A Tale of Two Countries — Between Nigeria & South Korea

Mo' Lanee Sibyl, DPh, PhD
9 min readJun 8, 2018
Source: CoreTV News

I have been thinking a lot about Nigeria since I returned from my trip there. This trip was the first I had made in the past seven years I had been away. I moved abroad in 2011, and as a diligent citizen, I carried Nigeria in my spirit, always finding ways to talk about her and promote her inherent goodness to everyone. You might say that I may have left Nigeria but Nigeria never left me and would most likely never will.

See, like most Nigerians living in the diaspora, I tend to adopt a romantic approach to talking about Nigeria, conflating her positives and almost very selectively leaving out the negatives. For those Nigerians like me, reality sets in when we make the sojourn back home, in the form of reverse culture shock. And this is the phase I currently am in, as I have been reflecting a lot since my short trip back.

There seems to be a mismatch between the people I met and the country they have been provided to live in. For a people so jolly and affable, the harshness and the difficulty of living day-to-day in Nigeria did not seem fair, especially given the ease with which these problems could be solved under the right leadership.

Returning to Nigeria after my protracted absence meant that everything I saw was magnified, especially her social issues, because I now had a base reference to make comparisons. It breaks my heart that after this time (dating from our independence), we still cannot get some basic infrastructures right, like reliable road network, stable power supply, or good drainage systems. Everything in Nigeria reads like a failed system, from the inept, unimaginative, and reductive leaders to the current generation of youths who have been described with words ranging from lazy to lost. We seem to take everything in stride and turn serious issues into memes and gag-worthy jokes, take the example of many hit songs that have been made out of the codeine epidemic.

Rather than actively demanding change and accountability from those who serve us, we have instead been made puerile and like those living in a dystopia (we can certainly make arguments to draw such parallels), we play hunger games to survive on a day-to-day basis. And surviving is what we have been doing for so long, so much so that we lack that intellectual space and…

Mo' Lanee Sibyl, DPh, PhD

I'm ME: replete with the mien of a bard, scholar, Argonaut, Jesus-lover, funfinder, bibliophile, Koreanophile, partner, and wanderer! Podcaster:www.mosibyl.com