Monday, February 13, 2012

Why I came back...


I know I said I'd write about random facts/experiences about camp in my next post, but I've changed my mind. Instead, I'll give you a little insight as to why I decided to come back to Nigeria, after being away for half of my life. Here goes...

One day, long long ago, in the distant land of Atlanta, a BERRYFUL princess decided she'd move back to the land of her ancestors, to meet, fall in love with, and marry the tall, dark, and handsome man of her dreams. She came, she fell, she married...and they lived happily ever after.


So the true story is I left Nigeria as soon as I finished secondary school in the mid-late-90s. When I left, there wasn't really a plan to come back here or stay in the States. I was just going to university and would figure things out as time went on. Well, I finished undergrad, worked for a year, started on my masters, graduated and then...the itch began. This feeling of restlessness. At the time that I finished with my masters' degree, the recession had just begun and unemployment rates rising throughout the country. As someone who detests lazying about at home for indefinite periods, I had to start making backup plans, in case I didn't secure a job within a few months. At this time also, a lot of my peers were moving back to Nigeria - the reverse brain drain. So, I started to think about it - purely for career/employment reasons. However, just a month shy of my self-imposed deadline to finding a job, an opportunity dropped in my lap out of the blue. 

I wasn't passionate about the work I was doing, but it paid my bills and then some, and I quite enjoyed a lot of it. However, it was a small company and the opportunity for career advancement was severely limited. It was only a matter of time before the itch began again. Between 2010 and early 2011, I mentioned the idea of moving back to Nigeria to a few people. Most of the advice I got was inclined towards returning to Nigeria - although I must say, I think they had ulterior motives for wanting me back in Nigeria (What? Berry's almost 30 and unmarried? Come, we must find husband for her... *blank stare...and then rolling eyes*)

About a year ago, I was browsing online, looking for open positions in Nigeria - I needed a feel of what kinda opportunities were out here. Alas! I found an opening in the city where I grew up (I'm a Port Harcourt girl o *Duncan Mighty, we need a remix for the ladies). I was able to secure an interview and fast forward 2 months later, I had a job offer and they'd let me do NYSC with them. That was the easy part.

Making the final decision as to whether I would actually get a one-way ticket back to Nigeria was considerably harder. I had to think several things through, such as...
  1. I had a very comfortable life in the States. 
  2. Most of my family members live in the States.
  3. I had a pretty good job with an okay income.
On the flip side though...
  1. My pretty good job didn't have room for advancement. Would I really want to be doing the same thing for the next 3+ years?
  2. Staying in the States would have been fine and dandy, but would I want to ask myself 5 years down the line "What if...?"
  3. Truthfully, I wasn't sure what direction I wanted for my life, so I was looking for a break.
And so after praying, fasting, seeking advice, and gathering my thoughts and feelings, I decided for myself that I'd come back for at least 1 year. My reasoning was that I could come back to Nigeria, survey the country and opportunities, and make an informed decision as to whether I'd stay or run back to the States. If I was going to stay for at least one year, it only made sense to enroll in and complete NYSC. In addition, I'm not 30 (OLD) yet, and if I was going to do anything flighty, challenging or reckless, now was the time to do it. In even more addition, as a single gal, I had nobody tying me down anywhere and I could afford to do anything I wanted for ME, MYSELF, and I! 

As I type, I've been back for about 8 months (time flies!). The job I was offered in PH didn't quite work out. My immediate supervisor reneged on allowing me to do NYSC and keep the job, so I deferred my NYSC start date to Batch C, 2011 (big mistake if you ask me, but oh well). At this point, I'm more inclined to return to the States after I finish NYSC in November. However, I'm keeping an open mind. After all I have another 9 months left to make my final decision. Who knows, I might even move to Italy, Spain or New Zealand afterwards - my random dream places. 

My advice to anyone who's wondering whether to come back or not would be:
  1. You MUST have an idea of what you will be doing or what you want to do in Nigeria before you come back. 
  2. You should make a few trips back to get a feel for life in Nigeria. Christmas, Easter, and Summer holidays don't count. Everyone's partying and having fun at those times and that's not what life is like on a constant basis.
  3. You MUST have a support system - whether it's family, friends, or "connections." Nigerian life is mostly about who you know and what they can help you with. 
And this, my friends, is where I shall conclude my post. Wishing you a berryful Valentine's day ahead! Feel free to send cake and ice cream my way.

xoXO (little kiss, little hug, BIG KISS, BIG HUG)



  1. This is Berry! I don't feel like logging on to edit this post, but the website where you can look for jobs in Africa is The main website is I don't think anyone should limit themselves in this day and age, so apply for a job in a random place like Madagascar or somn! Free your mind!

    Berry kisses.

  2. Love Love Love your post.....I've got that Itch so bad....Going on a mini African tour this year and can't wait...But at least I know I'll be getting a glamorous snap shot of what really is...No follow up on the Tall dark and handsome options? ;)

    1. Hey girl! A mini-tour sounds awesome! Can you believe I've never been to any other African country? I'm sure you'll have lots of fun. Keep your eyes and ears open for possible opportunities if you do decide to make the move.

      Erm, no TDH in my life :p

  3. still stalking ur blog! I feel like It was me who typed up this posting! wow