Saturday, 11 August 2012

Immigration 101 - Part Two



(6) When immigrants wont let go of the past:


One of my favourite verses - Luke 9:62 -  in the Bible states 'And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God'

I love the simplicity of it because one can also apply it to different aspects of life:
- A new bride/ groom who still reminisces about old boyfriends/ girlfriends is not ready to build a happy home;
- A secondary school student who longs for the simplicity of primatry school is not ready to work hard;
- A mother who continues to moan that she misses her carefree childless days, is not prepared to be a good mother;
- An athlete who continuously looks over his/her shoulder - to check the competition during a race - is likely to stumble

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen Nigerians send money home to build mansions in Nigeria while they inhabit homes that can only be described as 'painful to the eyes'. Some send luxurious cars back home........which relatives end up driving on their behalf.

This situation is not exclusive to Nigerians. I have Indian and Pakistani colleagues/ friends who complain about same: Parents who built fabulous houses in their home countries..........while they have brought up children in very cramped accommodation.........all in the name of building a retirement home or showing their peers that they are successes abroad.

In my opinion, maintaining a link to one's country of origin should never be at the expense of one's dependants. An immigrant who spends more time wondering what s/he is missing out on in the country s/he left.......is not ready to build a successful life in his new country.


(7) When Nigerians/ immigrants refuse to adapt:
I am a true believer in staying true to oneself.....However, I am also believer in the saying 'Give unto Caesar what is Caesar and unto God what is God's'

One of the most difficult things an immigrant has to face is the need to adapt:
- Regarding Employment: A need to update his/her skills or education
- Regarding Finances: A need to understand that western society is generally a cash-less society (good credit rating is important)
- Regarding Education: A need to understand the education system if you want your kids to excel
- Regarding A need to understand the 'unwritten codes' i.e. what's acceptable or not

However, quite a lot of immigrants expect the society to adapt to them....Not going to happen.

Restricting all communication, socialising and interaction to the familiar (i.e. only your community) is not really helpful as one might never get to understand his/her new environment.


(8) When Nigerians do not patronise other Nigerians:
I am always frustrated when I see fellow Nigerians who do not encourage other Nigerian business owners. s  I am not talking about the businesses that deal in African food.....but the Nigerians who have other businesses.

Unfortunately, it seems Nigerians still prefer to patronize other nationalities when it comes to non-food transactions. I dont know if its a matter of distrust or envy but it amazes me when some Nigerians over here will pay double to someone else and then prefer to owe their fellow Nigerian.


(9) When immigrants think 'business' is a way out of dealing with 'the system': 
I have seen numerous immigrants decide to go into 'business' because they feel that is a way to avoid the 'system' or be independent. I applaud this choice as much as I despair about it. I applaud this because I believe the spirit of entrepreneurship means successful business owners will motivate others and break boundaries.

However, I do despair at times because some fail to realise that not everyone is cut for business.

More often than not, if you ask some of my fellow immigrants what kind of business they have in  mind, they are vague OR they base their business model on imitating someone else's business idea. Most don't think it through and the result is that most of these businesses fold up within a year. In my experience, a business MUST seek to address a need; MUST differentiate itself and MUST evolve to outlive its competitors.

The new phenomenon is that quite a lot decide to return to their home countries to start 'business'. I wont bore you with how many succeed and how many don't but believe me when I say that the vacumm left by a parent who spends most of his/her time in another country is not easy to fill.

I totally applaud the bravery of those who choose to start businesses - at home or abroad .........However, .my applause ceases in cases where the individual has chosen to invest huge sums in a business while they ignore the needs of their offspring.


(10) When immigrants forget about the other fingers:
'When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself'

Immigrants often accuse their hosts of everything - while forgetting they are guilty of same:
- Complaining about racism...........???: How is that different from tribalism?
- Complaining that your hosts make fun of your skin colour............???: How is that different for the preference for lighter skinned Africans?
- Complaining about white parents who dont want their kids marrying Africans........?:  How many Africans dont feel the same?
- Complaining about how expensive everything is over here..........:  I agree..........but that's why things work
 - Complaining, Complaining, Complaining ...........???: Just deal with the here and now.....no be your papa house be this so save your energy and hustle (This is not your father's house so save your energy and get a move on)


In the words of Vintage Nollywood ...........'To God Be The Glory' LOL
Stay blessed everyone

65 comments:

  1. oh wise one, there's no wonder why i always look forward to your posts! And can i just send a humongous grizzly bear hug for #10! I'm sure you won't get anywhere near as much shade for saying it as i have in the past lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Big Hug Back*
      LOL @ 'wise one'...........I'm sure my hubby disagrees LOL
      Thanks for dropping by. Your last post about .... position still makes me smile
      xxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  2. I love everything.. and sadly some of us fail to apply reasoning and wisdom.

    Its a shame really that we drown in our complaints instead of seeing the bright side.

    I pray we learn and grow.

    P.S. About the business spot on.A business MUST seek to address a need; MUST differentiate itself and MUST evolve to outlive its competitors.


    THANK U AGAIN.. woman of plenty wisdom.. am learning. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for commenting although I am blushing (if black man fit blush) re your comments about being 'wise'
      I am learning oh
      Stay blessed
      xxxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  3. LOL... NIL, you are funny. I couldn't stop laughing at ceasing to applause for businesses that are not original ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: business............abi no be true?
      My dearest, the thing tire me.
      Hope all is well with you
      xxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  4. lovely post...you just nailed it! What about the ones that complain of Nigeria being the same since they left 20years ago while complaining of their host country not doing enough? oya they should make up their mind o..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL @ 'What about the ones that complain of Nigeria being the same since they left 20years ago while complaining of their host country not doing enough?'
      GBAM! GBAM! GBAM!

      True words my sister. Hope all is well with you.
      xxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  5. This is so on point. May your ink never run dry.i just moved here in November and I have learnt a lot about your post.thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to the UK
      I hope you have settled in
      Please take care of yourself
      xxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  6. Would have written more but am typing with one hand.my husband is reading as we speak.thumbs up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One hand? Hope you are okay
      Abeg greet oga for me
      xxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  7. I'm nodding to every point. Well said, Naijamum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Adura or should I call you lepacious Adura? :)))

      Hope all is well with you?

      xxxxxxxx

      Delete
  8. Interesting as usual 9jamum.
    Let me start first by applauding you for a well-thought out script. I like the way you use biblical verse and proverb to portray your points.
    Building a mansion in 9j and living in a cramped accommodation or squatting with people sounds like penny-wise, pound-foolish attitude to me. A family friend i know is building a mansion i write,when he cannot take care of his responsibilities in UK! He is defending himself that he does not want to be like the people that come to abroad and have nothing at home to show for it.
    A man also sent a jeep to a friend in my estate to sell on his behalf and send the money back after taking his commission from it. But the friend refused, and threatened to kill him instead if he still insist on getting his money back. The friend is living like big man with the money he got fraudulently.
    About Nigerians not patronizing each other is true...my SIL is skilled, but nobody likes to patronize her. She can bake and plait.Anytime i chat with her, she said,upon she charges lower because she stays at home, they still don't come. But if she offers to do it free, they will eat the cake happily and rock their weavings.
    Starting business abroad is not moi-moi o! My SIL had the same idea, to combine baking and plaiting, by the time she put the cost together of setting it up, she kukuma, siddon for house to ply her trade.
    Oh yes! everybody is at fault, but your are mr perfect! oh right! They complain about everything, and i wonder why dem no return back to 9ja! You see light 24/7 water they flow yangful, yanful, no pothole for roads....good educational system...and you dey complain about racism?...nah your papa land or house?...abegy! even here in 9ja, come and see tribalism to it's height! Is boko haram and ijaw cry for war not a sample. Why should they marry us? dem people don finish? when they know some marry for papers? or ulterior motive. A Nigeria man made sure his only child married a Nigerian man who just relocated to Uk with student visa. The guy grabbed the opportunity with 2 hands, but he does not really love the gal. When she suffered a back injury,that was when he showed her his true colours.
    One must improve himself when abroad...you have to conform to their ways because you came to their country.
    You see, i have written a post in your comment box, this shows it is a very interesting post, that i gbadun....and like you, i close my comment with the same nollywood line...TO GOD BE THY GLORY..ahahahah. I tire for our producers shaa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oooohhhhh, simply mee don take all my response o, please double read hers to get mine.. Heehehehehe

      Delete
    2. Ib,
      Re: the man who sent a jeep home, unfortunately that is now a common occurrence. How can people sleep knowing full well they have stolen from another? Na wa
      Re: your SIL...I totally feel her pain. I used to sew and I stopped because people wanted things for free. I rather sew for myself / family now. Too sad.
      Like you said, starting business abroad is not easy and it os made even harder by people who pledge to patronise you but dont.

      LOL @'nah your papa land or house?...abegy!'
      I shake my head re ' When she suffered a back injury,that was when he showed her his true colours'
      That is so common. So sad also

      Please dont apologise for writing a detailed comment. I always appreciate your dropping by
      xxxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  9. Ah N.I.L, you are very wise. I just gbadun your posts cos they are always so on point. As for patronizing Nigerian/African businesses, mehn if i see someone who is very good at something i need, I'll definitely patronize why not? I've been looking for people who make hair very well and finally found a Congolese woman and i'm so sticking to her. nice post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stelzz
      Hope all is well with you and yours
      Take care
      xxxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Yes oh...I had to pay homage to my Nollywood
      Hope all is well
      xxxxxx

      Delete
  11. All correct ma! LOL...we live and learn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Myne
      Hope all is well with you
      xxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  12. i so agree with all you have said especially the building the mansion thing. My ex who lives from hand to mouth pays his own school fees in America is hell bent on building a house back home (he has started the foundation) in his hometown when he has no plans of relocating there anytime soon worse is that the house is not even being built in the cpaital city where he could rent it and get some income but his hometwon a typical village smh!!! i told him severally to use the mony and built two or three rental income houses one bedroom and use the proceeds to build a mansion if he still feels the need to in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mm
      Your ex is not the only one who does this
      I still dont understand why someone would build a house they hardly ever use
      Thanks for commenting
      xxxxxxxx

      Delete
  13. Hmmmm... WISE WORDS!!! deep as always

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dearie
      I'm glad this made sense to you
      Hope all is well with you
      xxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  14. lol. i love number 10. people that wont allow their children marry from other tribes accuse other of racism....thats just funny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abi oh my sistah
      Hypocrisy galore.......*sigh*
      Hope all is well with
      you
      xxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  15. I too love number 10 as well as number 7... I find myself constantly confused by the unwritten rules though. Really informative post as always! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unwritten rules can be confusing that is why I believe in socialising with new people. Mistakes will be made but one will learn.
      Thanks for dropping by
      xxxxxxx

      Delete
  16. Well written

    GBAM! re: "Regarding Education: A need to understand the education system if you want your kids to excel"

    We need to beat the Chinese immigrants at this. We were looking to move and touring the places with the best schools. Come and see Chinese and white people! Barely any blacks - immigrant or otherwise. Sure, to buy or rent property there may be slightly more expensive, but the benefits are well worth it. My people, we pay taxes; let's get the best out of the system.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so loving your comment about schools. You have absolutely got it.
      Like you said 'we pay taxes..............'
      I couldnt have put it better myself
      Thank you
      xxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  17. You don try again, as usual. I agree with the points made, though I don't see anything wrong with people building houses back home, so far they are taking care of their responsibilities in the foreign country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you I dont see anything wrong with building houses back home - so long as it's not to the family's detriment
      Thanks dearie
      xxxxxx

      Delete
  18. I found No.7 very important because I went through hell trying to update myself educationally. In the UK, other black people e.g., some dominant Nigerians, Guyanese and Ghanaians seem to be very envious of people going back to college/university.

    They can even get your landlord to throw you out while you are writing your dissertation. Some people are very wicked. It is better to hide your books when the wicked ones come calling. Amen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard of instances where relatives report people to authorities if they feel they are bettering themselves. For example, a relative reported her niece to the benefits office here - claiming the lady was fiddling the system. After prolonged investigation the niece was now absolved of any blame. However, the scars remain
      Thanks dear

      Delete
  19. Nigerians patronising other Nigerians can be hard cos there's little trust. I had a bad experience with a Nigerian agent and I know how hurt I felt. One because I couldn't give a proper piece of my mind because of the whole culture culture thing and he was older than me. Two we attended the same church which was already seen as a "Nigerian church" and if I had disrespected him, I would have looked like a rude child *rme*.

    Anyways lovely post as usual Naija mummy.

    Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you re: 'there's little trust'
      Your experience proves it.
      I try to patronise those I see as straight forward. Not easy sha
      Thanks for commenting. As always - I appreciate it so much
      xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  20. You're right my dear. However, in some cases, the problem with Nigerians seem to be excesses lol. When it's no longer adaptation but assimilation. We have the tendency to overdo each idea/recommendation in every category listed. When that happens you will be writing a different post then, lol! Awesome post! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL @ 'When that happens you will be writing a different post then,'
      Yes oh....at least I'll have new ideas again LOL
      Thanks for dropping by
      xxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  21. My dear Naijamum... I am officially your registered groupie. This is just brilliant. The business/entrepreneur madness gets to me, I often tell people that the need to become a boss overnight drives lots of people into this "Own Business" venture and that isn’t always good enough. The point on patronizing Nigerian businesses is so spot on as well, even with this whole blogging thing, people find it difficult to support/credit other peoples work or site their inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear 9jaFoodie, I am already your groupie too ! LOL
      I feel you with the blogging ...respecting copyright is not trait most people have.
      Thanks dearie
      Hope all is well
      xxxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  22. I don't agree with the point where u said Nigerians don't patronize Nigerians.if I want to eat out,I will rather I eat in a Mexican restaurant or Thai cos I eat Nigerian food in my house everyday so why would I go to spend money on naija food outside

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you didnt read the post
      My comment was :
      .......'I am not talking about the businesses that deal in African food.....but the Nigerians who have other businesses.

      Unfortunately, it seems Nigerians still prefer to patronize other nationalities when it comes to non-food transactions.'

      Hope that clears things up. Thanks for dropping by

      Delete
  23. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!








    SAP Training London

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is one course, NIL. It really had me thinking. I got some lessons from it, though I am not an immigrant. Who knows, I might be one soon and those lessons will come in handy. Thank you. Good job. Nice course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it got you thinking LOL
      Hope all is well with you
      xxxxxx

      Delete
  25. E be like say u dey vex for people when dey come build house for 9ja ohhhh..... Its not a bad idea so far it is not to the detriment of their kids. As for managing, to get something worthwhile, you must pinch yourself now.
    Anyway, good post as always. You too much!
    http://nitabrownsugah.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! How I go dey vex Who no like progress At all oh

      I no vex of dem wan build ...........as long as their pickin see food chop, school go, bed sleep and cloth wear. After that, I support their waka 100% LOL
      Thanks my sister. How far?
      xxxxxxxx

      Delete
  26. All I can say is 'gbam' even though I am one of the non-immigrant visitors that says some of the things you have mentioned. Does that let me off since I live in Naija? Lol! But seriously though, you touched on some very important points and key for me is the 'homesickness syndrome' that leads them to send money to home to build those businesses and mansions for their 'futures' AT THE EXPENSE of their 'nows' OR actually come home to 'do business' or look for work without a proper game plan. Do not listen to anybody that asks you to come over and 'stay in my house till you sort yourself out'. Lie! It hardly ever works out that way I find. Even the other way round. I always make sure a stay with any family abroad is long enough to bond and have fun but short enough to avoid us getting frazzled with each other's families. Don't lie. It always happens. It's called being human! Lol! Truly Insightful piece on Immigrants NIL, I hope it goes round the globe to the homes of all Naijapeeps out there.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Nodding* re 'I always make sure a stay with any family abroad is long enough to bond and have fun but short enough to avoid us getting frazzled with each other's families'

      You are toooo smart.

      Thanks for your comment. Insightful - as always
      xxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  27. Always an education reading your blog! "To God be the glory". xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always a pleasure knowing you feel that way.
      Thanks so much for dropping by
      xxxxxxxxxxx

      Delete
  28. I truly enjoyed this two-part post NIL. You make so much sense.
    The building house back home...check am well na my Igbo brothers. My uncle sank oodles of his saved dollar sin an abandoned project in Nigeria. It was so annoying then. Sadly those living in Nigeria do the same. Live in cramped rented apartments in Lagos while rats and roaches inhabit the mansion in the village. The last time i had this discussion with some older igbo men I was shushed. What do you know Ginger?! Me? Nothing Sir. Nothing.

    Schools - I have observed that one too here. public schools are free..why not give your kids the best? Check the school rating. give birth at the right time lol b4 Sept 1 lol.

    Nigerians patronising each other --hmmm. The few experiences I have, the Nigerian business person are actually nicer to the foreigners than to you their person. But again I don't blame them..some of us too love credit.
    #6 - I see that so often. Its a mind set sadly
    #9 - Being entrepreneurial...dont blame immigrants. Blame the motivational preachers and pastors who fill their head with that. I attended a popular Nigerian church in Lagos today and that was the crux of the preaching --you are not meant to work under anyone. God has given you ownership. How can you let someone else decide your value and give you wages accordingly etc. Suffice to say some people might have been empowered to abandon their jobs and join the nebulous group of business owners :(

    Happy bank holiday!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oops. that was a long comment! I blame you joo for inspiring me, lol

    ReplyDelete
  30. hmm very interesting.. I agree with you regarding not everyone is cut for business which also ties in with why some nigerians don't patronise other nigerians in non african food business.. because they are clearly not cut out for business.

    I was at a women conference at a church a few months ago and while we were on a break having lunch, the lady was going from table to table handing out flyers that didn't look very professional at all about her investment business and trying to get people to give her their details so she can come and visit them in their house and sell them a portfolio idea for them... hello?? IS she kidding? It was clearly not the place, the time or method to do that..

    Things like that are why I don't patronise Nigerian businesses.. I believe in knowing your stuff and being professional. If you are able to show that to me from afar while I am still trying to decide if I want to patronise you or not.. then I will gladly bring my business to you.

    ReplyDelete
  31. N.I.L...I just love your insightful posts about Naija life in london...ah ahn. You always hit the nail on the head, you inspire us other budding writers and I now hereby commission you my mentor. Na your blog wey I read a few months ago that made me return to blogging and I now have a blog/website that I'm working on.
    God bless you so much..you're a star.
    www.naijalivinguk.com

    ReplyDelete


  32. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!









    SAP Training London

    ReplyDelete

I always look forward to reading comments from visitors - so please leave yours. Many thanks for dropping by....xoxoxox