The running joke among my friends is that I’ll probably marry a Nigerian man one day. I understand why they make this statement. In addition to finding Nigerian men attractive, I have worked in Nigeria and embraced its culture. I listen to Nigerian music artists, Naeto C, Bracket, and P-Square. I watch their movies. And I have made substantial efforts to learn languages of the country. I can’t predict the future, but I do like Nigerians. Here are three reasons why.
1. They have a good sense of humor.
Nigerians have the worst reputation of any other group of people that I’ve ever heard: they are scammers; they are womanizers, and they are drug traffickers. They are the scapegoats and sometimes perpetrators of Internet and credit card scams. Some are accused for having extramarital affairs with multiple women in multiple countries. Oftentimes, they are the ones that send you e-mails promising to make you rich if you send them a few thousand dollars. They take your money and you end up penniless. Tell a Nigerian about his reputation and he’ll laugh it off and make light of it. They don’t appear to be bothered by their reputation, but some will assure you that among 155 million people living in the country, only a small percentage actually live up to this reputation.
Many will even poke fun of their awful reputation. I once left my purse with a Nigerian friend of mine to hold while I ran an errand. He says, “I’m not going to take your cash, but I might take your credit card!” I chuckled, and grabbed my purse from him.
2. They are very direct.
If you want the un-sugarcoated truth, ask a Nigerian. They don’t beat around the bush. It’s not in their nature. I recently applied to a position at a company in Nigeria. After six weeks of hearing no response, I called the human resource department to inquire about my application’s status. He replies abruptly, “We’ve already selected the people we wanted for the position and you weren’t one of them.” Well,” I said, “Thanks.” I was shut down and did not have any follow-up questions for him (which is a rare occurrence for me). I thanked him for his time and hung up the Skype call.
I have been on the job hunt for a few months now and have applied to a copious amount of internships, jobs, schools, fellowship programs in my lifetime, so I am familiar with the script human resource departments (in the U.S.) follow when an applicant has been rejected from a position. They’ll say “Thank you for applying. This position had over 300 applications and we regret to inform you that you have not been selected for this position. You are highly talented. Please consider other positions with our company in the future.” In whatever they say, American companies will consider your ego; they won’t completely shut you down without at least an apology. That’s not the case for Nigerians.
3. They are very intelligent.
I’m not a politics or history guru and I don’t claim to be. I know what I know about American history and politics, from CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and news networks and from whatever I’ve retained from lectures in grade school and that’s about it. But whenever I find myself in a conversation with a Nigerian about American politics or history, I am put to shame. They know more about it than I do. They will tell me what they believe Obama’s doing right and what Bush did wrong. I just smile and nod, too ashamed to admit that I don’t know what they’re talking about.