|Dear NE readers,
Nigerianentertainment.com is read by people
all over the globe; however it appears to be geared towards
people based in the United States. Seeing as it is the one
month out the year where the country all of a sudden directs
its attention towards the minority known as Black people,
NE in the streets wants to see how other Africans in America
view their experiences living here. One of the interviewees
resides in London -she’s our special exception.
Even though Black history IS American history
and having a separate month in itself to celebrate it shows
the discrepancy in American values, we’ll try to ignore
that for this list (or more like entry, because its not
all lists per se) and focus on what our beautiful interviewees
have to say.
The ever-lovely DAMISIWAJU did not
give me advantages because we had communication issues;
so don’t think America has not been good to her because
I know it has.
Nigerians in America: The Initial Problems
The weather: Coming from a 200 degree zone (okay
maybe not 200 degrees, lol) into winter can be quite tough
for many of us, considering that we come from a place where
its HOT all year round.
The Accent: Okay, because we don't
sound like "The Americans" we have an accent, and they can't
understand us. The truth is, we speak plain and simple English,
and you don't need too much effort to understand what we're
Our Names: Most of our names are pronounced-as-spelt.
But the minute someone sees a name with so many letters,
they do not even want to try to read it. We end up being
called things that aren't even close at all to our real
The Culture Shock: Okay, here don't think too deep
into culture. I'm refering to more basic stuff. For example,
many of us are used to being driven around by drivers
back home in Nigeria, we're used to depending on our parents
for almost EVERYTHING up until we get married (yes!Call
us big babies!!). Upon getting to America, we somehow have
to find our way around, and become independent. This is
really huge for some people.
Damisiwaju is in her early 20’s (she
also appeared to omit those specifics), lives in Columbia,
Maryland and is frequently seen gracing the MODIVAH runway.
Access to education is easier in this country
Enables me to build a future for myself in
Exposure to people of different cultures.
International traveling difficulties (family
Racial Discrimination from all people (whites
Familial ties have been cut off because of
long distance relationships. We are scattered all over the
world (Ghana, London, and even here in the states).
Diminishing cultural practices – I don’t know
too much of my cultural practices except for a couple of
La Kaye Eberechuku
Ijeoma Mbah is a
29 year old Photographer from Baltimore who gives us a ’Mixed’
spin on the topic.
I think I have
an interesting perspective on this topic because I am truly
African-American. My father is Nigerian and my mother is
from North Carolina and I grew up in the states. 4 advantages
from my perspective are:
My name has
meaning. In college, a lot of my friends changed their names
or dropped what they considered to be their "slave names".
Mine, on the other hand, is really from Africa. That gives
me a sense of pride. It makes me feel unique in a world
full of Smiths and Johnsons.
I can readily
trace my family tree and my roots back to Africa.
I didn't grow
up with my father. So as an adult, I'm just beginning to
find other Nigerians my age to socialize and network with.
There are many many Africans in America and I'll get to
learn about my heritage through my peers. It creates a sense
of family-an unspoken sister & brotherhood that Americans
don't quite understand.
the best music and throw the best parties. Cool DJs are
just now figuring this out and gravitating towards playing
more world music.
have to combat stereotypes about Africa. To this day, people
still think that all of Africa has wild animals running
around. While that's true of some areas, people don't realize
that much of Nigeria is contemporary-with working electricity
and running water! I guess people are ignorant because they
only see what's presented on TV. I'm so glad I got to visit
and see the truth for myself.
A major disadvantage for African children growing up in
the states is that they will only learn one language. I
was always impressed with my sisters who grew up in Nigeria
speaking 3 languages: English French and Ibo.
My father is constantly trying to marry me off to strange
I'm not quite sure how/where I fit in. I feel shy and a
little ashamed that I don't know more about the customs
that I think I should know. I'm uncomfortable asking other
Nigerians because maybe they won't understand that I didn't
grow up immersed in the culture.
Toyo-C (Toyosi) is a 5”7, 20 year old
Londoner who is so exceptionally beautiful, we had to blur
her picture! This lovely young lady is studying Manufacturing
Engineering and Management, on her way to making big bucks.
I love living in London, as it has become
a home away from home for my family, a lot of my friends
and myself. Almost all the goodies made and available in
Nigeria like indomie, milo, virgin hair cream, expressions
extensions, etc., are accessible to us here now. As opposed
to waiting for that family member very good friend that
would be willing to bring it all down from Nigeria for you!!!
The ease of mobility by tube, bus, train is
unmatched compared to most countries which makes socializing,
working, living life generally etc so much more enjoyable
and straight forward.
Most of my peers attend universities in cities
all over the country, the pace in London is very well different
from these cities but I love the fact that I have the choice
of going out into the “country-side” to school and when
I come home I can enjoy all the things the city has to offer
such as the night life, the various forms of entertainment
available during the day and at weekends.
Last of all, London is full of people from
so many backgrounds and cultures; I have made friends with
people of different races, ages and social backgrounds.
An experience that may not have been as accessible to me
back in Nigeria.