A Tragedy of a Nigerian Family, that Relocated to the United Stats of America
The mother left a very lucrative job in Nigeria to stay in Atlanta, Georgia with her 3 kids. The boy is her first child -about 18, well mannered, kind and loved by all. Their father visited them often.
Last week the boy began to behave strangely on the campus; touching people randomly and speaking or babbling for no reason. The school sent him for evaluation and called his mom. She traveled from Atlanta to Austin, Texas with her younger sister to see her son.
He was happy to see his mom and aunt. They spent time together, prayed and so forth. His aunt left them (mom and son) at 2am to sleep in her hotel room downstairs. The boy killed his mom at about 4.am by strangulation. Apparently, he woke up to see his mother praying over him and he snapped.
Every one is in shock. The father was tricked to come to America, Where the devastating news was boken to him.
Words failed me!
May her beautiful soul rest in perfect peace. Amen!
My dear brethren,
over the last few years, many Nigerians have been sending their young children to Canada, The United States and other western countries for education.
As a pastor of a predominantly Nigerian church in the US, I can speak about some major issues going on in the U.S. We are getting an increasingly, worrisome and high number of cases of Nigerian students having mental health challenges. Some killed their parents, others attempted suicide or actually committed it. Others have gone into drug abuse and even committed heinous crimes. This is a major epidemic that we are facing right now.
Many of these cases stem from the fact that most of these children are young and had not left home before.
Some of the challenges they face are;
1. Financial pressures- Many parents struggle to pay for the child’s first year but are unable to pay for the coming years. This put the child under unprecedented pressure, leading to depression and in some cases suicide; when they are expelled from school.
2. Racism- Most of these children had not experienced racism. While in Nigeria, they were mostly from the upper or upper middle class. They went to the best schools and had private tutors. Now on America soil, they don’t know how to handle being treated as second class citizens and this causes mental health challenges. Many had not earned a living before. They had retinue of drivers and house girls at their beck and call. Now, they have to do menial jobs under the table to survive and they are treated as crap.
3. Unprecedented freedom- Many of these students had not experienced the kind of freedom they have when they travel abroad. All their lives, they have been pampered and protected by dotting parents. In America, they have access to drugs, sex and all manners of deviant behaviours. Only the mature, disciplined children are able to say no to these vices at a young age.
4. Immigration- Many of these children have immigration issues. Some do not have student visas. They came in with visitors visas, overstayed and the parents basically abandoned them in a relative of friends homes believing that
“all would be well”. When these students get to a stage where they need to prove their status they are stuck and are in a lot of trouble financially and emotionally.
The issues raised above are just the tip of the iceberg. Many Nigerian parents look at these issues as strictly spiritual issues. They say the children need deliverance. Others focus only on the child’s academic results at the detriment of their mental health. Some are more concerned about being able to brag to their friends that their children are at an IVY league school.
I am appealing to all parents with children abroad to spend more time with these children and listen to them. Ensure that they have a trusted mentor who can check on them regularly. Ground these children well in Christ and give them confidence to know who they are before they travel. Ensure that you are financially stable before you send them abroad and of course pray for them. We have to do all these things together. May our children continue to be a source of pride and joy to us in Jesus name. Amen.
Written By a ‘concerned Nigerian Pastor in the US.