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How to Survive as a Nigerian in Nigeria

Living in Nigeria comes with different stories—the good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad and the ugly stand out for many people. And that’s because the socio-economic infrastructures in the country are lagging. This isn’t another article to highlight the ills in Nigeria, but one that identifies practical ways to survive as a Nigerian in Nigeria—ways to make lemonade out of oranges if you are living in the most populous black nation. 

Five ways to survive as a Nigerian in Nigeria

  • Work hard like your life depends on it

Actually, your life depends on it. Being a Nigerian living in Nigeria isn’t an automatic ticket to enjoy the good things in life. As a matter of fact, you won’t have access to basic facilities unless you make provisions for them by yourself. 

Surviving in Nigeria requires a great deal of hard work. You can’t sit around and wait on things to fall on your laps. You either work for everything you need or suffer extreme lack and poverty. Putting in average work isn’t enough, you need to “double your hustle.” Most Nigerians who are gainfully employed have businesses by the side that generate passive income for them.

  • Think positively 

Surviving another day in Nigeria takes more than hard work. Things may not always work out as planned even if you work so hard. There are a thousand and one reasons why your efforts might be frustrated. You need an overdose of optimism to maintain your sanity. 

You must always see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep a positive mindset even when nothing is working out. You need to consider making motivational speakers your best friends because you’ll need all the motivation you can get.

  • Never say never

Do you remember the song “Try Again” by the late Alicia Keys? She probably wrote that song for people living in Nigeria. It takes a miracle for something to work out at the first try in this country. You’ll have to try again and again if you want to see any positive results. 

The average Nigerian is resilient. Being determined is essential, otherwise, you’d never achieve anything. Perhaps you don’t have the “Try Again” song on your playlist already, please download it. Put it on replay every morning before stepping out of your house in preparation for the task ahead. 

Mother holding baby son and using laptop

  • Be a jack of all trades

Developing a particular skill set and focusing on one area of work is a good thing. But that’s only viable in a society where things are structured. Nigeria is growing and we’ll get there eventually. You have to be innovative if you want to survive in the meantime. 

Acquire all the skills at your disposal. Grab any opportunities that come your way. Never let an opportunity pass you by because you don’t have the skills—accept it and acquire the skills later. 

The economic terrain is unpredictable. You could wake up one morning and your source of income is obsolete. You’ll have something else to hold on to if you are a jack of all trades. 

  • Relax and have fun

Hard work is engrained in the DNA of a true Nigerian. But all work and no play is a recipe for disaster. Working round the clock could lead you to an early grave. You need to take a breather. 

Make out time for your family and friends to unwind and release all that stress built up from hustling. Create fun memories—they help to keep your sanity in order. Remember what Timaya said in his song: “I can’t kill myself. I allow me to flex o.” Don’t kill yourself because of the hustle. Enjoy yourself too. You only live once.

A good number of Nigerians are living successfully in Nigeria despite the challenges abound in the country. It all boils down to creating a balance in your life. Brazen up and take on anything that comes your way. Remember, you are a Nigerian, surviving is in your DNA.

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