasised that there are a whole lot of men who have married female medical professionals into diaspora but not as medical mail brides. Some men who have married medical professionals into diaspora had dated them in numerous previous circumstances in Nigeria i.e. as [secondary / university] classmates/schoolmates, fellow choristers, neighbours, family friends etc. long before diaspora came into the equation. Continue reading

Nigeria’s “Medical Mail Brides”: Can the Men Handle Them?

It has become increasingly apparent that the most desirable women in the eyes of Nigerian men in diaspora from Nigeria to join them in matrimony are medical professionals. Female doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers etc. that have already qualified in Nigeria are incredibly well-valued as migratory wives by men in the diaspora. Women who can and do qualify as medical professionals after they arrive in diaspora either as single or married women are also very well-valued by suitors and husbands, respectively. The reason is almost exclusively economic, but there is a price for marrying a woman who is sure to earn more than her husband shortly. What is it? Continue reading

The Ontology of the African



Some sincere African intellectuals are genuinely dismayed about the derisory status of the African among other human beings in the world. It is the stuff of an ontology that remains the same today as it was in yesteryears. The sources of occasions for being dismayed are numerous, especially the treatment of African immigrants in Diaspora and images of Africa in the media. The unexplained detentions, sporting racism, police brutality, rough deportations, slave jobs, denial of guaranteed social amenities, human rights violations. The inhumane experiences by migrant Africans in nations who have taken it upon themselves to be the leaders and moralisers of the free world are more than contradictions. We should not exclude the cursory treatment of the African by his/her leaders and authorities, which is a significant part of the problem. A brilliant former colleague of mine, Dr Edith Phaswana, via social media, communicated that the dehumanising treatment of the African in the Diaspora especially in so-called “civilised societies”. Her comment had a basis in a crushingly low and derisory ontology of Sub-Saharan people. I agree with her completely.

Continue reading

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