Unfortunately, I am Nigerian

“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.

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7 Comments

  1. I have been questioned a couple of times at foreign airports that I’m used to it now. I guess it is a blessing and a curse to be a Nigerian. We celebrate money in this clime regardless of how one makes the money (dats if anyone cares to know/ask how the money was made). This makes other people believe we condone atrocities and are all in on the act.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True talk. But I suppose if we celebrate illegal money and chop the rice that it buys, that kinda makes us “in on the act”, doesnt it?

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  2. I remembered back then I used to have colleagues who believe because I was privileged to come do my masters in UK I must either be an African Princess or the daughter of a politician very laughable! You can’t blame them though all they see on BBC all day is the poverty stricken African Children with one charity or the other calling for donations to save them 😦 I do my best to educate them that I was none of the above and that the reality couldn’t be farther than what they see or hear. As for the questioning at the airport…I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Even when you come to Nigerian airport, your green passport doesn’t guarantee you priority,they still send you to a very long queue.

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    1. I thought I was the only one who got asked the princess thing! I had a friend who kept insisting and the more I told him no, the more he believed I was a princess. Perhaps he thought I was trying to be humble

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