What motivated you to come to
I was a motor spare parts dealer in
What was your experience when you got here?
(Laughs…) I got here with a briefcase. In no time, my contacts took me to a posh hotel where I stayed the night. The following day brought shock and disappointment because those same guys told me that we had to move. When they took me to where they actually lived, Jesus Christ… it was a barge on a river. They were ‘avail’.
‘Avail’, what is avail?
They were refugees, hiding from the authorities. Most Nigerians coming to
So how did you get out of that condition?
All of this was in
What year was this…?
This was in 1993, about 15 years from today.
How did you cope with starting in a place you hardly knew anyone?
Good question…Because I was used to the cold in Jos and
Do you think the same conditions that made you leave
It all depends on where you come from as a potential refugee. However, be assured that whatever your claims are, they are investigated by those who will grant you asylum as a refugee.
Where are these refugee camps located in
There are no specific camps. However, in every German ‘area’, there are refugee camps.
Are you still married to the German?
Why, what happened?
Most German women do not believe in marriage to us Africans. They do not believe in our kind of marriage, where we pay attention to certain family values. All they want or believe in is ‘friendship’. Even when the woman in deeply involved with you, her friends and family influence her to believe that you are merely using her to get your papers.
Is that what happened to you?
Not quite – my ex-German wife did not want children. According to her, she had sterilized herself before we met and her 13-year old cats were better alternatives to having children.
What will you say to Nigerians struggling to come to
Unless they have something tangible they want to do, I will strongly ask them to bury the idea. Look at me, after 15 years here, I cannot go back home to settle down. I cannot get married to a German because I know how they are. Most of us are afraid to come home and bring a woman here because of the fear that they may abscond. I manage to survive here, yet people back home believe that I am a big shot here. Whenever I struggle to send money home, they fritter it and keep asking for more. Sometimes when I speak to some of my friends how difficult it is here, they accuse me of being selfish, that I have crossed over and try to keep them away. Doctors and engineers who left
Could you describe the life of an average Nigerian in
Not as rosy as everyone back home thinks. Germans will never employ you and leave their own people. I know of somebody who left that ‘glorious’ place called
So, everything here is bad?
I have not said that. If you are here and you have your papers, the government takes care of you by providing a job, decent accommodation and good conditions of life. The basis for life in