My name is David and I am from Nigeria, working and living in America. I came here in 2013 after I won a green card.
Well, before I came to this country, the world of plenty, the next heaven, I didn’t know what other Africans experience…I used to know money come so easily, life is so sweet and freedom is guaranteed. Now I am a humble citizen after being thought one or two lessons out of experience.
Life back in Nigeria was smooth, everyone was friendly, friends were many and without working I could eat. In Nigeria, I could walk freely, drink my booze and sleep in a pub without any problem. Back in Nigeria, I could survive with N10, 000 a month, I could pay no bills and still call it a month. All these favours have since vanished.
I vividly recall how we used to treat individuals from America whenever they visited us in Nigeria. We could prepare one month early for the visitor. We could clean the compound, thoroughly clean the toilets, buy plenty of tissue papers (normally we use tree leaves), buy new clothes for the occasion and even alert neighbours to ululate as the VVIP arrives. After I arrived in USA and witnessed the work these VVIP do,I laughed at myself,,,, friends, exposure is very important.
I am now in America, working and earning $18 per hour, I live in a house where I pay $500 per month, I pay tax, I pay electricity bill, gas bills, I spend money on car fuel, I spend on my shopping and also send some money to my family members. A single day in America is equivalent to a month in Africa, too much work and no leisure.In a good month,I earn $5,000,but this same month, I spend $3,500 on tax, expenses and bills and I am left with $1,500 to save.
What baffles me most is that even after I spend over 15 hours a day working and earning my living ,family members back at home are lazing around and waiting for me to send them money. The exhaustion I get sometimes force tears down my cheeks, I am completely perplexed.
I have lived here to appreciate Africans who live in America. I have come to understand that if you see an African living in USA and putting investments back at home, you should respect that person. In America, bills are many and the cost of living is high. It’s not uncommon to find a person struggling to live, to be precise, living from hand to mouth.
In America, you must work to live, you must earn to spend, you must sweat to earn..there is no shortcut. In America nobody will give you money for free.
I have also come to realize that being in Nigeria is sweet. Here in USA happiness comes at a cost. Your neighbors don’t even greet you, your co-workers are not interested to know who you are and your whereabouts, all they care about is their work and salary. Back in Nigeria, as I woke up I could greet hundreds of people, interact freely and share jokes, but here there is nothing like that.
The most surprising thing I would like to tell my fellow Africans; here in America we are not managers, but people doing manual jobs. We mostly do jobs which are not suitable for “superior” whites. Here in America, we are subordinate to the indigenous population. So when you treat us as VVIP back at home we actually laugh at your ignorance. We belong to the lowly class in America.