January 19, 2011

Seven ways you can tell that an African immigrant has been in the U.S. for too long?


ONUMBA.COM – It’s OK after sojourning in a foreign land to morph some, but a complete whitewash, an overhaul is something else.  To each his own, though. 

Here are seven signs that an African immigrant has been in the U.S. for too long.

  • Can’t say his name right anymore

He no longer is able to say his name the proper way – the way he said it when he came here.  He now pronounces his name the way Americans would say it, therefore becoming a willing participant in the corruption of his African name.

  • Frowns at African food

He doesn’t eat African food because he thinks it smells.

  • English only rule

He is doggedly determined, even as he proclaims love for the culture and language from the rooftop, to keep his children from learning how to speak his African tongue.

  • Whuzzup and all that comes with it

He still has his thick African accent, but his incessant quest to swap that with an American drawl leaves him sounding like a rambling oaf unable to communicate effectively and intelligibly. 

  • I’m no hood rat

He is now a blended creature who ostracizes himself from the African immigrant community, but ventures out every now and then to escape boredom in his new distant suburbia community.

  • Pasta, not fufu

If somehow he ends up in an African restaurant, he would want to order a plate of ‘lasagna’ with meatballs on it, somehow forgetting that what’s available is ‘kenke’ or ‘fufu’ with African soup to go with it.    

  • What’s in a name?

His authentic African name has been doctored up to read and sound more like an American name.

I said ‘he’, but these apply to women too.


Ike Mgbatogu

Mgbatogu is a freelance writer and editor of Onumba.com based in Columbus, Ohio. He can be reached by email at Onumbamedia@yahoo.com.

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