Growing up, race wasn’t really something i noticed in people, maybe i wasn’t programmed to, but as most Nigerians (and probably Africans) would tell you, the sight of someone from another race, has, and will always be, fascinating. Its a new person, a different mindset and (most noticeable) a different accent, you see for us, its something we’d also want to have someday…it turned out to be the exact opposite when i’d stayed for sometime in india, but as time went by, my way of thinking again sigerian anywhere has more negatives than positives, there’s no arguing it, we all know its true. I will admit though, in India being a Nigerian has a lot of positives (if your hands are clean i mean). Most Indians are actually scared of Nigerians ..you heard me right, scared, who wouldn’t? i’ve seen some “straight nightmare-ish” nigerians here *laughs* …but there’s no denying it, as far as Mumbai is concerned, you probably would never face any confrontations if you just do what you have to, and ignore the side talk.
I’ve never been a newspaper person, whenever my dad was done with his dailies, i’d normally just skip through to the sports section, or anywhere there’s something interesting to see 😉 … but then again in the local Mumbai trains? that’s the only keep me preoccupied (i frequently used this as a technique to avoid noticing a remark that would piss me off). As far back as i can remember every second or third time i picked up a newspaper, there was some article about one or the other Nigerian An email scam, A drug bust, A rape case, A murder case, there was even an article about some Nigerians beating up the police in Hyderabad (if you’re lucky you’d find videos on you-tube), i was shocked at first because…growing in Nigeria? as kids? we never really saw some of these things, we did witness things you might never want to, but i for one, have never seen what cocaine looks like, I’ve never been arrested and even smoking a cigarette while walking down your own lane is only for the brave hearted, you’d instantly be classified as “bad” no matter how old you are, this is what it is in Nigeria, i don’t know or have mutual friends who do drugs in Nigeria and i do have bad friends.
In India the crimes committed are so many, its general knowledge, Nigerians have been always been looked at that way, and quite frankly i cant blame them, at first i hated it because i wasn’t like that but looking at it now after 4 years? i really cant blame the ignorant ones that chose to voice and express their feelings, it is wrong i admit, but, if the tables were turned and Indians were the ones doing drugs in Nigeria, it might even go unnoticed, Ask any Aptech Nigeria student you know if you doubt me, or better still ask any Indian that works in Nigeria they make loads of money for doing virtually nothing, most of them are living the dream in Nigeria, the labour market and most companies want their expertise and as much as its not really a crime to thrive of that, no one would take it sitting down…except Africans… Nigerians. Im not painting us as models, its just the plain truth, depending on where you go to in Nigeria though, i speak for Lagos.
I never really got around why people looked at me and treated me different at first but when it hit me i got mixed reactions,
- do i know some of these “bad Nigerians”? – Yeah in Nigeria, England and India.
- do i support what they do? – No, not in any way and they all know it, i do not look at them as any lesser than myself though, and even might be seen with a few on few social occasions.
- Am i or have i ever been involved with them? – No, in the 4 years I’ve lived here, i can proudly say i have no such cases against me or linking me.
Im not 1 among many, i take it there’s a good 25% of Nigerians in India with passports, visa’s, papers and everything, some even married to Indians and settled here, but everyday im haunted by the reputation already made, My Facebook BBM and WordPress post’s might not even change your way of thinking, but this is what it is, from my eyes? this is what it is, i do not mix any fiction in my posts and make sure everything written can be backed up with a good reason when im asked, but i will leave you with a few facts you might not know.
- Nigeria’s population is a lot, Nigeria’s wealth is a lot, and so is the corruption.
- Nigerians by default are hustlers, working class people and 95% had a good, strict, upbringing, i for one learnt by the cane, my parents whooped my ass every time i messed up and it was the same for everyone i knew while growing up.
- If Nigeria had half the casual jobs (call center, data entry, surveys etc) present in mass in India the crime rates at home and abroad would drastically decrease, no one wants to end up in prison but for those ignorant enough to continue, its the only foreseeable result.
- Nigerians aren’t racist, if there’s a word opposite of being a racist, that would be the best term for definition.
- Why do Nigerians still commit these crimes ? for some, its the easy way out, not for all.
- Foreign students in India aren’t allowed to work, no matter where, by law its not allowed. Quite frankly – if “foreign students” (Indian students inclusive) are allowed to work in most developed countries (and Nigeria) why isn’t this the case in India its no news that this results in an idle hand, and we all know how that saying ends.
Above everything we are humans first, not Nigerians not Indians we as people didn’t make ourselves the way we are, – If anything? i’m proud of being a Nigerian, i love it, and wont change it for the world – everyday, no matter where we go, we will face some form of stereotype, do we succumb to it or react? No, this is the easiest way to get a police case on your head, You’re there for a reason, fulfill it, that’s all that matters.
So these days when someone passes a comment or gesture that’s derogatory, i mark their faces down with a thought – “when my degree is over, i’l come see you” *laughs*.