‘I just moved back, you know I need to settle down and tap into the opportunities back home ‘cause there’s nothing out there for me’
This my friends is usually the first line you hear from one of these ‘I just got backs’ (IJGB) who just moved back home especially to Lagos looking for greener pastures because for some reason most people who live abroad are told of how Nigeria is the land of untapped opportunities with the chance for fresh minds to come tap into. I do not disagree with that fact but with all of the opportunities wasting away on the streets of Lagos, a lot of IJGBs move back with one more motive and that is to ‘catch a good man and get married’.
I mean can you blame them?, with the number of engagements/weddings springing out of Nigeria on a weekly basis with some being featured on BellaNaija, it’s very easy to believe that Nigeria is the land of milk and honey with ‘good men’ roaming the streets and not enough single women to satisfy their crave to be ‘settled’. They probably have some Aunties who call to tell them of all their cousins who are now married and then end it with ‘Nne you need to come back, there is one Obinna working with Shell that is very eligible, his mother is my very good friend and the two of you will be perfect for each other’ so sista gurl goes about planning her relocation to Nigeria so she can join the league of girls that are enjoying the freebies from all these men that love to ‘spend’, expect nothing in return and then have an elaborate BellaNaija worthy wedding. *sigh*
Last weekend I met Annie at an art expo, because those are the things most IJGBs like to go for, and she mentioned how adjusting back into the Nigerian life has not been as easy as she expected. Annie was very much the Americanah with her stylishly packed braids, her strong American accent and her light makeup which you could tell was her attempt of trying to be a Gidi girl because dem no born you well commot house without war paint (that’s another topic). Annie left a good job in New York to come settle down in Nigeria (thanks to family pressure) and somehow expected that she would be married within a year, well she’s been back for almost 3 years and is still as single as ever because the guys home ‘aren’t like the guys abroad’ and her initial naivety made her an easy prey in this jungle.
Annie is simply a representation of a lot of female IJGBs who venture into this risk for marriage either by media illusion or family pressure without knowing the truth of what the Nigerian dating scene is like. Even though I find it absolutely crazy to relocate just to get married here are some truths that those restless aunties have failed to mention
- There are A LOT of single women in Nigeria – women of different ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, income levels and social classes. They do not have spiritual problems, most are drop dead gorgeous and are ‘original’ wifey material but somehow happen to be single. So before you start rambling about how you are the difference that Nigeria needs, think again!
- Some single men in Nigeria are spoilt kids – I say ‘some’ to avoid being attacked for generalizing but you will find that a lot of single guys are used to being pampered by women especially guys who may have some kind of money. But can you blame them? They often have different ladies offering to do things such as their laundry, cooking services and occasional bedroom services so coming around and speaking with a foreign accent does not exactly enhance your market, it only makes you ‘exotic’ like the Asian to the average Caucasian.
- It’s a jungle out here – a concrete jungle where ladies would do anything for that ring. Babes are constantly enhancing their selling points; longer weaves, more make-up (with accurate contouring), more acquired accents and buying clothes on credit. If you are ready to be in this jungle, you need to realise your cute t-shirt and jeans with hair in a ponytail is not a selling point (maybe add some ruby woo and you could blend in).
- Naija babes don’t trust themselves – so don’t go about blabbing about this new guy with ‘potential’ that you met because the same girl you are gisting with freely may end up getting to that guy before he realises what a wonderful woman you are. Also, do not feel insulted or upset when you realise your friend has kept her man a secret until her introduction, it’s just the way it is. I mean I have a friend who gave me the wrong name until she was getting married then she claimed she calls him more by his ‘middle name’…yea
- All na packaging – especially in this Lagos, the cars, the house, the ‘CEO’ title could be real but every original has a counterfeit so do your due diligence before falling in the wrong hands and crying a river because bros was lying to you all along. Don’t say Miss Gidi didn’t warn you o.
At the end of the day, it’s good to be home; to be with family and indeed tap into the many opportunities but if your main purpose is to come back, find a husband and marry then you need to think again because the bad roads, bad water and poor light situation would be the least of your problems when you return.