|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.