After years away from home – Part 1 –


There is the pompous feeling of saying I was in so and so place for so and so years. “Hmm, I just returned to Nigeria….” Funny enough, someone who did not give a damn about you would suddenly turn and begin paying attention.

So what is so special about having been away for years or for having visited some other countries? One comes back home and think, “No, they need to hear it. I have been away”.

For the teeming youth in Nigeria, the opportunity to travel outside the country is one they long for insatiably. “There must be something good out there which I am missing”, such a one would think. As the saying goes, ‘The grass is always greener across the fence’. But in reality, is the grass really greener? May be yes and may be no. Since some Nigerians travel a lot perhaps they can provide the answer to this.

Come to think of it, one wonders what makes a person who has travelled out suddenly become someone to turn and listen to? Wondering like the wanderer, it must be that such a one has learned something new which has added value to him/her. This person is expected to not only talk about this added value but also use the knowledge and experience for a certain social, economic or political good, as the case may be. It needs to be seen that the person adds value to his/her country after returning home.


Many Nigerians travel out of the country and stay years before returning – for those who return. So too others stay away from their native land/villages for several years. In any case, the point here is that the one who has left home for sometime owes something back home. The “giving-back-to-homeland” is not optional. It must be done as best as one can. As David McCullough wrote: “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives”.

Being humble about being years away from home may give one a better attitude and thus help the person find ways to contribute a learned value to one’s society and immediate community and neighbourhood.

The pride and the pomp of having “being away” needs to be weighed in terms of what the person is able to contribute back home. As the saying goes, “East or West, Home is the best”. I dare to say, North and South as well, Home is Home!

The pride of “having being away” can indeed be replaced with “this is my contribution to my country” or to my home place. Parents in their hearts of heart, pray to have a child who will remember where he or she comes from, not one that goes away and forgets home. A child can never grow bigger than where he or she comes from. Irrespective of what you become where you go, your home will forever be the place of your humble beginnings.

The value of your come back home is in the joy that you are alive, and in the hope that your country or your village will indeed become a better place because of you.

  • Linda Ellah


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