Living Abroad

The African Abroad: How a job loss in Nigeria opened a new one in Germany for me.

Hi there,

What is your name and nationality?

My name is Efeturi Money and I'm a Nigerian.

How long have you been where you are?

I have been in Berlin, Germany for 4 and a half years.

Why did you move to Berlin?

I got laid off from my job in Lagos and, ironically, couldn't find a job in Nigeria quickly enough. It was time to move, though. I was tired, and I jumped at the first opportunity that popped up.

Wow, what a wonderful opportunity! So what was the move like?

Hectic! You know how they say everything that can go wrong will? That's how it felt at the time. Thankfully, in hindsight, it wasn't actually as bad as it felt, and it all worked out in the end. By far the most stressful bit was having to go back to uni and get my transcript, send that over to be notarized and converted and the waiting game to get it back, while the visa appointment deadline was fast approaching. JFC!

What's the most shocking thing to you about where you are now?

I want to say nothing, but I'm not going to lie; it's the fact that if you want to live your entire life on benefits, i.e., without working or anything, you actually can. Like they take tax money from the working class to provide for people that DECIDED to be jobless. Nawa.

What do you miss the most about Africa and Nigeria?

Everything. I miss my family, and I miss my friends. I miss Nigerian food. I miss being within visiting distance of my people. Some of these I took for granted when I was still home, and it hurts a little, to be honest.

What's the kindest thing someone abroad did for you?

As far as Nigerians abroad, everyone I meet has been very kind, but some of my friends that were here before me have been the kindest (they housed me, gave me food, and took care of me when I fell ill). For Germans, I haven't really made any strong connections, but I met someone one time who offered to show me around (and she took me to the park this one time) and introduce a bunch of stuff I needed to know as a new Berliner. I thought that was pretty nice.

Aww, quite nice. Do you have any tips for anyone looking to move to Germany?

Do it (but be prepared). Be aware of what you're giving up for good internet and a 24-hour power supply. Be involved with the (likely small) community you'll have. Don't be afraid to interact/mingle. There are places in Germany that are still racist, avoid those (Berlin is not without issues, but it's great). Learn German, lol. I hate this one, but it has to be said. Know the law, or at least enough of it to not break any laws. Finally, try to maintain your connection back home. This one is hard but kinda necessary.

Thank you Efe, it's been great chatting with you.

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