Nigeria: The Dogged Champion Of Africa Glory

by Duke Magazine

Did you know?

Nigerians are the most highly educated of all groups in the United States with 61 percent holding at least a bachelors degree in comparison with 31 percent of the total foreign-born population and 32 percent of the U.S.-born population, according to 2017 data from the Migration Policy Institute.

However, the 2016 American Community Survey also found that among Nigerian-American professionals, 45 percent work in education services with several others being professors at some of the top universities. Nigerian Americans are also increasingly entering into entrepreneurship and building tech companies in the U.S. 

In the medical field, they en-masse with the continuous exodus of medical practitioners from Nigeria to America. 

Despite racism and discrimination, Nigerian-Americans have not stopped defiling odds in the United States, as they are currently one of the country’s most successful immigrant communities, with a median household income of $62,351, compared to $57,617 nationally, as of 2015.

The over 376,000 Nigerian-American population has also produced some of the ‘firsts’ in America, including forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was the first to discover and publish on chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American football players, and Pearlena Igbokwe, the first woman of African descent to head a major U.S. TV studio.

Apart from traditional careers like doctors, lawyers and engineers, Nigerian-Americans are also doing tremendously well in entertainment, sports and the culinary arts. Nigerian chef Tunde Wey in New Orleans made the news when he used food to highlight racial wealth inequality in America.

Nonetheless, a poignant question to be asked is how did Nigerians get to the United States in their numbers, and how are they toppling citizen of their host country in terms of excellence?

At post Biafra war in the 1960s in Nigeria, many Nigerian students were given scholarships by the Nigerian government to pursue higher studies in the U.S. These students performed well and furthered their education before becoming professionals in their various fields. They valued education and passed this legacy on to their children to acquiesce with the evident results today. 

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