Adaeze ElechiFemi Kuti tells things as he sees them. Though his words are swathed in catchy Afrobeat tunes, sometimes they’re hard to listen to, like the song “No Shame” from his self-titled album.

Don’t leave your fatherland for the “land of milk and honey” just to end up sweeping streets and washing toilets—something you wouldn’t even do in your own country, he says. Many have taken this step down in search of a better life, but don’t you forget your pride.

Here’s “No Shame”:

Bio: Adaeze Elechi is Guernica’s assistant editor of the blog. Read her last recommendation of This American Life’s Pimp Anthropology “here”:

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2 Comments on “Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: “No Shame”

  1. People don’t go abroad to sweep streets and wash toilets. They go in search of a beautiful life, which usually is hard to find so they embrace the tough one. I don’t blame them, because sometimes, the best of what you dream is in foreign countries. I wish I wasn’t saying this, that things were better but we have to be true to ourselves. I like to know a Nigerian is doing well somewhere. It’s soothing.

  2. I think the whole question of pride depends on how desperate one is. I have never met anyone who left Nigeria in a situation that was so bad that doing what Femi is talking about in a foreign land would be better than where they were to begin with. If someone is in this situation, then, by all means, do what you have to do to have a better life. But I’ve known people who had manageable lives at home, left the country because they wanted more and ended up experiencing abject poverty in another person’s home land. That’s just backwards to me.

    I think the West has been made to look like a plate of steaming isi ewu and no African can seem to resist. So many want to come here in search of the treasures they’ve heard stories about, and the glamorous lifestyle they see in magazines and films. The truth is that the streets are not quite paved with gold, and the same poverty we find deep in the slums of Ajegunle or Port Harcourt’s Rainbow City can be found anywhere in the world.

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