“Unfortunately, I am Nigerian”, I whispered to myself while waiting in line like cattle for a visa medical examination. No matter how die hard patriotic a person is, we’ve all felt this at some point in our lives.
I feel it the most at airports – both home and abroad – where my green passport has a habit of sending me to the longest queues and the sternest immigration officers, who are predisposed to think I am a drug mule or prostitute because of my nationality. It’s guilty until proven innocent via annoying questions I have to endure after several hours of travel. Then I see my fellow Nigerian acting up at another arrival desk after being unable to control the tiredness and frustration, shouting like a mad person, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!”
Have you ever tried to buy something on eBay from Nigeria? Don’t bother. There are better ways to spend your mortal days than trying to convince someone that you are not a scammer.
Am I to live my entire life being judged by the actions of a few?
Television does us no favours. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, we all still live in huts and climb up and down trees like monkeys; savages that need to be treated like savages. Or we are barbaric warlords. Or at best, we are all ‘fantastically corrupt’.
For people without the luxury of dual citizenship, there is nowhere to run or hide. All we’ve got is this burden of a nationality we love and detest so much.