Ladybrille® Blogazine


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Homecoming: From England to Nigeria

By Chiedu Ifeozo, Ladybrille Columnist

It was another sunny, yet freezing cold morning in London. I walked out of the Caledonian road station, and trudged down the road to work. I had a lot on my mind; I had a big decision to make. This story actually began a long time before this beautiful morning. It began the day I arrived in England, with the inevitable decision of the next step after my education, looming in the future.

I don’t know about others, but I certainly thought about it back then. Now, the moment was near, and I was worried about my next step. My parents had been calling me for months, with questions that most students in the Diaspora dread to hear. "What are you doing?" "When are you going to get a career job?" "When are you coming back home?" Luckily I had got a job doing administrative duties earlier on that year, I was very glad for the opportunity to make some money.

At the time, such was my thought process that I felt it was alright for an engineer with a master’s degree to be doing administrative duties. I remember telling myself that I'd keep applying for career jobs, and it was better than sitting at home. Well eight months later, on that December morning, I was no where nearer to getting a career job and I had started to settle for my current state.

I went to interviews, joined job agencies, and filled countless applications online. I had achieved a second class upper certification grade, but I received many letters of rejection starting with "I'm sorry…", I kept them at first, I don’t know why, perhaps I just needed to remember which companies I had applied to, yes I applied to that many companies, and under any discipline.

My university course ended in 2004, and I never gave up, I took up a course in graphic and web design, I liked the course but really it bought me time to continue the search, the rest of my time I spent writing. I did this for a full year before getting the admin job in 2005, and it was a welcome relief, I was beginning to lose my mind.

So here I was on the way to my saviour of a job, a job that I didn’t particularly like, but I had to contend with, I was slipping into the abyss, a seemingly comfortable zone, where all that mattered was that I was living a comfortable existence, but I wanted more. I think a lot of students in Diaspora feel the same way, but they feel handicapped, like they have no options, the only choice being to stay abroad at any cost. It is the same with some folks back in Nigeria, they want to get out of a country that they do not feel helps them to grow, to develop and to achieve, they’ve lost hope in the system. They would rather go through a lot of pain to make it to Europe.

I was tired of being somewhat unwanted, in an environment where immigrants are seen as leeches, there to take away their jobs and crowd up their streets, they conveniently forget that I paid my taxes very regularly and had done my best to integrate and contribute to the British society. I was disappointed at every turn, and grew increasingly unhappy.

I got in to work, but this day was different, it was my last day. I had finally made the first decision; I had to leave my job. The next day, I bought a ticket to Nigeria and thus began my homecoming.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is a true life story of purely fiction. But it doesn't really matter because there are thousands that can relate to the prose.

The challenge is being able to see the future on time, and take steps to avoid being stuck overseas leading a mediocre life style. That step begins by retracing ones step back...home.

Excellent article you have here!

O.A.Eddy said...

For some of us that schooled abroad I think we just get confused and stuck in the day to day activities of our days that we don't know why we do what we do.

When I first went to Canada for university my plans were clear. School, get 1 year work experience then go back home. My other African freinds had very clear plans that were all similar to mine. 10 years later we were still getting work experiences, permanent resident cards, condos, cars. But ask us what had happened to our plans to go back home and we would give you vague explanations.

Unknown said...

Chinedu - truth you said here. Living in London/UK is very much an experience. Good luck in all your achievements.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT. I agree with indegenious productions, I have a clear vision to go home or be as close to home as I possibly can. It is one thing to be away..but home will always be home no matter the struggling and strife.

Unknown said...

Chiedu and not Chinedu. My mistake...

Unknown said...

Hi Imnakoya, thanks, It is a true story. you are right indeed, foresight is a very useful tool when making a decision, i think many actually cross it out as an option, however i do have to say that attitude is changing steadily

@ Indigenous productions, i feel we get disillusioned, its a wonderful life when you are successful abroad, why get burdened with all the problems of Africa, however it will never be our country. for me i got confused by that thought.

hey Ify,yeah, its Chiedu, no "n", lol, im from Delta. said...

@Ifeoma, I was cracking up when I saw your corrections. For our Nigerian readers, how many "Chinedus" don't we know. Lol!

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