Amaechi, now married with three children, is pursuing his doctorate in the humanities and hopes to be a professor. He wants to have an impact on the world through his research and teaching. Specifically, he is working towards becoming a scholar of Mormonism in West Africa.
Like so many others in Nigeria, Amaechi has experienced the difficulties of making ends meet in the difficult Nigerian economy. He has seen many men struggle in Nigeria, as they shoulder burdens to help support not only their own nuclear family but also extended family members. He notices a clear difference between the Western family system which emphasizes the nuclear family and the African family system which is more expansive.
Amaechi finds being a Latter-day Saint helpful as he navigates the pressures of life in Nigeria, as it keeps him focused on his family and motivates him to be successful. There are, of course, challenges to membership in Nigeria, namely the widespread association of the church with the occult.
Ultimately, Amaechi would like to see the church accommodate more to traditional Nigerian beliefs and practices, since not doing so puts it at risk of functioning as a colonizing agent. He particularly would love to see church services offered in Nigerian languages and not just English. If the church functioned in these other languages, he believes they could attract and retain far more converts.
Read or listen to Amaechi Okafor’s full oral history.