How has your life changed, since you’ve been here?
Have you found some people, whom you’ve met in the US, don’t always appreciate how good they have it here?
You’re not from the United States? (Lohm has a great African accent)
Loum, whom I noticed walking down the road. He only stands about three feet tall, but I soon learned he’s carries a wealth of experiences. Happiest time of your life? “When I have my friends. I do have a lot of friends, who are good to me. We share common things and have common goals. We focus on our future life…that is when I feel the happiest in my life. We share things together, in terms of advice, in terms of helping each other physically.”
Hardest time of your life?
“This is when it’s the opposite of what I said. When you lose friendships, life becomes so much more difficult. That is the opposite of what I said earlier.”
“Yeah, I’m from Nigeria. I got here through…you know, my country is full of corruption and war, so the US government has helped me a lot. They’ve helped me in the process of coming here.”
“They do, they do. This is the land of opportunity, where you can invest your life. You can have an occupation and a job and a lot of things.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah. When I first came here, first of all, I don’t know how to speak English. I didn’t go to school…but, lucky enough, I got the opportunity to go to high school, completed my diploma and then I went to college and earned my bachelor’s degree in mathematics.”
Wow- how long have you been here in the United States? “About five to six years.”
And you’ve done all that in that time? “Yeah, yeah. I just came with the aim, because when I was in Africa, I’d heard of this great land that offered great opportunity to people. So, when I came from Africa, I went to school directly and earned my degree. So, right now, I’m preparing myself to go to MTSU this fall to study mathematics and earn my masters degree.”
What are you hoping to do, job wise? “I just wanted to be somebody who has skills. I need to apply my skill, to help people in need. So, whatever I learn in school is what I want to give back to my people.”
Did any of your family come to the US with you? “We came together.”
Have they all been as aggressive as you’ve been? “You know, the expectation of life depends on what your goal is. So, it’s not like the same. Part of the family, they went for a job and they have been affected by choosing to work rather than go to school. So, you know, it’s different ideas and different life. But, for me, I went to school and was having the opposite…they earn much money, but for me, I earn nothing. As you see, I don’t have a car, I don’t have whatever I need, because I spend what I’m supposed to do in school, instead of working and earning money, having a car, living the good life…I left that one aside and I focus on school.”
But, it sounds like, in exchange, you’re preparing now for the life you want later? “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Advice for my boys? “Actually, for your boys to be good enough is, first of all, respect for the parents is most important. They have to respect their daddy and mommy, listen to their good advice, so much that they will be a good friend and of good character. Then, they will extend that good character to neighbors and others around. Because, what I’ve seen here, is most children don’t have respect. They are given freedom of acting any way they want to. But, for me, I see that’s not good. They have to respect their parents, develop good attitude and then extend that attitude to other people. That is what I wanted to say.”