Dilemma of the Nigerian

by Oliver Mbamara

The Nigerian in Diaspora finds himself in a dilemma. Should he drop his Nigerian cultural characteristics and replace them with those of his new environment (foreign culture), or should he retain his culture while accumulating the new? This tough question is rarely answered, but in most cases the Nigerian ends up with the tough task of accepting much of the foreign culture while managing to retain as much of the Nigerian in him so as to strike a balance. Yet, he possibly faces the condemnation or alienation of both worlds, as he rarely satisfies either of them. People of the foreign land in which he resides, see him as a stranger unsuccessfully trying to fit in, while his original Nigerian community could see him as a sell-out who has abandoned his roots. Nevertheless, the man who has his eyes on the valuable trophy that he hopes to take home at the end of his sojourn, neither relents nor does he crucify himself. Rather than waste in self-pity, and self-condemnation, he balances the two worlds and gives the situation the best shot he could give, ONE AT A TIME.

Dilemma of the Nigerian
And then somehow the stranger
Finds himself in a foreign land,
Beset with sudden challenges
Of life and living all too strange.

And then he reaches deep in him,
For the strength of his own culture,
But finds himself in a stranger’s maze,
Brought by a culture all too strange.

And what was once there in his life,
The root and core that made him strong,
Becomes worthless in the eyes of hosts,
And his predicament would then begin.

To salvage his pride once owned before,
He borrows the foreigner’s twisted tongue,
While keeping down his own parlance,
But in the end, he had lost himself.

And no one would really know indeed,
What plight it was that held him down,
Trapped in the puzzling pit of dilemma,
Except the few caught in the same trap.

He had failed in his compelled bid,
To be the man that pleased his hosts,
And he had failed to be the man,
That his kin have known before.

Now, Jack of two conflicting worlds,
And proven master of neither one,
But what shall be gained by self-pity?
Or harsh judgments that kill the will?

A man does live but a life at a time,
And so his ways may not please all,
But solace lies in the balance of things,
While living these worlds, one at a time.

Websites; http://www.ExpressionsOFsoul.com http://www.PoemsOFsoul.com http://www.NigerianTheaterUSA.com

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