Nigeria is a country with an estimated population of 167 million people. Though English is the official language, there are almost 400 ethic groups, each with its language – the main ones being Hausa,Yoruba and Igbo. Her main religions are Islam, Christianity and indigenous religions. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and also the largest black nation in the world. Nigeria is one-third larger than Texas and is situated on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The system of government today is multiparty democracy, though the country only transitioned from a military to civilian rule in 1999.
I have to say that there is always something incredibly amazing and exciting about going home. Every time I do go back, I fall more and more in love with my parent’s country. My parents are originally from Nigeria and although I was born and raised in England, I still consider Nigeria a country that I can call home.
Going home has become very personal for me. It goes back to my growing up in a predominately white neighbourhood, where as a young child I knew little or nothing about either of my parent’s cultures (my mother being Igbo and my father being Yoruba). However, as I have gotten older, I have wanted to have more knowledge and gain more insight into my parents cultures.So when I did start going to Nigeria, I began to really appreciate the country and having real excitement about learning something new, culturally or historically.
In the last year or so, I have encountered a growing number of young people who are considering, or have now gone back to Nigeria to start a new life. With the lack of opportunities that young people appear to be facing in the UK, the Motherland does seem less far-fetched than it had previously been.
Since when I lived in Singapore as a student I have always had interest in moving abroad and starting a new life where there are more opportunities for me. So when my friend sent me this video ‘Nigeria: the “repats” who have returned. It got me questioning myself on whether I too should move to Nigeria.
Watch this video below:
Indeed this seems to be a new era, with people who want to challenge the stereotypical views of Nigeria, which have been portrayed by the media and for some of us, by our parents.
But believe me when I say more and more young people are now seeing Africa in a new light and want to challenge the perception of the country – by starting businesses, developing properties, improving Nigeria’s infrastructure and growing her economy.
Someone like me who studied International Politics at Kings College London, being able to go back to Nigeria and get into politics has been a struggle amongst my family and peers. Nigeria is perceived as a country that suffers from huge political and other corruption. However, with a new government in place, the new President, Muhammadu Buhari has shown his commitment to kill the high level of corruption that seems prevalent in the country (others may disagree).
So would I personally move to Nigeria?
For me I know that it would be exciting. I have friends and family who have or are currently participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who had said that the locals say that for us “repats”, coming to Nigeria was an adventure. Whilst this stereotype may be true there is a keen interest for “repats” to promote a new image of Nigeria as an upwardly mobile population who have masses of opportunities.
As the year goes by, I have seen more migrants return to Nigeria, not only just to visit families and friends, but also to launch businesses and to start new lives. It is becoming more and more acceptable to see Nigeria as the land where the economy is vastly growing, which inevitably is eradicating the portrayal of the ‘poverty porn’ image and negative stories about Nigeria.
If I was going to move to Nigeria, I would have to convince my farther first; and I think I have a long way getting around that, but it is definitely something that I would never rule out of my life.
I personally would like to think that moving anywhere was an adventure, but at the same time I think that moving to Nigeria is a huge decision that could provide huge benefits (and challenges) for anyone who is willing to grab it with both hands.
Even if you do not move back home, at least go visiting!
I don’t know guys … Maybe it is time to go home.