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Showing posts with label America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America. Show all posts

Trapped between cultures: Nigerian parents in the US, UK, devise ways to save kids

Source: Punch Newspapers Nigeria. Saturday, November 17, 2018

Born and raised in lands thousands of kilometres away from their ancestral homes, many Nigerian parents in the Diaspora are finding new ways of reinforcing indigenous cultures in their children, writes ERIC DUMO

Jesus na you be Oga, Jesus na you be Oga, all other gods na so so yeye, every other god na yeye dem be," gushed out of 12-year-old Amaka's mouth in disjointed Pidgin English as she made for the door. It was a dry afternoon with wind blowing at top speed across most parts of California, yet the excitement on the little girl's face was as moist as a sweaty palm.

Born and nurtured in the United States, young Amaka only got to visit her parents' country - Nigeria - for the first time last December. She had heard so much about the place - many of those tales were gory presentations of what Africa's most populous country looked like. The little girl was only Nigerian in nomenclature but American in spirit and soul. When she jetted out of the LAX International Airport in California together with her father - Mr. Isaiah Uchendu - and mother, Ijeoma - on December 13 last year, she was unsure of what to expect upon arrival in Orlu, Imo State - the home town of her parents. Tales of blood-sucking demons running riot and huge man-eating apes jumping from trees to rooftops had created a dreadful picture of Nigeria in the days preceding the long voyage. It was the beginning of the end as far as she was concerned. But 11 months after that historic trip, Amaka has a different idea of her fatherland and the amazing culture of its many peoples.

Experiencing Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Owerri and her native Orlu in the five weeks she
stayed in the country, the little girl not only realised how wrong her earlier ideas were but also what she had been missing all along. She wished she could turn back the hands of time.

"I thought we were heading to a jungle in Africa but I was surprised when the airplane landed in a place called Lagos, a big city with cars and houses," the 12-year-old recalled as our correspondent played guest to the family at their modest three-bedroomed apartment in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, California, during a recent visit to the United States.

There are about 23,302 Nigerians in the state of California alone, according to a 2016 American Community Survey. While many have lived there for decades, acquiring citizenship status in the process, the pursuit of a new life amidst crushing poverty and widening economic inequality in Nigeria has driven dozens more there.

The Uchendus moved to this bustling city a little over 12 years ago - shortly before Amaka's delivery - their first and only child. The couple, despite now fully entrenched in the American way of life, has not forgotten their roots. Each year, one of them makes the long trip home at least once to see and meet with family members, relatives and friends. The tradition has not only helped them to keep in touch with happenings in their home community but also helped them put to good use their hard-earned savings in the United States. Isaiah works as a driver at a delivery company, while Ijeoma is a senior sales executive at a popular chain store. But while they have plenty of 'Nigeria' in them even in America, Amaka only knows little about home - a situation the couple are desperate to change.
"My daughter used to have weird thoughts about Nigeria and Africa in general and that bothered me and my wife a lot," the 42-year-old said, clutching tightly to the little girl on the three-seater sofa they sat. "Initially, we didn't pay much attention to this but as she began to grow older, we became more concerned. We wanted her to know more about home - about our hometown, Orlu, and our culture in general.

"We saw how other Nigerian parents were beginning to seriously introduce and instil their indigenous culture in their children, so we became more interested in doing the same.
"We began to take her to more Nigerian events in California and started making her take active part in the activities just like the other children.

"As time wore on, she started to show more interest and in fact wanted to know more about Nigeria and her many cultures. My wife and I, at that point, thought that it would be nice to finally take her home to witness things for herself.

After over 20 years in US, Wisconsin man deported to West Africa for lack of right papers

~Punch Nigeria. Friday, March 9, 2018.
(Culled from USA Today)

After more than 20 years in the United States, a Wisconsin man was deported to West Africa earlier this week, a federal agency confirmed.

The process for his deportation was set in motion eight years ago when a judge ruled that he had overstayed his visa.

Buba Jabbi, 41, of Wisconsin Rapids was deported Tuesday and back in The Gambia by Wednesday afternoon, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement issued Wednesday.

Jabbi had entered the U.S. in 1995 and overstayed his visa. He was detained February 15 after checking in with federal authorities as he had been directed and was set for deportation based on a judge’s order from 2010.

A stay of removal had been filed on his behalf, but was denied February 27, according to Nicole Alberico, a public affairs officer with ICE.

Jabbi, the father of two daughters ages five and one, was being held at a detention centre in Sierra Blanca, Texas.

If necessary, Jabbi’s wife, Katrina Jabbi, a native of Wisconsin Rapids, said she would move her family almost 5,000 miles to The Gambia, a nation of about two million people that is almost twice the size of Delaware, to be with her husband.

“We have spent many years trying to rectify this situation,” Katrina Jabbi previously said. “I will continue to fight and file waivers if he is deported.

Finding a terra firma quickly! AN AMAZING STORY...

Facebook: Suminda Deepal Rajapakse shared William Baird's post.

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic .
All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination."

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.
He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately -- no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.
While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland, to have it checked out.

U.S higher education enrolment: Nigeria rated 1st in Africa, 18th in the world

Written by Laide Akinboade – Oriere.

AdvertisementABUJA – Nigeria was rated first in Sub-Saharan Africa and eighteenth in the World for International U.S higher education enrolment.The U.S Education Advisory Supervisor, Folashade Adebayo made this known in Abuja during the 16th Annual College and Career fair organised by the U.S mission in Nigeria.

Mrs Adebayo also said that for the 2015/2016 Academic year, the Education USA members recieved financial aids of over four million U.S dollars as scholarships for Nigeria students.She said, “According to Institute of International Education`s Open door, Nigeria Students’ enrolment in the U.S has increased with more than 25 percent in the past 5 years.
“Nigeria is declared 1st in Sub saharan Africa and 18th in the World for International U.S higher education enrolment following Nigeria in enrolment rate is Kenya with about 5000 margin”.Mrs Adebayo added that the U.S Embassy College fair has contributed hugely to the increase of Nigeria students studying in the United States.

“in the 2015/2016 academic year, Education USA members received over 4 million Dollars in financial aid and scholarship for Nigerian students”
She disclosed that 8000 Nigeria Students are currently studying in the U.S adding that the increasing enrolment figure is gainful to the future of Nigeria and its economy.
The EducationUSA officer identified limited access and the challenge of research system in Nigeria as major reasons why some Nigerians prefer to study in the U.S.Folashade also stated that the college fair provides opportunities to bet current information on studying in the States.

“The College fair has direct contributions to the increase in the numbers of Nigerian applicants as well s provide information on available financial aids for the less privileged of the society”
Also speaking on the career fair, the U.S Cultural affairs Officer, Bob Kerr said Studying in the higher institutions in the United States provides International advantage to Nigerians.Mr Kerr stressed that Nigerian Students in the U.S will be provided opportunities to give back practical knowledge to the development of Nigeria`s economy and Africa Continent as a whole.

How I wasted 35 years of my life in America -Nigerian returnee from the US

Written by Azuka Jebose Molokwu - Nigeria
~ JEBOSE BOULEVARD, Punch Nigeria. 

In the United States, over 3.5 million people experience homelessness every year. The homeless include people from all ethnic backgrounds and discipline. This number includes 35 per cent of the homeless population families with children. In recent years, the number of homeless immigrants, documented or undocumented, has doubled as America continues to experience immigration challenges.

John Atari (not real name.) was once an undocumented immigrant in the US. He was also homeless and an alcoholic. He left Nigeria in the early 1980s in search of better life. After more than 30 years in America,with no home and dependent on substance abuse and alcohol, John, few years ago, returned to Nigeria, somewhere near Port Harcourt. He agreed to share his story, on two conditions: we must change his last name and not use his photographs. "I hope people would learn from my experience. That's why I agreed to share this story."

This is a compelling narrative:
"I left Port Harcourt more than 35 years ago. I missed the sights and sounds of the Garden City; the intrigues of dusty roads and the smells of combusted market places, filled with everyday people hustling to survive through the day. I missed those days, when plantain sellers hawked by the roadside. I thought I might never see these parts of my life again. I retained faded memory of childhood, the path that led me to, in some strange ways, where I am today, back to this peaceful place called home. I used to sit in shopping mall parking lots, in the cold weather of the US, waiting endlessly for sunset.

"A lot happened to me, I have advanced type two diabetes. I am also suffering from a cardiovascular disease. I am living on borrowed time, supported by several medications. I don't have a wife or family except my sister and the church that rescued me when I returned two years ago, after living in America for nearly 35 years, as a homeless alcoholic. I didn't have Green Card to find a decent job. Even if I did get a job, I was not sober enough most days to keep my job. I hustled for odd jobs to maintain my passion for alcoholic beverages. It didn't have to be that way. I occasionally engaged as a gypsy taxicab driver in the city. I lived beyond minimum wage as I began to hang around other homeless Americans in that city. 

During winter time, I would ride in the city's mass transit bus all day, just to get warm and during severe weather conditions, I checked into the Salvation Army or Rescue Mission shelter homes to get warmth, food and shelter. I had been homeless until one Nigerian asked me to come and drive cab for his company. I drove with no licence, no cab permit.

Might another black succeed Obama?

Written by Minabere Ibelema - Nigeria

Minabere Ibelema 
By this time in 2007, a lanky black man was making political waves as a presidential candidate in the US Democratic Party's primaries. Even after he won the Iowa straw polls - the traditional kickoff of the presidential election season - he was still generally regarded as a flash in the pan. Well, he went on to win more primaries and ultimately the presidency and got re-elected four years later. We are talking, of course, of Barack Obama.

Obama's triumph in 2008 places very high on the scale of the improbable. Even higher on that scale would be the reprise of that feat in 2016 by another black man. Well, Ben Carson, a retired world-famous neurosurgeon is poised to do just that. Carson is vying for the presidency from the opposite ideological spectrum, the Republican Party. And in a CBS/New York Times poll released on Tuesday, he is running a close second in the Republican primaries to billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump.

In many ways, Obama and Carson are a study in contrast. Sure, they are both highly credentialed professionals and they both were raised by their mothers, but that is very much all they have in common. That and their race, of course. As to ideology and political background, they differ markedly.

Obama seems to have been born with politics in his vein. He became active in politics early in life as a community activist and moved rapidly upward from there. Carson, on the other hand, kept politics at a distance. He focused on his medical career, becoming the first surgeon to successfully separate twins who were joined at the head. He didn't join a political party until 2014, and only in preparation to run for the presidency.

Obama is an ultra liberal, who harnessed the angst of youth, minorities, women and gays to catapult him into office. Carson is a social and political conservative who appeals more to the mainstream. Obama galvanised supporters with the slogan, "Yes, we can." But to his more liberal policies, Carson would say no you don't.
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