Why do immigrants perform well in America, the Nigerian example, revisited

May 18, 2012


Two of the comments waiting for possible approval yesterday evening were from the same guy, a “brother” in the United States, the country that now consistently sends more readers daily – most days of the week –  to this Blog.  Mr. John Brown, the blog visitor, takes umbrage at an essay I wrote here last year about why immigrants perform well in America, “the Nigerian example”:


It was one of the first two essays that arose from watching the 2011 Annual Scripps/National Geographic Spelling Bee competition which has seen kids of Indian descent dominate the winners’ list over several years.  Naturally, the essay on Nigerians has outpaced the other in readership, having attracted hundreds of readers and placing 8th on a list of topics that number about 390 presented since this Blog started last year.

The first essay appeared here on June 5 soon after the 2011 competition which was won by another Indian, Sukanya Roy

There was also a follow-up to the Nigerian story in August:


I had been following stories of kids with Nigerian names on the web around the graduation season which often starts at about this time (May) and got drawn more and more into the subject.

In March this year still following my interest in Nigerians in the United States, I culled a story for this Blog that contained the news that 17 percent of Nigerians in the U.S.A. hold Masters’ degrees:


I’ve gone to this length to show the Nigerian story was neither meant as a put-down for our African-American brothers and sisters nor was it meant to show-boat.

Please read Mr. Brown’s two comments and mine, based on his:


john brown

Submitted on 2012/05/17 at 10:45 pm

If it wasn’t for African Americans fighting and dying for Civil Rights no African would even be allowed to come to this country. I swear. SMDH

Why do immigrants perform well in America: the Nigerian example, continued – Tola Adenle

john brown

Submitted on 2012/05/17 at 10:33 pm

You speak as if all Black people in America are failing. If Africans, specifically Nigerians, are such overachievers then why do they migrate here? Why isn’t Nigeria in a better state than it is now? Why is it still divided between the North and South with religious violence rampant? I swear, Nigeria GDP grows and its GDP per capita decreases. You all are so quick to divide yourselves from others. Nigerians, Igbo, Tutsi, Mandinka and so on and so on. That tribalism is in you all’s blood. There are approximately 36 million Blacks in the U.S., 23% in poverty, Nigeria’s poverty rate is 71%. We are minorities, historically oppressed in a country that didn’t even consider us human beings. You all have your own country and are inundated in oil, what’s your excuse. You all always have to try to compare your selves to us. Go back to your damn country. We out number you all here, it is only a few hundred thousands of you all while there are millions of us.


Submitted on 2012/05/18 at 11:21 am | In reply to Hay.

Dear Mr. Brown,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I agree with you on the migration of Nigerians arising from the fact that our own country does not work due to corruption and other sundry reasons. I must also point out that I’ve written here and in a former newspaper column I had for many years the betrayal by Nigeria of peoples of African descent in the Diaspora, especially the USA through the failure of the country to live up to the level where it ought to be now so that our brothers and sisters elsewhere would have, at least, a place of reference for a working nation ruled by black people.

Having said that and having lived in the States for many years, including Florida during the turbulent civil rights period, I must state that Nigeria and other African countries did play a silent unwitting role in achieving civil rights.

The “fight”/competition between the United States and the then Soviet Union for the hearts and minds of young Africans from the late 50s, 60s & 70s cannot be discounted from gains in the U.S. by our brothers and sisters there. America wanted to appear as caring by Africa and could not achieve that by holding those who are part of us – though long removed – as they used to hold African-Americans.

Now, as for Nigeria failing the black race which I’ve raised in many essays, it was the PROMISE THAT INDEPENDENCE of first, Ghana, then Nigeria, etcetera held that spurred America to compete with the Soviet Union which had come out boldly and built a Patrice Lumumba University to which hundreds of Africans flocked including many from Nigeria to study subjects like Engineering, Medicine … subjects that the British colonial masters did not plan for the sole university in Nigeria.

That PROMISE, as the world now knows, is in tatters, but Mr. Brown, if you read my own commentaries that are replies to a couple of readers who expressed the understandable same points you’ve raised here, you would agree that even the feelings you express are part of those planted on both sides which were designed to continually divide us.

I believe, as I told one of those readers with whom I even had personal correspondences, that native-born African-Americans have a lot to gain by not being antagonistic to Africans, especially Nigerians who take the opportunities that abound in America despite the racism that still persists. It swells the positive black statistics as the Spanish-Americans’ tally is swollen by illegals who are forever coming in and who become legalized at one point or another.

Regards, Mr. Brown, and think of these points.

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    […] Why do immigrants perform well in America, the Nigerian example, revisited […]


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