(Diary of Immigrant Nigerian)
It is one week into my journey to the USA.
(In the background is Daddy Adeboye’s preaching at the RCCG Holy Ghost convention.)
I am returning from a Thai restaurant with my sister, and I am sure Thailands is not ready to have me as a citizen. Fun fact: I googled about the country as we alighted from the Uber, mostly because I only knew about their soapy movies. Anyway, I noticed that they could understand my accent easily while I spoke.
America for me has been like the backyard of Daddy Ada’s house in Abule Oja, Yaba. Like the solemn assembly as I spend most time interacting with myself. In this part of the world, five hours away from everything I love and hold so well, I am confused about the world as you view it. You are just an explanation away from another person’s reality. In the past week, I counted five fire trucks, three delivery vans, and four ambulances as I stared through my window at the world that exists. Today is the only day I have spoken directly to a human besides my sister. Guess what, He had his food bag torn as it fell to the ground in the wide, nameless apartment we lived in.
Honestly, I loved how the restaurant manager noticed my adversity with onions. Only that it came at a price, coming home with a bag of untouched Thai pineapple fried rice. At that moment, it felt wise to offer the bag to someone else as the rest of the food will end up in the dustbin days later. As my sister offered the bag, my eyes pierced into the soul recognising in his, the longing for family. Knowing that you are not alone in the world and that someone out there still cares about your well-being.
To be fair, American women's rates of depression have increased from 26.2% in 2017 to 36.7% in 2023, according to ABC News. While no one knows the reasons for depression in the country, I am quite sure that living together with the sense of community we have in Nigeria may help cure it. A hug from Elizabeth, a 9-month-old baby down the road in Abule Oja, Nigeria, greetings from the “aboki” security guard, a call and response hailing from the vulcanizers, and more importantly, an analysis of the trending stories from Tobi, a food vendor, helps boost your serotonin. Also, a gist from Temitope to brighten up your day.
RCCG: Redeemed Christian Church of God
Abule Oja is a town in the suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria
Aboki, Hausa for a friend, is used to describe all northerners living in the southern part of Nigeria.