You Crazy? Why would you want to Leave America? That was the response I got from some people when I told them in January 2010 that by the end of February 2010 I’d be back in Africa. So why did I pack up my stuff and leave the land of ‘the free’, the land of opportunity? Was it because of Snowmaggedon/Snowcopolis December 2009 – February 2010? Or Was it so I could get a job in South Africa in order to actualize my dream of attending my first World Cup? Or was it cause the economic outlook was miserable? Or was it because my savings were going to run out by the end of February 2010? Or was it because I have always wanted to go back home? What was so special about February 2010?
Well you probably guessed already but it was a combination of all the factors I listed above.
I remember the days and nights I spent talking about a better Nigeria with my High School buddies at Baptist High School Jos (BHS). A few of those conversations revolved around what we would do if we got the opportunity to go abroad for University (meaning US or the UK for the most part) and if we would come back to Nigeria. I have always been adamant about going back to Nigeria if I ever got a chance to go to school abroad (Just to be clear, for the consular officers that have asked me that question, I did leave the US ϑ even though I am not back in Nigeria yet). I remember one conversation where this came out strongly and Victory, (one year my senior) a one time feared Labor Prefect, made that assertion as well. I’ll have to check to see where he is these days. Anyways that wasn’t the sole reason I decided to go back in February 2010 as I have tried to go back as early as 2003 after graduating from UVA (was told by everyone in Nigeria, including my family that I needed a Masters before considering moving back), 2006 although not by choice then (I was actually out of the states for 9 months. This will be a story for another day.)
So 2010 was the first time the World Cup was going to be hosted in Africa. I can’t remember when I decided that it would be a good idea to get a job in South Africa so I could take my vacation in June to watch the World Cup but let’s just say that did not happen.
Then of course you have the fact that from the day I enrolled in the MA in International Economics and International Relations program at SAIS the world economy (US economy) seemed to be going into a tailspin. I remember eating my lunch downstairs in the SAIS basement watching CNBC in August 2007 when the Dow Jones Industrial Index was hovering around 14k and by the time I was done at SAIS in May 2009 it was in the 8k’s. So after graduating I joined the World Bank like any well-trained SAISer would do but I never really got a substantial contract i.e. 150 days or more so by the time Snowmaggedon hit in December 2009 I had a lot of time to think about what I was going to do. Sometime in December 2009, after 11 years in the United States of America I decided it was time to leave and head back home, with or without a job because I would be out of savings by February 2010.
As many of you know I am actually not in Nigeria but in Liberia and that’s a story for another day.
PLA (Peace Love and hAppiness)