sabato 10 febbraio 2007

The Reply

My dear father,

I do hope that you are doing alright, together with Mama. While I thank you immensely for your letter, I would like you to know that I was particularly touched by your words. Honestly, I felt my eyes wet with tears.
Firstly, I have to sincerely apologize for my long silence, which did not absolutely mean disregard or disrespect towards you, or even worse, canceling you both from my mind. I had, on several occasions, picked up a pen to write you but had always ended up with my head placed on the desk and the pen dropping from my hand, very confused. I had never known how or where to start. And in situations like this, one thinks, mistakenly, that silence and or isolation would be the best solution.
Father, the greatest mistake I made was my inability to confide totally with you, considering you a stranger in my affairs. Also, it would have been ridiculous for someone living in Italy for almost thirty years to continue to lament about his precarious conditions, to someone who sacrificed his life and resources to finance his studies in Europe, to an old father and mother living in Africa. Papà, believe me; it has not been easy for me and for many other Nigerians in this country.
It seemed so simple then, come here, grab a degree and quickly return home! Our dear Nigeria was better and most students got the necessary funds from their parents. Some grabbed it and some were in the process when the same people who were sending the money started asking for it, our country was in a great mess. Here became a hell for many of us, in Italy, where students were not even permitted to work. From then on, it has always been battle after battle to try to survive here as Nigerians. We are the first generation of immigrants and so have to educate them on what it means to host a “permanent foreigner”. They never considered Nigeria a poor country and consequently conceived us very little opportunities.
Those of us who succeeded to grab the degree at that early stage and left did not encourage the others to do so, infact, almost all returned here. While our host country is asking us when to go back to our country, our dear nation continues to deny us a welcome home. A law here prohibits foreigners from working in the state institutions. Graduates are still washing plates and cars for years without any hope to see their lives changed for better, rather, it gets worse. Father, many of us are living in bondage!
Anyway, thanks a lot for your efforts to get me a wife, but do not bother any longer because our status here hardly guarantees one the present, not to talk about the future, I will do that when am ready. And thanks for understanding that a nice lady makes a good wife, independently of her origin.
I am very happy for my childhood friends, Uche and Obi, and quite sure they did not intend to disrespect you because they know quite well that no condition is permanent, and cannot change my destiny if God has money and success for me in my package.
My dear father, I may not be able to afford a flight ticket right away, but I promise you that as long as I live, no one will ever take away what belongs to us in that village, forcefully. And our surname will never cease to exist in my own time!
May the good Lord continue to protect you and Mama, hoping to embrace you both very soon!

Your dearest son,

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu

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