How Nigerians Strive for Excellence in America

new_yorkThe American immigrant story has the ability to be both prevalent and rare.

America is a mosaic of a myriad number of ethic groups coalescing under a symbolic unity in the land of the free and home of the brave.

This symbiosis imbibes an effort to strive for the “American Dream” in the ubiquitous effort to make it at all costs.

In a political and social climate where the twitter catchphrase #blacklivesmatter, is unfortunately being used often while increased tensions between blacks in America and police officers rises, the Nigerian immigrant story provides a refreshing change to the socioeconomic plights and constraints Americans of a certain ethic and racial group face.

In fact Nigerians are known to achieve levels of excellence that allow them to climb from poverty to prosperity in a generation or less.

According to the Migration Policy Institute approximately 376,000 Nigerians (first and second generation) live in the United States and Nigeria is the largest source of African migration to the United States.

Nigerians are more educated by number comparison to the rest of the US population. Nigerians of the first and second generation living in America are said to have matriculated and graduated with their undergraduate degrees in large numbers. The Nigerian diaspora is highly educated, with many going further to obtain advanced degrees.

“29 percent of the Nigerian diaspora hold advanced degrees compared to 11 percent of the US population overall” (MPI study, Diaspora Profile, June 2015).

Along with education, Nigerians are reaching the highest levels in the sports arena. Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike were drafted number 1 seed for the 2014 WNBA draft, second only to the leading American football sports brothers; Peyton and Eli Manning.

Carl Le Van, an African scholar at American University had said that sports in Nigeria had historically provided a unifying force in a culturally diverse country, and along with literature, had helped instill a sense of exceptionalism.

There is a tendency for the American and international media to publicize negative news about African Americans, Nigerian Americans, Nigerians, and Africa at large.

In spite of this, the hope is that one can see, that the Nigerian narrative depicts a very positive and impactful story about the Nigerian populace and what the Nigerian people have fulfilled in America now and looking to the future.