This American Life Sef by Rudolf Okonkwo | Dr Damages

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A look beyond the first generation born abroad presents a bleaker picture. For even in those rare cases where the parents succeeded, there is an even slimmer chance that the second generation of Africans born abroad would succeed in stopping their children from completely assimilating into the new society. Is there hope or is this a hopeless situation? This American Life Sef explores the lives of African immigrants in America in Rudolf Okonkwo’s trademark wit, that will leave you smiling and thinking.

"Rudolf Okonkwo, whether he's writing on Nigerians' idiosyncrasies, political attitudes, or arcana, is dangerously funny and irresistibly addictive. Read this small gem of a book and understand what Nigerians mean when they say, ‘laughter will kill me’. After the laughter, though, comes pensive, self-enlarging thought. If Rudolf were a vitamin, doctors would recommend a daily dose of him to all of us, period!”

—      Okey Ndibe, author, Foreign Gods, Inc. and Arrows of Rain

“This brilliantly summarizes the dilemma of living in a strange culture that offers material benefits but no cultural or spiritual grounding to our youngsters.”

—      AU Citizen

“This is so important that it should be sent to all secondary schools and markets in Nigeria. It is apt for America and true for Europe: Italy, Greece, Spain, UK; even Sweden and Germany. No better place than a functioning Fatherland!”

—      Denis Ezieme

“This is a harsh reality check. It mirrors the life of a whole bunch of us in the diaspora now—and going forward.”

—      Stan Okey Odume

“The Rudolf trademark: intellect, wisdom, satire, humour, comedy, bitter truth, and fiction all rolled in an amazing cocktail...”

—      Anonymous


Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is a Nigerian journalist and writer. He hosts the Dr. Damages Show on SaharaTV and writes a weekly column, Correct Me If I’m Right, for

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure in Ondo State, Nigeria and an MFA in Professional and Creative Writing from Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, USA.

He is the author of a book of essays, “Children of a Retired God.” A chapter of his memoir, “Because I’m my Grandfather,” was a finalist in the 2010 John Guyon Literary Non-fiction Prize Competition. His short story, “The Butcher, the Surgeon & Me,” was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s 2009 Open Fiction Competition. He just finished work on his first novel, “Death on Mount Trashmore.”

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