What Happened To The #Nigeria Dream?
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A couple of months ago I ran into a child hood friend of mine who had just delivered a baby…actually it was his wife that delivered the baby …
At the point of our catching up I found out that his wife delivered in the United States Of America. Which was weird to me, because from his story, she was fully pregnant when she was granted her VISA. Back in the days I heard stories about women who would go to the embassy but conceal their pregnancy just to get a visitors VISA and a chance at delivering their kid in America.
But now as long as you could prove that you could pay for all the baby’s medical costs in the United States without putting a burden on the state you were granted a VISA. So I was curious…how much exactly did he have to spend or show or prove that he had.
It was a staggering $30,000!
“This is not a typo.” “You really counted 4 zeroes.” “Don’t leave your seat.”
I just shrugged like…$30,000 was nothing. But inside me I was like “chinekeeee.” $30,000 to born pikin in America? Maka gini?
But this is the why…it’s the benefits. The health care, the security, the job opportunity, the not having to apply for that visa to travel to that country because the blue passport is accepted almost everywhere. The insurance plan. The my kids can apply for me in the future.
But this is nothing new, in fact it has been the norm.
Everyone of us knows a friend or a family member that is riding on that Blue passport. Or people who get pregnant in Nigeria disappear overseas to deliver and come back with a yankee baby fully equipped with the blue passport. And people willing to spend as much as $30,000 to make that happen!
What craziness…or so I thought.
Until I realized that my parents did the same thing when they shipped me out of Nigeria to go and get an Engineering degree and then told me not to come back without that greencard. That greencard that will cause boys to marry other people’s grandmothers. That will see Nigerian families coordinating serial marriages to turn the Green passport into a Greencard. That will see Nigerians scrambling to shell out thousands of dollars just for a chance at that American dream.
So I ask…what happened to the Nigeria dream?
Or do we even have a Nigerian dream? Sadly we don’t…or rather we do, but the Nigerian dream (and many people will try and deny it) is to become a permanent resident in some other country and possibly become a citizen in that country so that we can live that country’s dream.
That is sadly the Nigeria dream….our current reality until things change.
Written & Drawn By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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