Prologue: There is a message purportedly written by a Nigerian living in the US, that is being shared across WhatsApp groups. The following is a response to the points raised by the purported author.
It is adapted from a reply I posted when the message was forwarded to one group where I belong.
Note: My responses are italicised, and preceded by “Response”. The original message (by the American resident) has not been changed in any way.
“DON’T EVER CURSE YOUR COUNTRY”
Response: Valid, but complaints are not equivalent to curses.
1. If you don’t know how you are blessed, you will think your father’s farm is worse than your friend father’s farm.
Response: True, but also, if you don’t know how impoverished you are, you will think your father’s farm is the best in the world.
2. $1 is ₦500 and so what?
Response: For a country that imports a significant proportion of items it uses, the exchange rate is very important, as it is a key driver of inflation. There’s no country on earth that is not bothered about exchange rates, including the US.
3. Let me elucidate from my little experience. Can anyone in the US use $1 for breakfast? No!
Response: What is the minimum wage in the US?($7.25 per hour) What is the prevalence of poverty in the US?
4. But in some places in Nigeria, ₦500 will give you breakfast and lunch.
Response: There are millions of Nigerian adults who don’t earn up to ₦500 ($1) in a day (₦15,000 a month).
5. Majority of people’s monthly house rent (self contained apartment) in the USA is $1,000 and above… and that is your own 2 year’s rent!
Response: Moot point. The author should have been looking at purchasing power parity. What is the average income in the US compared to Nigeria? The average monthly income in the US is more than the average annual income of most Nigerians.
6. Have you ever paid for insurance before? Insurance in the US is $280 and that is almost ₦100,000 monthly.
Response: What is the income from which this insurance was paid? For you to pay the equivalent of ₦140,000 a month as insurance, you must have earned a lot more than that. In Nigeria, people are even fighting to get a minimum wage of ₦30,000($60) per month.
7. When last did you pay monthly phone bills? I pay almost ₦40,000 monthly and if I don’t, they are going to block my SIM. Your own MTN can be there for months without recharge.
Response: This point is moot. What is the definition of monthly bills? Nigerians largely spend on phone airtime on a prepaid basis. The author is likely paying for the cost of his or her phone, which was likely bought on “hire purchase” basis, and requires a given amount of monthly payments, whereas Nigerians generally pay upfront for their phones.
8. When last did you work on Saturday and Sunday?
Response: Thousands of Nigerians work on Saturdays and Sundays, including in corporate environments. It is also not true that working weekends applies to all Americans as this point suggests.
9. This I do compulsorily and on regular basis.
Response: If we knew where you work, we would understand better, but then, if working weekends is so bad for you, why haven’t you changed jobs, or returned to Nigeria?
10. Don’t get me wrong, the US is better than Nigeria, depending on which angle you are viewing it.
Response: At last, some truth!😁
11. Do you want to hear the truth?
Response: You mean the real truth, or the false equivalences written so far?
12. Many people in Nigeria live a more fulfilling life compared to their counterparts abroad.
Response: This is subjective. Not all Nigerians feel fulfilled seeing their relatives beaten and killed by security operatives, or dying from illnesses that are easily treated abroad.
13. Forget about all the packaging on social media and give credit to the good life you are living.
Response: It’s true that social media breeds fake lives, but to say Nigerians are living a good life is deceptive. Assuming Nigerians are living a good life, the American resident should please return home to Nigeria.
14. Do you know why Nigerians living in the US always rush back quickly whenever they come home visiting?
Response: We wonder; tell us, we pray thee!
15. Because bills are counting and elongated absence (freedom) will put their lives in jeopardy.
Response: But you said Nigerians are living a good life in Nigeria. So, why are these people running back to a place of misery in America?
16. If you, as a black person, attempt to emulate the whites, they will kneel on your neck.
Response: While not denying institutionalised oppression in the US, Derek Chauvin is a learner compared to the atrocities committed by Nigerian security forces and the government against Nigerians.
17. Apart from Congo, no citizens in the entire universe enjoy life to the fullest than Nigerians.
Response: Reference, please🙄.
18. You are abundantly blessed but you don’t know until you get visa and relocate abroad, that is when you will know that your 8-hour job in Nigeria with free weekend is awoof.
Response: We will like to see you back in Nigeria to enjoy like us.
19. With 8-hour job abroad, you can only pay bills, you need other 6 to 8 hours jobs to save for the future and plan your life.
Response: This is as true as saying you have to be a fraudster to live a decent life. It seems the American resident does not have valid papers nor a good education, so he’s struggling to get good jobs.
20. The truth is that the grass is green everywhere, it’s lack of vision greed of our leaders/politicians and the skewed religious practices (which placed emphasis on miracles) that ascended Nigeria onto a myopic tentacle of complete standstill.
Response: But you were saying Nigerians are enjoying a good life in this “myopic tentacle of complete standstill”🤷🏽♂️
21. Always thank God wherever you may find yourself. Nigeria is good and will be better.
Response: We praise thee oh Lord for thy goodness in this land of our sojourn where we suffer long.🙏🏽
22. God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria
Response: Amen and amen!
Epilogue: After responding to the Nigerian resident in America, Nigerians wondered when (s)he would return to enjoy the goodness of the Giant of Africa.
Image Credit: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay