The purpose of this essay is to drive the point home that raising Nigerian children in America is almost an impossibility. This essay is about real people in real situations but whose real identities have been camouflaged to protect them. Frankly, I wouldn't wish the problem of raising Nigerian children in America on my worst enemy because doing so the way things are is akin to going on a long journey "through the valley of the shadow of death" It is hell! First and foremost, the laws of the United States are not only stacked up against you the parent, they tie your hands and feet together and hang you upside down from the ceiling.
Consider the case of Nigerian Anambrarian named Dr. Okoh. The 21-year old daughter he had just paid the way for from Owerri village to the US slapped her father Dr. Okoh for attempting to rule his family despite his wife's strongest opposition. Okoh's family had been a war zone with two hostile camps for awhile: Mama and three daughters on one side and Papa standing alone on the opposite side In some Nigerian families if care is not taken, Mama and kids may gang up and beat the shit out of Papa.
Okoh had on several occasions told his three wayward daughters: "You cannot leave the night club and unlock my front door at 4:00 am." Mrs. Okoh objected: "They have to enjoy themselves as you did when you first came to America ." That was in 1979, Dr Okoh interjected. "It is the same thing now." Mrs. Okoh was sharp in the mouth like a viper in defense of her three daughters as most Nigerian women here and back home usually are.
Daughters aged 17, 20, and 21 had just arrived in the city in the year of our Lord 2000. They were restless, itching to get groovy and sexy in America they had been seeing on televion and hearing from stories Papa narrated whenever he visited Nigeria. To be groovy is to be hip as Americans and cool as a harlot. Sexiness is to have a hot vagina and ass that twirled/twisted like okoroso (toy made from empty snail's shell). Being new in America, the hot-mama daughters wanted to drink hot liquors and frosty beers, fuck akata boys and dance seductively to Owerri music at every Naija party. Dr. Okoh was embarrassed to hear from reliable sources that Nigerian men were fucking his daughters sometimes all three of them by the same man.
"Why don't you go to schools and become nurses?" Dr. Okoh continued to badger his daughters until one daughter got enough devil in her. Ijeoma, the youngest daughter, slapped the father. PAR! After seeing a thousand stars in a daze, Dr. Okoh retaliated by knocking Ijeoma flat on the concrete floor with ekwe monwu (masquerade punch). Mrs. Okoh placed a 911 to the police. Police came. Presence of ndi uwe oji (police clad in black uniforms ) landed Doc in jail. Gwam! Words got out to the state office which took Dr. Okoh's State position away for domestic violence.
If you ever get locked up in jail for domestic violence in America, my friend, you better kiss your State (any government) job good bye. Even your privileges to operate motor vehicles or access such social services as food stamp and healthcare, may be suspended for cause. Your employer fires you on the spot. Piam! Nobody will hire you once an employer punches a key of the computer and your name appears with notation "domestic violence."
Very recently, Hector Olivera with the Atlanta Braves baseball team was convicted of domestic violence. His punishment was suspension for 82 weeks in a $47million contract that runs through 2020. If the Braves still owes Hector $27million after suspension, you can figure out what a whopping reduction in salary Hector's domestic violence has cost this player. If you say $20 million, your guess is as good as mine. If you doubt it, Google Hector Olivera to find out.
Getting back to our man and to cut a long story short to get down to the nitty gritty, Dr. Okoh got fed up raising children with his pay checks gone. He divorced wife and abandoned his family in one State and moved to another to find employment. How else was he to use his academic degrees to feed himself? A married man without a job feels empty, naked, and worthless. It is like emasculation, or removal of the man's penis and the testicles. It is worse than just castration or removal of the testicles alone. With removal of the penis, your wife would say to you the husband: "Mba-nu" (No now). It is a terrible rejection!
Child-rearing problems does not just affect jobs. Let's talk about Dr. Bassey the Calabar man who was in his final year at a Florida medical school and who flogged his daughter with a belt for pilfering/stealing childish items at a department store. The medical school kicked the soon-to-be doctor out just a few months before graduation. We sympathetic Nigerians organized and marched into the medical school in protest on behalf a Calabar man who would laugh at Anayamiris in NIgeria. We behaved rowdy as jungle people, and white people became scared.
The Calabar man filed a suit seeking injunctive relief to save his medical degree which was on the verge of being destroyed. When the media came with cameras, the white people got scared, and the medical school administrators said to Bassey: "Here is your degree and get out of the State immediately". Calabar man ran off to New York with his mmogho ass. It is believed that he must have pissed in his heavily starched khaki trousers as he hurriedly vamoosed.
A Texas Igbo friend was jailed for a conduct unbecoming of fathers (another term for domestic violence). He locked the bedroom window through which his teenage daughter was climbing out every night to go visit and fuck her akata boyfriend. Coming back one early morning and finding the window locked, this girl told police she was climbing out because her father was sexually molesting her.
This is the usual allegation that gets the attention of American overworked, underpaid welfare workers and police eager to fill prisons up with foreigners. They already hate "smart-ass" Nigerians for 419 and other expert fraudulent activities. If you doubt this, please ask Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, and he will tell you that Nigerians love three things: steal their country's money, commit frauds, and fuck. If you doubt it, Google it now.
As Marriage Coach, this writer has held conversations with several Nigerian parents whose sons have told "Fuck you" or "Fuck out of my face", or "I'll fuck you up if you touch me." One mother didn't take it serious until her son beat her unconscious for refusing to purchase a popular cell phone he saw his friends use. Dealing with pants-on-the-butts-and -music-in-the-ear akata Nigerian children can be exasperating. It is a classic pain in the ass. They can be mean, aggressive, and extremely vengeful when they don't have their way.
Poor Mrs. Paulina Ozoemela (fictitious), BSN/RN had the rudest shock of her life when the New York police and Department of Social Services came to the hospital where Mrs. Ozoemela was serving as nurse supervisor. The police handcuffed our home girl and bundled her off to jail on charges of molestation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Why?
Her crime was refusal to purchase an expensive name-brand clothing her son wanted and the son retaliated by reporting Mom to his school for allegedly coming into his room at nights to fumble his little penis. Although Mrs. Ozoemela was exonerated because her son named a night the crime was committed and the court found out from the nurse work records that Mom was at work at that time.
Luckily Mrs O was found innocent of the charge and kept her nurse's license, but the damage had been done and our BSN/RN woman felt as shameful as a real criminal. Don't you think Mrs Ozoemela's co-workers called her SFN (son fucker nurse) behind her back? Nigerian children born in America can make parents feel like real shit. How did Mrs. O retaliate? She took Bad Boy son to Nigerian as if the family were going "on summer vacation." At the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Mrs. Ozoemela's little nephews beat the shit out of Bad Boy for embarrassing Mom. She seized Bad Boy's passports and left him in the village to attend school. What a Smart Move by unconquerable Mrs Ozoemela!
My friend in Tallahassee, Florida, Chief Emenyonu, paid thousands of dollars for tuition and fees for a college student who has been changing schools and majors with no graduation date in sight after five (5) years of schooling. My friend's dream of having the first family graduate was dashed when Emenyonu, Jr. was discovered to have been skipping classes, hanging out with friends in bars and clubs, and living it up with a sleuth of women on whom he squandered his father's money.
Folks at school knew Emenyonu, Jr. as "money man from Africa." When confronted with lying and stealing from family, the son threatened to whip the daylight out of his old man. Dad wisely called the police rather than make a dangerous tackle . The crazy thing was that Mrs. Emenyonu cried, wailed, moaned, wept, yowled, screamed, screeched, or cried: "I love my son." She aggressively supported her recalcitrant, stupid, and crazy son. The police left after the Naija man and police failed to convince Mrs. Omanyonu that the son at age 25 was no longer the family's responsibility. Such is a woman whose love for a wayward child surpasses her love for a husband who impregnated her with sperm that produced the rascal.
Homeboy Sir Onubuogu is a real person with name changed to protect his innocent and lives in Chicago with wife, 4 sons and 2 daughters (six children in all). Eldest daughter 25-year-old Ifeyinwa is not in school; does not work; lays around the house eating, sleeping, watching television, listening to drug-pusher music, and dancing when the spirit hits her. Homeboy has threatened to call police to march this girl out of the house.
Mrs. Onubuogu warns Sir Onubuogu: "If you put her out, you'll have to put me out also." Several Igbo men have called asking to marry Ifeyinwa, and some have flown into Chicago from Abuja or Lagos to see Ifeyinwa Onubuogu. Mrs. Onubuogu has instructed Ifeyinwa to not take any call from Nigerian suitors. Reason? Nigerian men love many women, she claimed . It appears she is directing some anger at her husband for some undisclosed transgression (maybe he wasn't a good ebili-atulu (ram or he goat) in bed. She even refused to open the door to visitors wanting to see and speak with beautiful Ifeyinwa.
This writer once took his handsome college-graduate middle son and a bottle of non-alcoholic wine (upon Mr. Onubogu's suggestion) so my son could woo and perhaps marry Ifeyinwa. Mrs. Onubuogu rejected the wine and wanted us to immediately vacate the premises. Mr. Onubuogu was so ashamed he wished the earth had opened up and swallowed him up. He continues to apologize till tomorrow. I tell him not to worry and that " that's the way God made women."
My son asked: "Dad, is that how all Nigerian women are like?" "No." I lied. "This special case requires special prayer and fasting." Homeboy keeps asking me: "Who will marry my daughters since I cannot marry them?" His guess is as good as mine, and that's all I can say right now. Wait till Ifeyinwa gets pregnant or until the day an aggressive Naija comes and throws fearsome punches on Mrs. Onubogu .
When will someone raising Nigerian children in America listen to the voice of reason? America is not Nigeria and you cannot raise your pickens as your village mother raised you in Isiukwuator where she all she did was gbanye gi ose n'nya na n'ike (put pepper in your eyes and anus). In America, your Mama would be locked in insane asylum as akula obu onye ara (don't beat a crazu woman).
America is a crazy jungle and if you are here doing the thankless job of raising kids without seeking your wife's or husband's support (or at least the help of the mental health professionals), the prison system is waiting to destroy your children and make your efforts go to waste. The government takes upon itself the responsibility for being a self-appointed protector to defend children against "tiger" parents. As a parent, you are required to shut your damn mouth up and let the children do as they please, or you might be sent to jail. Hell!
The foolish love a Nigerian mother showers on a stubborn, misbehaving child and her strenuous opposition to her husband's attempt to discipline his children will surely bring the mother "akwa anyasi" (midnight tears).
Raising our kids in America requires strong gloves, persistence, tactfulness, and husband-wife teamwork, and if you cannot do that, please sent difficult kids to relatives in Nigeria as soon as possible to give the child reality training with hard life.
If a child proves too difficult to handle and you have done your best, it is wise to seek alternative avenues. Please inform appropriate US authorities, including the school, police, and social services of the situation rather take the matter into your hands. Be careful. You might be killed by your child or at best be locked up in prison by the police and Judge. You ought to have a medical and/or psychiatric evaluation performed on your child. It is advisable to seek advice from folks back home.
A middle-aged Igbo woman, whom I will give the fictitious name Monica, is visiting with a family consisting of her elder sister, sister's husband and sister's four children. Monica is lucky in that elder sister and her husband had invited her to this country, paid her passage and are providing her with a comfortable home to rest while efforts are being made to complete arrangements for the ubiquitous akwukwo ndu (Green Card similar to Biblical tree of life). One would expect Monica to be as happy as a lark, although she appears to miss her own husband and children whom she has to abandon momentarily back home in search of the golden opportunity she now has.
Is Monica happy? No, she is not; in fact she doesn't like the life her sister and her children are living in America. I tried to remind her: "Your elder sister's life is not your business; she's free to raise her children the way she sees fit; and if she drinks alcohol and her husband smokes and they go to clubs every day, Monica, it is not your damned business either." She said I had missed her whole point: she has no problem with her elder sister and her husband; it is the children that rub her the wrong way. I asked: "Woman, why does that bother you? They are not your children, are they?"
Monica laments that the children are disrespectful to everyone, including their parents and Aunt Monica. They wake from sleep each morning and refuse or forget to say "Good morning." They leave unwashed dishes and eating utensils on the table after eating meals Monica has dutifully prepared for the family. They don't say, "Thank you, Aunty Monica" after meals.
Making up their beds after sleeping is never done because they seem oblivious of rules of hygiene. Visiting Aunt resents doubling up as slave and doormat upon which her sister's children wipe their dirty feet. Although Monica and I had agreed that children' s problems in America are caused by parents abdicating their responsibilities in a confusing culture, we disagreed violently on how to resolve the bone of contention. Could she ignore the situation and do the best she can until things improve and she packs away?
No, Monica would rather stay and fight to change her sister's children than get the hell out. The sister has already told her: "If my children don't greet you, then you should greet them." Isn't that clue as clear as "shut your damned mouth, sister, or get the hell out of here"? I tried and failed to drum a few things into Monica's thick skull. If she tries that pepper-in-eye-and-anus stuff, Monica would be deported after serving a prison term.
Nigerian parents in the U S are tired of fighting with the child-rearing problems endemic in not just America but similar problems are cropping up in Nigerian major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha and other places. Drugs, gangs, running after money, unfit parents, inordinate desire for pleasure, and easy sex are contributing factors .
There are laws on U S. books which are ostensibly enacted to protect children and facilitate their wellbeing but which are clearly meant to interfere with parental rights to raise their children, and which may dictate that your kids be removed from you and placed in foster or adoptive homes. You may lose your children. Kpamkpam!
Because of frequent abuses and deaths of US children at the hands of unfit adults, your parental rights may be terminated temporarily or permanently where the State can appoint surrogate parents to take over child rearing. Your children are very much aware of your parental right limitations and can taunt you with "If you touch me, I will tell on you. Hahahahah!" That is a stern warning to keep out or go to jail. To be forewarned is to be forearmed Nigerians say at home.
Nigerian children in the US are said to be 97-100% akata and only 0-3% true African. Therefore, you cannot use eye drops in treating aching ears, and you cannot rear children raised in the Western world with practices obtainable in undeveloped/developing countries because there is a glaring incompatibility. Remember the O. J. Simpson's trial where the hand fits or does not fit the glove.
CONCLUSIONS: To successfully rear children in America, Nigerian parents will have to either abandon or modify rearing practices learned from home. Those who cannot, are advised to send difficult kids to caregivers back home. It is better to be safe than to be sorry. Before you send Charlie home to your anxious parents in Nigeria, first have the child examined by the medical and /or psychological professionals to determine if that is the most prudent decision or if other treatments are indicated.
Dear Parents, jisie ike (try your best) and Good Luck!
(Copyrighted Jan 21, 2012