Friday, September 23, 2016

Greedy Uncle Sam

Image result for uncle sam taxes

Chei! Uncle Sam is one of the greediest uncles you can ever meet. If you're reading from Nigeria or anywhere outside of the United States, Uncle Sam is what we here in Yankee call the Internal Revenue Service AKA United States money collecting system. It's the agency that collects taxes from every working citizen and business owner. If I tell you how these people chop my money every time I get paid, you no go believe.

In the US, if you are unmarried or have no children, you pay more in taxes. The rationale is that you have less responsibility, so you can afford to give a higher percentage of your money than someone who is married and/or has kids. So see me o, no child, not married ( yet ;) ). I pay over 25% in taxes. Before I get my paycheck that tax money is gone, bye, bye.

Uncle Sam is worse than Osuofia because for someone to chop your dollar in that style, you first have to be a fool or a very greedy person. But Uncle Same dey chop everybody money, fool or not.

Image result for osuofia chop your dollar
"I go chop your dollar. I go take your money, disappear..."
- Osuofia
The difference is what Uncle Sam does with our tax money. Our taxes are used to build the county. Things like roads, schools, and government budgets come from the tax money that we pay. Yes, things are not perfect, but the United States infrastructure is one that functions more smoothly than Nigeria. Even knowing this, it is still painful to pay.

I'm not really sure about the tax system in Nigeria, but from what I've learned, it's minimal compared to what we experience in the U.S. My question is this, if paying tax could help fix Nigeria's roads and infrastructures, would it be worthwhile for citizen's to pay? Government fit chop the money anyway, so no need. Chei, Nigeria! Hmmmm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Have all the fine girls joined gang?

"All the fine girls have joined gang. And all the good boys have joined gang(x2)
You are taking hot drinks, smoking cigarette, Wearing all black,
Bad gang
Keeping late night, Putting on dress, Carrying girls' Bad gang..."

Bad Gang by Ajebutter22 and Falz is a catchy song, but more than just a hypnotic rhythm, the lyrics and video made me question the state of youth in Nigeria.

The video is set on the scene of a university campus. Ajebutter22 plays a lecturer struggling to keep control of his unruly classroom, filled with students smoking, drinking, snapping selfies, and doing everything but paying attention to any sort of lecture. A group of girls walks in late and at least make some rough effort to show a little respect. Another girl walks in talking on her handset and the instructor loses it; he snatches the phone and drags her to the headmaster's office. The headmaster, played by Falz, starts scolding the girl, but in the end becomes seduced by the girl's antics. By the end of the video, both headmaster and instructor are dancing with the very students they were trying to scold. 

Though this is just another music video by two musicians looking to keep the attention of their fan base, it seems like a social commentary as well. In his rap, Falz mentions that the girl is now dating older men, even senators and going to Aso Rock. In a way, it's like he's telling girls who do such things to change their ways. We've all heard the cults that have their base on university campuses across Nigeria. The term "bad gang" is a reference to these groups.

The video does focus on the waywardness of young ladies more than that of young men, which is typical of the patriarchal Nigerian society. However, the video almost seems to be glorifying waywardness and not really condemning it, giving off the feel that to be a fine girl you need to join gang or a cult. 

What do you think, is this song making jest of a serious situation? Is it mocking those who scold youth? Or is it just a song made  for our dancing pleasure? Watch the video and see what you think.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Association of Husband Importers

"Importer, exporter, cocoa water..."
D'Banj in his song Igwe
A growing trend I've noticed, especially here in Michigan where I live, is Naija girls going to Nigeria to get married or engaged to Nigerian guys and bringing them back to the US. Some are Naija girls born in the United States, and some were born in Nigeria. Most times, the love connection comes through a friend or family member. Technology like Whatsapp, Facebook, and Skype help keep the communication flowing. Often, a few trips back and forth happen before all is said and done and the couple is together in the States.

A few years ago, my mind would have said only one thing: na green card them want o. After getting more life experience, I now see that love and compatibility can be found anywhere around this world, and the opportunity to go abroad may not necessarily be the motivating factor. I think more people have wised-up to the fact that life abroad is not as easy as it once seemed. To be honest, most know that it's easier and quicker to establish a profitable business in Nigeria, and there are less regulations. The road infrastructure, power supply, and security are the major setbacks to life in Nigeria. These things come into play when a couple is deciding where to start their life together.

Still, I had a male friend of mine call these ladies "Association of Husband Importers," hahaha. The way I see it, there is mutual benefit. These ladies are looking for good men who will love and appreciate them. Maybe it hasn't worked out with any of the guys in their area, and so they decide to be open to a man from Nigeria or elsewhere. I heard one lady say that the Naija guys here are slow when it comes to relationships and marriage. Maybe Yankee dey affect them. Cause back home, getting married is a thing of pride. Here, guys are busy dragging their feet and complaining about women not being this or that.

Guys have also been known to go home to bring a wife, so I won't pretend as if this is a one way street.

When two people come together, it takes time for them to get to know each other and build that love and trust that is necessary for a solid relationship. At the end of the day, if the couple can make things work and live happily with understanding, it doesn't matter where in the world they find each other. Many of these couples are now living together happily and raising beautiful families, just to prove the point. Cheers to love!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Madam Gracie's African Church Chronicles... FUNNY VIDEO!

Madam Gracie
 No be by force to sing o! Take a listen at this hilarious video by my friend Madam Gracie and follow here on Facebook and Youtube for more funny videos.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

NYSC Corper escapes great danger

My friend Sam (on the left) shared this touching story on his Facebook profile. I just had to share it because it is so amazing!

A testimony that made me burst into tears of joy this afternoon:
What a faithful God we serve!
The light-in-complexion guy to the right was my very intimate friend and brother-in-Christ when I was in Lagos, Nigeria (We took these pictures together some years back in Nigeria).
He graduated college and he took a cab from Lagos to Kogi state in Nigeria to do His NYSC ( National Youth Service Corps). Which is a one year program that is mandatory for every fresh college graduate in Nigeria. In the process of this program, the graduates are called CORPERS.
Unfortunately, the journey appeared to be longer than expected. Then, my friend asked the driver when they would arrive at their destination. The driver kept on saying: "We will soon get there."
After some time, the driver drove them into a bush very late at night. 2 men with guns forcefully led them into a place where others have been kidnapped.((My friend + 2 other guys + 1 lady were kidnapped in the cab)).
To shorten the long story, they were many in that place. They shaved the hair of other people and they searched them but not my friend. They didn't remember to take his phone from him. So, he was texting his pastor, family, and friends to pray for him. He saw others being beheaded...but he kept praying and singing worship songs. They told him to keep quiet, but he disobeyed (Holy disobedience). They said they would shoot him dead, but he didn't care. I know my friend to be a man of strong faith.
Later on, the head of the kidnappers asked his associates: "How many CORPERS are here?" They responded: "Just 2 of them."
The man said, "Release them and let them go."
Miraculously, my friend was one of the corpers that were released.
It happened just last month, but he told me this afternoon when we reconnected.
What a mighty God we serve!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

When Naija kids get their first job (VERY FUNNY VIDEO)

In Nigeria, it's rare for a secondary school student to have a job just for the sake of having extra cash. A student who is working in Nigeria is probably doing so to help feed a very needy family. In fact, Many students get their first taste of employment as a NYSC corper after completing university. 

But in the United States, many high school students take pride in getting their first job, and most of the time it's just to have a few dollars in their pocket to buy small things or to go out with friends. As a matter of fact, your very own Naija American Girl had her first job in a McDonald's restaurant and my second at KFC, many years ago... Hahah... :D

Anyways, Naija parents, ever focused on raising children who are world-class in education and career, sometimes don't understand why their children would want to enter the workforce at an early age instead of focusing on studies. Take a minute to watch this funny video below by Madam Gracie and take a second to like the Madam Gracie Facebook page. 

All in the name of going abroad...

From Nigeria Camera via AP
Two days ago I was heartbroken as I read the story of a Naija woman who died in the Mediterranean Sea as she and about 150 others packed a small boat from Libya trying to enter Italy. The saddest part is that her two young sons were with her and are now motherless.  How unfortunate. This picture just makes me want to cry.

There are two sides to this kind of thing. On one side, there is a woman looking for a better life for herself and her children.  On the other, there is the (sometimes) false glimmer of a better life life in obodo oyibo, ala bekee, jand, yankee, or whatever name you wanna call it.  

It is a well reported fact that many Nigerian women in Italy turn to prostitution because they find no other way to make a living, while some are forced to do so by the relatives that brought them... very sad. 

In the US, you will find well-educated Nigerians working as taxi drivers and other menial work because the US doesn't recognize their degree without going through a very tough process which can include more schooling. Others opt for more devious methods of obtaining citizenship, such as marrying or paying to marry and American citizen. Sometimes the love is real, sometimes it's not. Still others choose to live on their own terms, overstaying their visas, working small jobs that pay cash, and ducking at every sight of the police.

For me, that kind of life is no kind of life. Especially for those who had something going in Nigeria, like a business or a decent job. I've been told that  because I'm a Naija American girl, I'll never fully understand the Nigerian mentality, especially given the condition of the country. I get it though. Nigeria is hard, and things seem to only be getting tougher. This makes me sympathize with those trying to make it overseas. It's definitely not easy. And in the midst of those difficulties, our  people will still be sending money home, o. 

I just wish that all these dangerous escapades of boat smuggling would end. Those who enter Europe in this way usually face the harshest kind of life, should they survive. Abroad is not always the solution to your troubles. I wish all my Naija people the best in all of your endeavors. And remember, your life is important than the hustle to make am. It is well.