4 Things I Shared With A Nigerian Grad Student Who Just Came to America

4 Things I Shared With A Nigerian Grad Student Who Just Came to America

I spoke with a young family that just made it to America. The husband will be going to school; he is a little unsettled on the promise of America. Here is a quick brief summary.

History of Success: Nigerians  have a great history of success in America. Ignore the press – if you look at the numbers that matter, Nigerians come close to the top of the most successful ethnic group in America. We have no beggars here. Our “challenge” remains that our people can hold four jobs at once and still asking for more jobs! I hope you see that as a badge of honor. Hard work has not killed any Nigerian I know here. An average Nigerian family has a college education as the default minimum education for the children. Yes, here in America, it is expected in Nigerian families that the kids will attend universities.

No Victim Mindset: The biggest way to unlock progress in America is to eschew the victim mindset where you are conditioned that everything was rigged against you, other blacks and minorities. While there are discrimination cases, dwelling on those will not help you. The key is understanding that many had overcome them. So, even when making 99% does not give you the opportunity, nothing stops you making 100% if that is what it will take. But do not make 99% and complain that because I was black, that was why I did not get it. By the time your mind is conditioned for 100%, you will not notice those issues. Personally, I am discrimination-hardened as I did not cross River Niger to Lagos and then flew across Atlantic to expect it would be as easy as in my Abia state village.They come, I ignore them, because those discriminating need more help than me!

Expect Discrimination: Sure, out of ignorance, many will remind you that you are black or treat you unfairly. But understand that some do not wish any harm; most are done out of ignorance. I will give you an instance.

  • When I came here, a woman told me in Walmart that I had an accent. I laughed as she said that. She became confused why I was laughing. I politely told her that she also had one. I asked her if she knew of a place called England? She said she had heard of it in a movie. Then, I noted that only people in England speak the authentic English; everyone has an accent including the American English she was speaking. That mocking my version of English is a total demonstration of her lack of awareness of human history. She apologized!

Reward is assured: There is a huge reward in America. Stay out of trouble – obey the laws and follow the rules. Follow the logic of wealth creation – accumulate capabilities, then make them to work for you.

And the golden rule: do not have a file in your school’s public safety department. Simply, if you do not have one, it means you have not violated any rule throughout your program. Those men and women do not need to know your name! Welcome.


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9 thoughts on “4 Things I Shared With A Nigerian Grad Student Who Just Came to America

  1. Spot on prof. I’m a proud Nigerian with so much of all the attributes you listed in this write up. I can tell that most people in the US see Nigerians and they are intimidated. They know Nigerians are smart, intelligent, and tenacious, which makes them survivors. The US is a fertile ground where any serious minded person will surely reap the fruit of his/her efforts.
    Thank you for this piece.

  2. Thank you Prof.
    It’s well articulated, simplified but greatly encouraging.
    As B.Sc Computer Science graduate with some reasonable experience, I am working had to add to my skills set, while I keep trying to make it to America or Australia or even any safe European country.
    I appreciate your advice.


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