Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I just read Bubbles' most recent post.

A quote, that I am reacting to,
"Yesterday I went to the mall and the cab driver was a Nigerian. I felt very heartbroken... I mean come on.! It is obvious that he left Nigeria to find a better life in America but A TAXI DRIVER!! I can't seem to get my head around it." -Bubbles.

Many immigrants come to supposed greener pastures, the likes of the US of A, to find a better life. I bet that a majority of those immigrants do get a better life, and a better one for their folks that remain in their home countries.

As a cab driver, that guy makes money, like serious Dees. Even if the fare goes to the company directly first. I know cos I use cabs. My last cab-drive cost 25 Euros for a 30min ride, and the guys was still tipped . I am sure that guy[/cab driver] can still use his [meagre, if it is] salary to fend for his fam in Nigeria. He may not be able to do this in Nigeria, where he may be the driver of some Oga or do kabu-kabu business. Worst still, he may be unemployed. How far can his job/no-job earnings, if he remained in Nigeria, take him and his family?

My main reaction is with regards to the 'taxi driver'. That is a job, like a 'waiter', 'post office cashier', 'accountant', 'babysitter', 'stay at home dad' etc. The way some folks perceive/regard some jobs is demeaning. I understand the fact that people view certain jobs differently, mostly because of the mentality of the folks of a particularly region/country blah blah. As a Nigerian, who culturally identifies herself as Nigerian, I know the job titles, 'waitress', 'nanny', 'taxi driver', are not even considered/'discuss-able' by folks in the Nigerian middle-class. But as a Yankee student and someone who resides in Europe, I know those jobs are just like any other. It's the dignity, with which the job holder carries his/her self that matters, and the pay you derive from it that justifies your job.

The 'taxi driver' is a job. It may not be as desirable as 'the lawyer' but it is still a job. As a student, I work during the school year. I will label my job as 'the processor.' Well, it is a job, which I can do in Nigeria 'prestigiously' but I know some students, who are from the Nigerian middle/high class and still work in the cafeteria, as 'cleaners/servers/cooks' in their Yankee schools. Some Nigerian come to Yankee to work in seniors' nursing homes. They go to Nigeria and build houses with thier pay. My point with these students/Nigerians' examples is why they can't declare their jobs confidently, when they go back to their home countries.

'come on!' It's the job that provided that extra money for you to get into that club on April 20, paid for the dinner on that special date or paid your child's school fees back home. Why can't some people hold their heads up high and stand for what they do? or maybe it is because of the way you look at people, who have such jobs in Nigeria/whatever-your-home-country-is.

In addition, these jobs, which may not be as desirable as others, have to be done by someone. Working is a survival instinct. Whatever provides your rent/food is your armour.

Je t'embrasse


Nollywood Forever said...

I agree... a job, whatever it is is better than no job at all... this guy who is the taxi driver, you didn't specify his level of education. Who says he can become a doctor or a lawyer with whatever qualifications he has? If he can earn good money driving taxi then so be it. Plus many people that are qualified in other countries come to the US only to find that their qualifications do not hold the same weight and so they need to do extra courses. How will they pay for these courses?

RocNaija said...

There's always two sides to a coin..
Just depends on how you look at it..
I always say "The end justifies the means"

Larom said...

I totally agree with you...Nigerians are particularly fond of that shit

Bubbles said...

no vexx now lol
I'm just kidding...

but I understand what you are saying
but I was just bit thrown off
he even said he went to Nigeria in april
I just felt heartbroken.. sad really
in any case
maybe he is making a good income
but if we measure his income
he is probably living below the poverty line...

Sting said...

I agree. It all depends on how u view what you do. Nothing wrong with being a taxi driver if that helps u pay ur bills. It's better than stealing other people's money.

Imoteda said...

Actually bubbles... cab drivers along with sanitary workers are among the most likely to never fall on or below the poverty line because they provide a service that will always be needed.

I did a project for my poverty class. The average cab driver can make between 50-70 k per year. I actually met a husband and wife, both cab drivers, who told me they grossed about $155K last year. From driving cabs. It's actually surprisingly lucrative especially if you live in an area with a crappy transport system like I do.

I don't come from a poor family but I have worked some interesting jobs since moving to canada from waitressing to old age homes and I'm yet to work a bad paying job.

The nigerian mentality does not apply in North America. Here being a waitress means working in kelseys or some other restaurant. At home you work at TFC. plus Nigerians don't pay their workers well at all which explains the horrible service that is available.

Point is... there's nothing wrong with being a cab driver, a garbage collector or a waitress. It pays the billss and obviously affords him trips to Nigeria. Do you know how many people with "proper" jobs cannot afford the ticket home? Not to speak of the living expenses there?

Don't judge:)

Bubbles said...

I think people misunderstood me
I am not saying there is something wrong with being a cab driver :(:(
I love cabs! Hey that's the only way I get around...

I was merely saying that I could not understand why some Nigerians leave the country with the mindset of getting a better job only to work as a cab driver/cleaner and what not... that's all

hey any-one can work where they want to I am so not judging

muyiwa said...

Job na job ,as far say u don dey get money,Yinkusolo i sent in an e mail to be a guest blogger on my blog

Original Mgbeke said...

Interesting post. I kinda feel you sha, as per in Naija some of these jobs will definitely be looked down on. I remember my first job was at KFC, and my aunt used to tell me not to tell people back home because they would say 'is this what she came to America to come and do?'
Na so we see am o! But yelz, as long as it is paying the bills then no shakings.

Repressed One said...

I get what bubbles was trying to say. People leave their homes...sometimes sell their all their possessions just to come here and pretty much scrap to get by [admittedly sufferhead here is better than sufferhead in naija] If that person knew he would get here and be driving cabs he may not have come here at all...

Sides people will do odd jobs here that they would never do back home....yet they'd go home and act like they OWN the cab company [but that's another story lol]

yankeenaijababe said...


They no get choice now as long as that job pays the bill. It is a job. For real!!!I know where you coming from, it sucks to be doing odd jobs but they got to survive.

How you de?

Naija bad boi.... said...

bubbles, oh bubbles...dont worry mi amore, i will defend ur honour *bringing out sword*....lool...seems like u don enter am
but rilly, ppl...i fink wat she's trying to say is ...well,ok ,maybe not the cab driver, dont know how much they make anyways..., but some pple leave very good paying jobs to go out there for greener pastures (more like browner pastures in my opinion)...i got an auntie who left a bank as a branch manager to go to uk...she's a parking attendant o'er there...lets face it meeeeehn...lotssa ppl are stuck o'eer there and cant come back cos they didnt find no effing greener pastures meeehn.....
well..i got more to say but let me not turn ur post to a blog....

rayo said...


Mz. Eniola said...

i totally get where ure cominG from too...dey make money and are able to support their families and pay thier bills..which is d mOst important thng ryt..and im sure they still take their family out n all of dat...buT i understand where bubbles is coming from too...cuz ive thought about it probably just didnt come out the ryt tryn to rephrase how i think about d issue too..buh i dnt even knw how to say might nt apply to all..but sum pple leave naij. ..wit d hope make it big n all..nd come here to see d real reality...while dey r making money too...dey r beinG taxed heavyly...and not nt all of dem even get good jobs..oh well...i think as lonG as u can feed ur family...take ur kids to school..spoil dem a stuff for ur wife...n go on vacatioNs...ur life is complete n if being a taxi driver does dat! RIDE ON!!!

Anonymous said...

okay.i think what bubbles meant was that some nigerians who actually have it good bac home...respect, television and hear of the so called 'american dream' and decide to leave their good jobs back home to come here and drive a cab...after realising that america isnt a country that flows with milk nd honey.

she wasnt saying the job wasnt good,she was saying who knows what job they were doing back home before coming here.
many nigerians who work as cab drivers,thrash collectors,actually had it good back home...they just want to claim that they have an accent nd liv in america.
and trust me,ive met nigerians who do jobs like that here nd most of them are regretting leaving nigeria.
so to me ur post was totally unnecessary given the fact that u r the one who misunderstood the poor girl
she wasnt saying the job wasnt prestigious shes saying that some people get deceived by what they see on television...some prolly think this country is filled with jobs and once you come they ll prolly just dash u a job.
so if ur post was to chastise bubbles then it made no sense at all..cos she didnt mean what u implied that she meant.

Dame Halos said...

lol....this got some rather hot comments..can't believe i am just seeing this..anyway..i totally get where u r coming from though...these jobs have to be done by someone eh?!...u r are very open minded and all but i have one question for you?! you date..let alone even think of marrying a taxi driver?....after all ...what you need is for him to be able to pay rent/bills/ and provide for you and your unborn kids...
would you? didn't think so...
me i know i won't sha...not like i am a gold-digger or anything but its al about the survival instinct you need to plan your future..and if you want to have a blissful one which i am sure we all do..the idea would be to want to be with someone with a more promising, banker, feel me..
love the post by the way...defo a different vantage point..x

thefashionfirm said...

I think the point Bubbles was making was that some Nigerians have really big qualifications and work at prestigious jobs in Nigeria, but when they go to America, they have to get menial jobs (despite their qualifications) just to survive.

Yinkuslolo said...

@nollwood forever: i just dubbed what bubbles wrote, i dont know the guy.

@bubbles: it's alright, we are good. i dint just wanna turn my comment to a post. so, i blogged about it. and if he is doing his job right, he is most likely not living below the poverty line

@imoteda; thanx for backing up my assumptions. mentality varies from place to place but ignorance should not be excused

@muyiwa; i replied u, sometime ago

@repressed one: dose feelers would go bacj home and be lying, maybe dey dont know some folks would appreciate no matter what kind of job they do

@YNC: I dey oh. I hope ur preparations are going smoothly

@Dame Halos: dis ur comment triggered me the most. now marriage, before that there is the koko, love. the main thing wud be if i love the taxi driver, i will marry him. love does not pay bills, but a taxi driver may be able to do that. this taxi driver may even have potentials to be somebody 'bigger'

I have read thru all comments. If I dint reply u in person, it means I will only be repeating what I wrote in the post, if I comment on ur comment.

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