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Kiki Daniel of Diaspora Chronicles: When People Back Home Don’t Appreciate Your Walmart Presents

Diaspora Chronicles

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Any year I plan to visit Nigeria, I start shopping early for gifts, for the numerous friends and relations, who we always feel obligated to give gifts to. I continually clip coupons and go trudging in shops whenever they have sales. I also make lots of trips to the Dollar Store and everyone’s favourite store – Walmart.

For me, Walmart is like home, as it was the first shop I went to when I first moved to the US; it simply gives me joy to shop there. I admit that their clothes are not always the best quality, but at their price and the fact that I have a large number to shop for, it is always a bargain.

I shop for my family there as well, as their casual lines like leggings, t-shirts, night wears and some other consumables can be really nice. My reasoning therefore is that if I wear things from Walmart, I am not being unfair shopping for relatives from there as well.

Imagine my surprise therefore, when I observed that my benevolence was simply a waste of time. On my last visit home, I overhead my cousins trashing the clothes I got them from Walmart. One of them said, “I don’t want all these cheap Walmart clothes she keeps buying us. Does she think we are house helps? No be her mate’s dey buy person Gucci or dem no get Gucci shop for where she dey live?” I was livid and seriously tempted to tell them to return the clothes.

The sad thing is that these are cousins that spend time sieving through 2nd hand clothings at the local market. I had gotten them what I felt was a good collection – just the kind of outfits I would get for my teenage kids that they always admire. To think this was something no one ever did for me in my undergrad years in Nigeria. “This generation”, I thought!”  See me see wahala. How many Gucci items do I have with my fairly good salary? Gucci is a luxury item – whatever made these people think that it is affordable on a regular for someone like me?

This same attitude from my relatives is replicated by some friends that I buy gifts for. These same friends visit and see how difficult it is abroad with working and managing the home. It’s not like when they visit they buy luxury items themselves. It is the same Walmart, Target, Gap, Old Navy etc that we all visit. Some of them even rent apartments in “Dollar Tree”! Yet, I am expected to give people Gucci as present when I visit home.

Some “intelligent” one’s go “ahn ahn if you don’t have money, you can use your credit card”. Is credit card free? Many foreigners have learned the hard way, after they ruined their credits and cannot buy themselves good houses and cars. This is what happens when one has a bad credit! I will not abuse my credit card to make anyone happy!

I hear this same story from other diaspora people when they return after visits home. While my own relations criticized me privately, some people have had relations tell them to their face that the items were below their standard. Some have had relations give out those gifts to other people, that they believe could wear such items.

The sad thing is that these same people have never and will never give me anything themselves when I am on my way back to the States. I would not say no to Ankara or Egusi or even Chinchin, but the belief is that I have it all.

Mind you I know that some of us abroad can give silly gifts. My 65 year old mum who has never had a scrap of make up on her face for her entire life was once given a set of contouring brushes by a returnee. “The Thunder…” Ok, let’s not even go there.

So the learning point all, is to give, but give as your pocket permits. All that time spent shopping, paying excess luggage, packing and repacking at the airport might not really be worth it. Some may just prefer money, so don’t even bother.

For me going forward, I plan on getting nothing for any relations when next I visit; I am damned if I give and damned if I do not give.  At least, when I do not give, I will have the money in my account which I can use to buy more nice Walmart items for me and my household.

Photo Credit: © Artem Medvediev | Dreamstime.com

Diaspora Chronicles specialises in insightful stories, articles and news that will help the newbie settle abroad. On the occasion we do write stories that border on entertainment. Our differentiating factor is that we will not share gossip hence our tag line "gossip is so last year"! Check us out on our blog www.diasporachronicles.com, [email protected], Facebook -Diaspora Chronicles and [email protected]

21 Comments

  1. tunmi

    April 1, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Lol Nigerians are funny

    • Catherine

      April 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      The same thing happens to me when I visited Nigeria I felt so sad to see their reaction.

  2. Ada

    April 1, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Buy for those who are appreciative and forget those who are not. You cannot please everyone especially extended family members, in my own case, they will make negative comments to my face even after i give them cash. It’s typical behaviour in our society especially by those who are not willing to work hard or cannot afford what you have given them . I don’t bother anymore, won’t kill myself. I bless those who I see have a vision or are focused.

  3. bruno

    April 1, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    pls we are not saying u should buy gucci or prada for us, we know things are hard in america, but atleast a nice perfume or a nice watch or a nice wallet or a nice purse or even some chocolate is even better than buying cheap looking shirt or slipper for us here in nigeria. PLS STOP THAT NONSENSE.

    u people that live in america, I don’t know whether u think we in nigeria are suffering.

    those of u who come back to nigeria during xmas with cheap looking clothes to be giving us pls stop it. its tacky. how much is chocolate in america, if u give me a big box of candy, it is 10 times better than giving me a cheap looking shirt or cheap looking underwear.

    I remember growing up, all these aunties and uncles during Christmas they will comeback from overseas and start sharing cheap looking h&m outfits. u have to act appreciative and thank them and give a very big smile if not they will say ur an ingrate.

    • iHeart

      April 1, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      But you ARE an ingrate … especially if this is how you truly think!

    • bruno

      April 1, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      stop buying cheap tacky things for us here in nigeria. if u can not give us something nice then dont bother. nobody is going to beat u for not buying something for us from America.

      let me warn all of u uncles and aunties and cousins overseas. if u come back this Christmas and u give me cheap stuff, I will throw it in ur face. if u give me a cheap looking shirt, I will turn it into rag. when u come to the house u will see me using the shirt u gave me to clean the floor. u have been warned.

      can u imagine. u come back from america and u give someone brown pancake powder as present, are u well at all.
      u come back from yankee and u give someone roll on deodorant as present. there is something seriously wrong with ur head.

    • Silkysmoothblahblahblah

      April 2, 2018 at 3:54 am

      Smh, Bruno I suggest you put a picture of yourself in your post so that your relatives can know who you are. I am happy for you that you have relatives that remember to buy stuff for you when they are travelling back to Nigeria. I want to know, how many times do you prepare Christmas gifts for them no matter how cheap?(answer in all honesty please).

    • Unadite

      April 2, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Bruno, you can only give what you can afford..

    • Weezy

      April 2, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Somehow I find this comment hilarious.

    • Joke

      April 2, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Bruno, I hear you, but my question to you is have you ever lived and worked abroad?

  4. Aare farmland

    April 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Mostly peer pressure. Many kids go through it and it depends on the neighborhood. From primary 4 to university, many ppl like to show off and if the neighbors or friend are knowledgeable they know the good stuff. However, another mistake we make is buying all this walmart stuff and packing it to nigeria. There are stores in nigeria you can get good stuff at ok prices. The former Woolworth at ikeja was good and me price is good also.

  5. omomo

    April 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    exactly buy only for those who showed gratitude give the rest cash …in this times people really appreciate cash better than all these clothes ..so they use it for whatever they like instead of buying what they not have wanted

  6. ify

    April 1, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    I wonder when people make those comments about Walmart.. I have gotten some nice stuffs from Walmart. I love their nighties, camisoles and some nice shoes and I love their 0-5 kiddies tops cos they are so colourful and they are so durable. Abeg buy for those who appreciate.

  7. Smackdown

    April 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    We go from shop to shop looking for things to buy. We pay for excess luggage ($200 per bag) just so we can bring gifts for everyone. Then we get home, and Aunty says “ this is all you brought for me?” Thunder fire Aunty and anyone who is like her

  8. Ifedolapo

    April 1, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    The sense of entitlement in Nigeria is terrible. It is so annoying when people complain about you not sending them stuff from cars to designer stuff while they have never sent you 100 naira groundnut.

  9. TheRealist

    April 1, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    It has little or NOTHING to do with “back home”!

    There is a veritable culture of entitlement that exists among Nigerians (and perhaps Africans) regardless of domicile. Reality is that if you have even ONE cent more than many Nigerians (not sure about other Africans), they feel virtually “entitled” to your charity. Here in the US, I have come across countless Nigerians who seem to believe that you owe them help because you are on Wall Street (and if you are single, they are even more emboldened in the twisted belief that you should be helping their family – as if I made your kids).

    Meanwhile, my personal experience has been that most folks in Nigeria are so appreciative of any little thing you give, so much so sometimes it is embarrassing. But then again, perhaps it depends on each particular person’s family. At the end of the day, I give what I can AFFORD and keep it moving, unlike folks who seem to what to do effizzy and/or show folks “back home” how materially successful or wealthy they are (or have become) in the “diaspora”! Personally, I could not be bothered and dissatisfied folks (in the ‘Diaspora’ or ‘Back Home”) ca kiss it!

  10. Deleke

    April 2, 2018 at 10:32 am

    This is exactly why I do not go home. Kmart was my to-go place until………………..

    • Dayo

      April 2, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      @Deleke, so the only reason you used to go home was to distribute gifts… SMH

  11. CrazyWorld

    April 2, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I travelled to USA for 3 weeks. I came back and give someone a $95 bottle of perfume and he wasn’t appreciative claiming all I could buy was a $95 perfume. The dude was expecting an Apple laptop ni sha. I was in USA for just 3 fucking weeks! Wait what am I even saying, I was there for 16 days.

  12. Weezy

    April 2, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Bruno is cracking me up here.

    OP, a lot of times the people you see as poor are chilling on facebook, instagram etc. They have rich people tastes, because they are exposed to them. If you are worried about what people think of you, its better to not buy gifts at all than to buy cheap things for people who did not ask for it. And if you are really honest, you will admit that buying gifts for everyone is a form of people-pleasing. You want to make them happy. You even want them to like you and think well of you. This is completely normal, especially if you harbor a little guilt about having escaped the harshness of Nigerian life. Well, your relatives have done you a favor. They have told you that Walmart does not make them happy, and they will not like you and think well of you if you give them Old Navy. Listen to them, and stop giving them gifts. Finit.

  13. Nikky

    April 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Oh Puleeeez!! I am with Bruno all the way. Tell it like it is sista.

    Yes I have lived abroad. I have shopped for people back home Naija and yes I have also received gifts from so people who are visiting too.

    I think it is absolutely tacky to bring thoughtless cheap looking clothes back for people and expect them to smile in appreciation when inwardly, they are feeling insulted.

    My advice is, if you must buy gifts and you can’t afford clothes, buy great-looking affordable costume jewelry, mascara, a wallet, a tie or cuff-links, a scarf or a purse. If you can’t afford that, buy chocolates. If you can’t afford obodo oyinbo chocolates, buy it in Naija and share. Chocolate is chocolate. And if you still can’t afford it, then, buy nothing.

    A gift is not primarily to make you, the giver feel good, but the person to whom you are giving it to. And it absolutely defeats the purpose if the person to whom you are giving it starts to cringe inwardly the minute they sight the gift. It makes them wonder if you don’t know their value and inversely reduces your value in their eyes – purpose defeated!

    Obviously, we Nigerians are a very fashion forward people and I don’t think it is too much that they expect a person coming from ‘the abroad’ to bring a special something unique that has a touch of class….which by the way doesn’t mean cheap. You should think of it that way instead and use it as an opportunity for bargain hunting which starts long before the holidays and not a hurried hash job done when Walmart goes on sales during the Xmas season.

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