Drawing on my doctoral research, my book project, Nigerians in China: migration, markets, and money, traces the structural and social conditions that make everyday life for Nigerians in China liveable and productive in the present, but not necessarily viable and progressive toward the future. In China’s famed commodity city, Yiwu, economic life and social relations are reorganised to stitch together short-term activities with long-term aspirations through the mobility of people, goods, and money and its real and imagined limits. Amid geopolitical shifts, China––touted as the vanguard of south-south friendship––has a mixed track record of delivering on this promise. Rather than accepting friendship as reality or dismissing it as rhetoric, I explore what life is like in between reality and rhetoric, attentive to how people navigate conditions that are not quite ideal, but good enough. I show how the negotiation of expectation and experience in new Global South destinations becomes a formidable economic and ethical matter best managed through experimentation with time and timing.  
Building on this interest in money and values in the Global South, I am starting two new projects. The first project on the political economy of plural money in Nigeria examines how middle-class citizens in Lagos and Abuja capture and contest value amid volatility in a monetary milieu of depreciation, inflation, and shortage. Through the differential arrangement, coordination, and orchestration of the plethora of currencies available–– national (naira and e-naira), crypto (Bitcoin and stablecoins), and foreign (USD and RMB)––I investigate how active participation in alternative monetary regimes both undermines and legitimates existing economic and political institutions.  
A second related project looks at Nigerian youth and the pursuit of upward and onward mobility through education migration. Tracing their journeys illuminates the domestic decline of education and employment, the selectively restrictive international financial system, and the border politics of desirable destinations. As traditional sites in Europe, the US, and Canada are either expensive, stringent or both, the Global South increasingly becomes an alternative destination for Nigerian youth. While some students are dedicated to the exclusive pursuit of education, many also see their time abroad as an opportunity to engage in employment and remittance. In fact, it is the possibility of multiple pursuits that makes destinations attractive. Canada, China, and Cyprus become comparative sites to follow the circulation of aspirations, degrees, and money. Across these sites, I am interested in the kinds of sociality that emerge from the pragmatics of survival alongside the practices of solidarity.

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