Saturday, May 31, 2014

USA Africa Dialogue Series - STAR LAMENTATION: Yankee Diasporans, Clipped Wings - by Dan Akusobi

Edited for non-Ebonic-ness


May 30, 2014

My people.

In one of my rare visits to a joint here in New York (NY), Uche Restaurant, I encountered, once again, some Nigerians who I suspect have thrown away their travel documents and secured a free place for their internment whenever it becomes their turn to quit the earth. Some are 70 years old or more and most smell like they have not passed over  Atlantic Ocean by air since they left town ( Nigeria) . One of them sneezed and got wet from something that smelled like human urine coming from himself. The other talked like he created Ebonics language .

Such scenes and people make the new but donkey year olds here wonder if we shall one day see ourselves in such an abnormal sociology for an African abroad.

Sad to say that most of the Nigerian men I have seen, and  of this grade being described are from Orlu and Ngwa areas of Igbo land. I had some talk with a couple of them over a three-month period on major issues of aging and going back home.

Some of the  narratives I heard are no simple matters. Most disheartening among other huge reasons are issues of loneliness. One proudly said his wife refused to go home with him and he could not manage life alone in Lagos (another big city outside NY),  so he ran back.

Another advised me to go home and marry and leave her there so when I go back eventually, I would have someone to care for me at that age.

I am bringing up this issue in light of Lawal and Amadike's crusade on this issue. They mistakenly personalized it on Eke even when we know it is a common and unfortunate problem that a lot of us here are missing being real men, in the sense that we knew our Dads are or were when we were growing up. 

So I am urging a re-direction on this debate so we can examine the issues of aging and life at home and here at 65 and beyond.

I happen, in one of my other numerous jobs, to know that aging and loneliness and health related issues and money are a great challenge to Diasporans at 65 and up especially for some of us that missed early planning for retirement.
My friends Lawal and Amadike and Peter, should read this piece so they can re-direct  or spread their anger more appropriately to more involved people here than to Eke and Dan who can very conveniently survive anywhere here or home.

If you really want to help, I will be forwarding you some names of Igbo people especially from our side of IMO state and Ngwa who are 67 and above and cannot go back home because of one or more of several reasons:

1.   There is no own home to go to.
2.  There is no money for travel  ticket.
3.  No wife, children or parents to go to.
4.  No friendly brothers and sisters to go to.
5.  No papers to guarantee a return.
6.  They may need some new hearts and kidneys.
7.  Blood pressure and prostate pills are more potent and affordable here than at Orlu or Eke Oha.
8.  The doctors at home, some anyway, do not know how to treat diabetes and other 'going problems'
9.  Viagra here is original and more potent.
10.  Nothing to keep busy on on retiring at home.
11.  Adult pampas  are very scarce at Orlu.
12.  Do not know to swallow fu-fu any more.
13.  There is not McDonald yet at Afor Umuna.
14.  Don't want to miss their welfare and food stamp checks.

etc.  etc.

Shall I say more?

I think we can talk about how to better prepare for future life at home on coming to America than pelting on the innocents.

Concluding,  a lot of us here have lost their home at home for neglecting it for long. Surprising? No. Anywhere one finds himself, like some people say, becomes his burial ground. 

Sad indeed.



My People:

The above very timely piece, was delivered rather inimitably humorously, by Maazi Dan Akusobi, to who all questions should be directed at dakusobi <>

Chai!  Tufiakwa! Omebiriemebi !

Bolaji Aluko
Shaking his head


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