Expat (IN) Nigeria! Get it? No, ok we'll explain. It's a play on words on 'expats in Nigeria trying to 'expert' Nigeria. We think it's pretty witty don't you?
This is a segment on the site where we talk to different expats living in Nigeria about their experience in a bid to show how varied their situations are and also dispel or reinforce myths.
Today's' guest is a 32 year old from Ukraine who is absolutely NOT enjoying her time so far in Nigeria. She moved for love and as we all know, that's always the greatest motivation. She also goes by the Nigerian name Erinlafe.
Where are you from?
I am from Ukraine, but ethnically I am Crimean Turk.
When was the first time you heard of Nigeria?
Hmm, it was in secondary school.. geography lessons to be exact. lol
Were you worried about coming here?
Yeah very much
Well… lets say Google sparked my fear. From things sickness to the poverty level, heat…. etc
So why did you still come?
Well… love love love is the only way…
What do you do for work here?
Nothing yet, but I have a lot of startup plans in my head.
Is this your first expatriate experience?
Not at all
How long have you been here for?
What type of visa did you have to get to come and live here and how hard was it to get?
Normal visitor/tourist visa. It was not hard to get. I was applying from Istanbul.
But to get resident permit was extremely hard!!! OMG!!! I think harder than green card lol.. It took them 1 year!!!1 year to print my card…and I am married to Nigerian citizen…
This is Nigeria.... What do you think of Nigeria so far and are you enjoying it?
Hmmm… I love the nature, I love wild Nigeria (nature), but people spoil everything….to answer the second half of your question, – no, I am not enjoying my life in Nigeria at all..
Sorry to hear that. Why aren't you enjoying your time here though?
First of all the heat although rainy season does make it better…, roads are bad, electricity isn't stable, wi-fi isnt cheap, over-population, increasing of education, better roads, moving around the city safely can be a problem, lack of clean drinking water etc. These things can be fixed. It's so simple for other countries but so complicated for Nigeria…
You’re married to a Nigerian man, how has that experience been?
He is not completely Nigerian anymore lol.. even his friends call him black foreigner.
As per you're changing him small small abi? You traveled just before the lockdown, what’s it like being away from him?
Thank God there is internet!! Its very hard, and I miss him very much..
How did you guys meet?
LOOL. This is a very very long story.. I'll tell you later.
We're sure he misses you too. Have you been to other states in Nigeria? Which is your favorite and why?
yeah just one other place.… I went to Ilesha (that's where my husband is from)… I like the weather there…
What are the major differences between Nigeria and Ukraine?
It is very much impossible for me to compare… I can not tell the differences.
What does your daily life look like when you’re here? (weekends inclusive)
We all spend half of our time in traffic but when you get out of it what do you do daily or go to daily?
I visit some of the Niger wife meetings, I try to help poor as much as I can, I try to find food that is suitable for my system, I help my husband with work…
Mad ooo. Where’s your favorite place to hang out?
oh… I don’t really remember name of that place.. but its in ikeja.. a karaoke bar owned by a white lady… I love that place..I hope you could hang out there with us when I come back. Its not that I haven’t been to the clubs on the island.. I just think that island life is fake and unnecessary expensive…
How would you describe the life of an expat in Nigeria from your own point of view?
Expats in Nigeria are using Nigerians like slaves until now… well I think Nigerians allow it....
Not sure about that but how are expats using Nigerians as slaves??
Well, from the conversations we have between us (expats) this what I understand.
What’s been the biggest cultural shock till date?
hahahahhah hahahha lol…. Carrying huuuuuuge things on head…
What’s the hardest part about living here?
Heat, dirt, roads, light, mosquitoes
Do you have Nigerian friends or do you hang out with the large expat tribe we have in the country?
Both… but mostly my Nigerian friends are males.. don’t know why, but Nigerian ladies/girls pretend to be different when they see white girl.. and I don’t like fake people…
Uhhmmm, give us a few ways Nigerian girls act to you.
Acting “white”… or trying to show that they are actually better than me…. I have a few examples of Nigerian girls asking my husband to cheat on me with them..
Oh wow. We've been nice to you sha so let's not generalise :) . Any Nigerian meals you like in particular?
I love rice and beans, like ofada (little), jollof rice (but only made by myself). I don’t eat swallow.. i eat whatever my husband eats….
Do you have any beliefs that hold you back from fully adapting to culture here?
I never want to fully adapt.
Best & worst thing about living here.
Best – my husbands family and friends. Worst - all the things I mentioned earlier
Can you communicate in any of the local languages? If yes, say something
Oruko mi ni Erinlafe. Ba wo ni? (my husband friend gave me Yoruba name – Erinlafe)
Willing to move in Nigeria or can’t wait to get the hell out of the country?
Take a guess :)
That's clearly a big, fat, no. Advice for expats?
Don’t drink water in Nigeria – it's not safe. And Nigeria isn’t safe in general. And, please, stop sucking all financial resources out of the country.. they need it too.
Screaming at the last part...lol, any last words?
So glad to meet you.
Aww shucks, it was nice to meet you too even though you don't like our country sha and it's just tap water ya'll shouldn't drink okurrrr.
As you guys can see, our Ukranian isn't having the best time. Hopefully this changes soon even though we're not very sure about that.
Let us know what you thought of her story. Also if you have any questions you would like us to add for the expats, be sure to let us know.