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. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Nigerian Government Seeks 500,000 Unemployed Youth for N-Power Employment Program

From video on http://npower.gov.ng/
The Federal Government of Nigeria announced on Wednesday, June 8, a new program for unemployed graduates and  non-graduates called N-Power. The program seeks to give 500,000 youth between the ages of 18 and 35 an opportunity to participate in Nigeria's rebuilding and put a dent in the huge joblessness among Nigeria's youth.

N-Power is a two-year paid volunteer training program. Recruitment is in the areas of :


  • N-Power Teacher Corp, which will recruit and train 500,000 teachers in Agriculture, Health, Primary and Secondary Education, and Adult and Civic Education
  • N-Power Knowledge, which will train youth in technology fields including Graphic Design, Animation, Script Writing, Post-Production, Software Development, and Hardware Technicians
  • N-Power Build, which will train 75,000 unemployed youth in the areas of Building Services, Construction, Built Environment Services, Utilities, Automotive, Aluminum and Gas

The video below gives an overview of the program:




The program seems interesting and very promising if indeed the Buhari administration follows though on the grand promise of the program. You can find out more about the program and how to apply on the website, http://npower.gov.ng/. The website and program will launch on Saturday, June 11.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Oh Em Gee, it's Emma OhMaGod!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj_IY06T93dst_kvD7UmKcw

Sometimes a good laugh is all you need to brighten up your day a little. Laughter is good medicine and it should be taken often, once a day, by Dr. Naija American Girl's order. Haha :)

One of my favorite young Naija comedians is Emma OhMaGod. The guy is hilarious, talented, and very handsome too, lol. The first video I saw by him was this one, Naija Babes Mad at Davido. I watch am, laugh tire!



He has a ton of these kinds of parody videos, including All of Me by John Legend Owambe Cover, Happy by Pharrell (a follow up to Naija Babes Mad at Davido).



Another one of my favorites is Wash Me Nene, a parody of the popular American hip song, Watch me Whip, Watch me Nae Nae. He turns it into an Igbo praise song, and it is quite funny.


He also does straight comedy videos like this recent one, which puts a funny spin on the Nigerian fuel crisis.


Every once in a while he makes a nice praise song video, like Yin Oluwa


Check out the Emma OhMaGod Youtube page to watch some hilarious videos and subscribe to get notified whenever he posts a new video.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Naija Americans on Wikipedia

Did  you know that there is a page on Wikipedia on Nigerian Americans? Yes o my people... Wikipedia has recognized the large population of Nigerians in the United States and someone crated a page. It might have been a Nigerian. Wikipedia is an open source, after all.  That point aside, the page seems pretty interesting and accurate.

Some interesting info from the page is:

1. As of 2012, there were 277,631 Nigerians in the United States; of those, 116,807 were born in Nigeria. As of 2013, there were 299,310 Nigerian Americans. Either there was a lot of immigration or Naija people been popping out a lot of babies between 2012 and 2013!

2. "Based on DNA studies, an estimated 80 percent of African Americans (about 35 million) could have some Igbo or Hausa ancestry. Therefore, 60 percent of them, according to historian Douglas B. Chambers, could have at least one Igbo ancestor."  So for those Afrocentric African Americans who love studying the Zulu kings of South Africa, the Asante of Ghana, Swahili language of East Africa, and ancient Egyptians, hoping to find a connection to their roots, many of them need look no further than good ol' Nigeria, haha!

3. US cities/areas with the highest Nigerian populations are:
  • Washington DC/Maryland/Baltimore area
  • New York City
  • Houston, Texas and Harris County area
  • Atlanta, Georgia and other suburbs in Georgia
  • New Jersey
  • Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas
  • Los Angeles, California and suburbs
  • Columbus, Ohio and Hamilton and Montgomery counties in Ohio
  • Detroit metro area in Michigan
  • Virginia: Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun  counties
I found it interesting that the Detroit area was on the list, because that's where I live. I have a saying. "In the Michigan Nigerian community, there's only one degree of separation between you and another person." Meaning, if you don't know someone, it's guaranteed that someone you know knows them, or a family member of theirs.

 Prime example: I met this guy at a party back in my college days. We danced, he asked for my number, I gave it to him. I really didn't think anything of it. In the days that followed, the guy began disturbing me via text message and call. Ah, ah, which kin wahala be dis? I really wasn't into him, so after trying to be nice, I started ignoring him.

A few weeks later, guess who my cousin brings to my house? The same guy I've been avoiding! I didn't know that they knew each other. The two of them were heading to some event and my cousin decided to stop by just to say hi. When I see the guy walk in I wanted to disappear into thin air, but no such luck. My dad, ever the cheerful host, welcomed them in and I had to do the customary Naija serving of drinks and snacks to visitors, all while thinking to myself, "Is this really happening to me?"

As they were leaving, my dad started walking my cousin to his car; the guy lingered behind and was able to corner me and ask me why I hadn't been replying his message or picking his calls. It  was so awkward. I had no real answer except to give him a blank look. Hahaha! After that encounter though, he got the message and left me alone.

Going back to the list of US areas with Nigerian populations, I have been to all of these areas visiting Nigerian friends, family, or attending a Nigerian event.

I think it's cool that we are beginning to have documented information about Nigerians is America. We're definitely being noticed, and mostly for good things, like education, culture, and family values. 

Check out the Wikipedia page to read more about Nigerians in America.




Thursday, June 2, 2016

New Blog Design!

My blog will be 7 years old in December, and I've had the same design for the majority of those years. Well, I felt it was time to switch things up. Below is the old design. What do you think of the change?



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is Yemi Alade inspiring materialism with her hit 'Ferarri'?



Yemi Alade is one of the reigning babes of Naija music right now. For me, she's the best. Who can ever forget her amazing song and video Johnny. That was the song that really changed her level, though she wasn't new to the music game. From Johnny she keeps on releasing hot songs and cool videos to match like Tangerine, Kissing (in English and French), and Na Gode (in English and in Swahili) and so many more, working with Selebobo and Effyzzzie Music group. I think Yemi is quite brilliant to diversify her fan base by singing her songs in different languages. I was really impressed to learn that after she won the Peak music competition in 2009, she went back to finish her education before returning to her music career.  Her funky Afrocentric fashion lives up to her new nickname of Mama Africa, which happens to also be the title of her latest album

One of the singles from the album is 'Ferrari'. If you haven't heard it, the chorus goes a little like this:


"If you love me you go buy me ferrari
If you like me you go pay me salary
Soup wey sweet na money dey cook am
If you want it you go spend to chop am
Cos I love you no be mouth oh oh oh
No be mouth oh eh
Love no be for mouth oh ah ah
No be mouth oh eh..."
Guy, nyem ego.
Once again, the Queen of Kings, the Yoruba Igbo girl kills it with amazing fashion, dancing, and playfulness in the video. But as I continue to hear the song, I can't help but wonder, if this mentality will be now sinking into the minds of  Naija and African ladies the world over. Will they be expecting cars and designer wear as mandatory gifts as proof of love? Na wa o, my brothers, e no easy. 
Perhaps Ms. Alade is just being the creative musician she is and making a fun dance hit, which is the more likely answer. 
All na levels, sha. Yemi is a graduate and a music industry giant. In her dating life, I'm sure she'll be meeting guys who can buy her Ferrari if she really wants. Many young ladies will not, so make you no put eye there. Don't shun a man who really love you for the fact that he can't buy you Ferrari o.  
I do agree that love is not by mouth, though. You will be able to see if someone loves you by their actions. But please, don't make Ferrari be one of them. Maybe giving you a little salary that he can afford though. Haha :) I think it's right for a man to show his love by giving something every now and then, no matter how small. This is not an excuse for stinginess my brothers, o. Just do what you can. After all, the most important thing is for the two people to understand themselves.
Check out the video and see what you think: