Naija American Girl

Naija American Girl

Friday, August 21, 2015

Contemplating that Naija Swag



Nigerians.... We're really a special breed. And for America, they know us well. I'm not talking about the negative stuff. Let's just leave that alone for now. What I'm talking about is our intelligence, our ambition, our culture, our music, our food, our family values, our traditions. There's just nothing like a Nigerian. Americans are beginning to take notice too. I can't tell you how many times when someone has told me they know, have a relative that married, went to school with, dated, or have a neighbor who is a Nigerian. Most often, it's positive things they are saying.

I love how those of us who are first-generation Americans can unite around common experiences shared comically by the likes of comedians like Chief Obi and Foxy P. It really does show how strong the culture is. I pray that our generation passes on the values that our parents gave us. Respect. Value of education (in its various forms and fields, i.e., you don't have to be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, engineer, lawyer; just be excellent at what you do). Structured two-parent married household. Faith in God.

No group is without their failings, and Nigerians are no different. We're not perfect. But I just gotta say that I love the Naija Swag. It's unmistakable. Undeniable. We just got it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2Face Idibia - Vote Not Fight


2Face Idiba cautions Nigerians to keep the peace this election season.

As a Naija American Girl, I don't feel qualified to campaign for or against any candidate in this Nigerian election season.  really don't know who should be the next president of Nigeria, whether Buhari or Jonathan, but I do know that I want my family to live in peace and safety. I do know that I want quality of life to improve for every single Nigerian. What's it gonna take to make that happen? It's definitely an uphill task. But it starts with a change in heart and mindset of Nigeria's leaders and Nigeria's citizens.
At the end of the day, I'm just praying for a peaceful election. No bombings. No violence. No unrest. Is that too much to ask in today's Nigeria? I believe not. 2Face Idibia put it very plainly in his brilliant new video Vote Not Fight. 
 
"Vote not fight.  Election no be war." 2Face Idibia

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015

Happy New Year! 2014 was quite a year for me. A milestone year indeed. One of the biggest things that happened for me was my long awaited trip to Nigeria. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time (see my posts I said I wanna go to Naija, my mom says no, no no  and Visiting Nigeria: My Rationale). Though it was sad that some key family members had died before I got a chance to visit, I was still so happy to see my family. I heard stories and learned valuable pieces of my family history. I got to see Naija life firsthand, from crazy Lagos traffic, to the cool calm of the village. It was definitely the highlight of my year.  I plan to make it my business to go once a year, at least.

In 2014, I learned some key life lessons, on dealing with people, managing finances and having an emergency fund, and preparing for my future. I met great people, redefined old relationships and friendships, and grew one year wiser.

Overall, it was a good year, and I'm expecting even more from 2015.


This was my anthem last year, and I'm keeping it rockin' this year.

Tim Godfrey - Amen



Your life e go betta o, amen, amen. 
Family go betta o, amen, amen. 
Everything go betta o, amen 
E go betta o, amen 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prayer of a 419er

from RiseandGrind.com
We all know the disservice 419ers/yahoo yahoo boys have done to Nigeria's reputation worldwide. Personally, I'm surprised that people are still falling prey to their tactics after years of publicity and warnings about them. I've received emails from yahoo guys before, and when I read them, the English is bad and the story doesn't seem believable to anyone with common sense. You've got to be a real mumu or just a greedy son of a gun to fall for them. But did you know some of these yahoo guys call on the Lord to help them in their schemes?

I'm not kidding.

I was talking to my cousin last week and he described a scene that he encountered when he went to use a computer in a cafe. It was early one morning in Lagos, and he went to the cafe to use the computer and print one important document from his email. He saw a group of about 4 men in their 40s and 50s gathered around a single computer. One of the men then lifted a prayer. "Oluwa thank you for a new day. Please bless our endeavors today with good things to smile to. May today never be  waste in Jesus name." Amen!" the other three answered.

My mouth literally dropped open when my cousin told me this eye-witness account. Like seriously, these men get boldness pass. How you go take open mouth, pray, make God help una commit crime? Truly mind-blowing. I was also surprised at the age of these 419ers. I guess in my mind, I always pictured them to be computer-savvy young guys, but that's not always the case, my cousin told me.

So this is what Nigeria's highly-religious culture has produced: people who are so God-conscious that even in their stealing, they must acknowledge God. I shouldn't be shocked though. It's the same as politicians or armed robbers giving God the glory for blessing them, doing the big man dance in line to give offering in church.

Nothing wey you no go see for this life.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tuface Idibia live in Detroit


  Last night I got to see the amazingly talented and award-winning Tuface Idibia live in concert in Detroit! It was an awesome and rare show, because big Naija artists rarely come to Detroit. Kudos to Club Nationale for bringing him.

video 

 Tuface opened up with his song One Love and kept it flowing from there. He of course performed a special rendition of African Queen, along with If Love Is A Crime, See Me So, Only Me, and other of his hits.

One thing I really enjoyed about Tuface's performance was his storytelling and how he related to the crowd. Definitely a seasoned performer.

My major annoyance of the night was that the show started two hours late courtesy of African time. Then the organizers wanted to kill us with opening acts performing for two hours. Chei! Each performer was doing between two and four songs. Show wey suppose start by 9 started by 11, and before Tuface enter stay, time reach almost 1 a.m. We don suffa o! But it was worth it in the end :)
 




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wisdom

The status of university students in Nigeria has become so bad that students, both male and female, now prostitute themselves to pay their school fees. Just look at one such solicitation that I got in my Facebook inbox last month:
"Hello lady, my name is___________ , I am a loving and caring young guy looking for every means to survive and complete my university education. I need ur assistance if u can help me out. And if a reward or appreciation is needed, I can also be available to be ur SUGAR BOY, as dats the major process by which fellow students in the same condition like me go through to survive( after all medical test has been carried out to see that am healthy and fit). If you are willing to help me free-mindedly or wit a reward, pls reply my message of you reach me on _______________.  I am willing to do anything you will want me to do. Awaiting your reply my lady"

To which I have absolutely no response. I dey pray for these kids, because even though life is hard, there is a better way. Why not sell plantain or other goods to pay school fees? It's the pride of life that makes people forget that we human beings are not immortal. One little virus called HIV, and that could be the the beginning of the end of a young life. Wisdom is better than silver and gold. And a word is enough for the wise. What say you?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Michelle Williams sings Nigerian Praise Song with Beyonce and Kelly Rowland

Beyonce, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland
From The Yolanda Adams Morning Show

Michelle Williams is using a Nigerian praise song to bring about a comeback of sorts, including her former Destiny's Child group members, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland. In "Say Yes" the songbirds sing our familiar Naija priase tune  "When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no," a vibrant crowd dances African and African-inspired moves. I'm impressed, actually.

According to an interview I heard live on the Yolanda Adams Show this morning, Michelle's Nigerian producer introduced the song to her at the end of her album recording sessions and she loved it and decided to record it. See the influence us Naija get all over the world. And now they will help to popularize Nigerian music in the U.S. I hope this will break the door open for the great artists we have in Nigeria to be recognized in the US.

Enough talking... watch the video!  http://theyolandaadamsmorningshow.com/864387/michelle-williams-beyonce-kelly-rowland-say-yes-video/