I am a Nigerian who has been living in America since I could spell the words “puberty” and “adolescence;” I am therefore more than qualified to dish out some words of wisdom:
- Understand that you are inferior.
As an African, you must know and admit that you are from an inferior part of the world. Your Africa is nothing but a collection of vast, vehement shantytowns. At the core: a handful of government structures sparsely punctuated with two or three dilapidated high-rise hotels and a few filthy, ill-equipped public clinics packed to overflowing.
You all are a bunch of half-naked animists running around jabbing metals in cows’ jugulars, drinking cold uncooked blood. You hunt and kill the animals running around in your backyard. You are poor and wretched and are searching for a better life. You need more kind folks like Oprah to keep doing the amazing work they’re doing. They built a school for all African kids. This is why you are here, in America. America will heal your soul and help you attain superiority.
- You should be uneducated.
You shouldn’t speak correct English or be enlightened at all. In Africa, there is not even conventional or reliable transportation service, and certainly not universities and/or libraries. When you speak English, you ought to say something like this: “Me very sick, oga!” You must roll your “r” and occasionally misplace “r” and “l” so that your “Cliff” will sound like “Criff.” After all, most of your women hang out with ginormous lip plates and your men have dry donkey bones jutting out of their nose. What about the bare-breasted women with huge sagging breasts and prominent buttocks?
- Change your accent. Americanize it.
You can start by adopting a name that sounds very American — do this by changing “Tolu” to “Tool” or “Tobi” to “Toby” or “Kemi” to “Kemmy.” You certainly don’t want customer service agents saying “pardon me?” every time you talk or ask a question. So you have to emphasize your “r” and make your “t” sound like “d.” Example: “Can you marrrrket (market) me some wadorr (water) please?”
- Get American citizenship.
It is by force. And please don’t get this twisted — Permanent residence does not equal citizenship. If you’re a resident, you can’t vote for Obama. As a resident, you may also need a visa to tour Dubai or Milan or Paris; they won’t even let you “sponsor” your parents or spouse(s) for gree n cards unless you’re a citizen. So you must get the American pali in every way possible. Arrange a mushroom marriage at the courthouse. Propose to that oyinbo after a few hobnobs.
- Don’t go “home” to visit, at least not in 2014.
These two countries especially rhyme with Liberia: Algeria, Nigeria. Therefore, you must avoid travelling there or mentioning those countries in any conversation lest people start avoiding you for no known reason. If going home is inevitable, your exit and return must be kept from becoming public knowledge.
- Accept (or don’t) that your health is not anyone’s primary concern.
First of all, if you visit an urgent care facility during or after a minor illness, expect the physician’s assistant to give you a ten-page form to fill. This form will include questions like: “What countries have you visited in the last five years?” “Have you had a fever or body temperature more than 102 in the last three years?” “Have you been exposed to anyone from Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone?”
And no, you are not being asked to fill these forms because you have an accent; it is procedure. In the unlikely event that you’re uninsured and hospitalized, understand that nobody will exhaust all available treatment measures on you. How dare you hope America will use its taxpayers’ money to cater to your health?
- Stop deluding yourself into believing everyone is equal.
Yes. In America, all men truly are believed to be created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. America holds that truth to be self-evident, as it is emphasized in their Declaration of Independence. But who do you think will be called for a job interview first after applying for a position: you, Ahmed Yusuf from Nigeria, or a Jeremy Fox from Cleveland?
- Africa is a country.
Don’t look confused when some Americans ask you, a Nigerian, if you know the King of Zamunda, or a “Maputu Matobo” from somewhere in Southeast Africa. You all are from Africa, a small country with a population of about 300 people.
- You were born to fight.
Your Africa is incessantly ruptured by ethnic warfare among gun-wielding hooligans shooting sporadically into the air with AK-47’s and perpetrating senseless genocides. Because of this, all Africans are fighters, except for folks from some place in Africa which was run by that nice Mr. Mandela. May his soul rest in peace. Therefore, do NOT raise your voice in arguments, and please, do NOT yell when you’re overexcited. You might just end up in jail if the law-abiding citizens around you witness your sudden emotional outbursts.
10. Don’t be offended.
Realize, and sorrowfully concede, that most non-Africans who read this write-up will be too myopic to recognize the sarcasm therein.