We live in a society where no matter how bright you are, the circumstances of your birth determine how well you do, except of course if by some miracle you find yourself in government where plunder is the only option. This has got to be the only place on earth where honesty is derided as foolishness and theft and plunder are celebrated. This is a place where we don’t, as a matter of course, groom thinkers and philosophers or scientists and inventors; a place where patriotism is the last word on anyone’s lips, not surprisingly because it is difficult to feel fervour and passion for a place, which kills dreams and hopes.
-Kadaria Ahmed in Observations: The lesson from the North (10/01/11)
Culled from 234next, Opinion Editorial
These are the kinds of stories I find in the news at a time when I`m thinking of my Exodus-cum-Exit Strategy to Nigeria. There are so many factors to consider in this exodus...
Will I find work
Will I find pay
Will I find play
Will I find convenience
Will I find happiness
Where is my future heading?
After living in the West for almost a decade, I have become accustomed to this culture, norms, values and general way of life. So a few days ago when my folks said to me 'start thinking about coming back home', ask me why I experienced shock, panic, anger...? But believe me, I consider myself very patriotic, I love my Country. But I don`t like what it does to dreams, hopes, and aspirations.
You know how people say, `hard work pays` - well, that is not necessarily the case in my Country. Hard work does not always pay. The system is not in equilibrium. You can work for 35 years as a Public Servant and end up with no pension. Your altitude in life is dependent on luck and chance, if anything. My Country is not a welfare state. I have seen homeless former veterans, who became amputated during my Country`s civil war and various heroic `save-them` missions in West Africa. These individuals have nothing to show for it...unless you`re a top general living in the Hills. The average low-rank former veteran is broke, lining up monthly at a window scrapping to collect any semblance of a pension package.
My people, with this kind of treatment, why should I surrender and run back to the unopen arms of my Country. Think: a lover forsaking all and running back to unrequited love, please why bother?
Let me know your thoughts.
P.S: I am not a fashion designer or any of those entertainment/celebrity-like things that many Western graduates have gone back to do in my country. Don`t get me wrong; I believe everyone has their part to play. But I am a glasses-doning, Political Economist yuppie, living and working in a capital city. How can I surrender all of this for a high dose of uncertainty?