Readers' Responses to a Labor of Love

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Applying for Visa at the Embassies:


You got that right! What you described above happened to me in 1988 at the time I tried to get onboard MATA – Atlanta as a Transit Planner with background in Urban Engineering. You can imagine my surprise that after two white guys interviewed me with high recommendations; it was a black American on the other hand who gave me the booth. The Caucasians warned me ahead of time that left to them I’m onboard that ultimately the decision to hire will depend on their boss who they did not tell me was black! This experience is also repeated at my Lodge here in Chicago where the black Americans are constantly (clandestine at times) discriminating against me. Knowing this and in retaliation, I treat them like shrubs! After all how many of these guys really have college education? Ah ha! Ah ha!

Signed: Chief Justice, Georgia

Dear Sabidde,

How are you? I hope fine. I have read one of your articles on the internet, I am very much delighted with the way you analyze the visa issues, especially in those useless embassies, America, British and co. I have to confess to you that I’m one of the victims of humiliation in one of those embassies, British to be precise.

Sometimes in the 90’s, I traveled to Britain and I stayed for two and a half year, obtaining commonwealth visa, which allowed me to stay for that period; before my visa expire I decided to come back home so that, I can renew it, but to my surprise, the British embassy denied me visa, even though I have all the requirements.

However, as the saying goes, some disappointment may be a blessing, that is exactly what happens to my life. Because of the frustration I decided to make it here at home, like you said, what is there in Britain! As I’m writing this note to you now, I am an officer in one of the Federal Ministry in Nigeria; I have got my B.SC in Sociology, Masters in Development Studies, etc. I am very much contented now, I have a wife and a daughter, I have a car, I leave in comfortable house, even though is a rented flat.

I hope Nigerians will pray for good leadership, perseverance, patient and make more sacrifice to avoid been humiliated by some useless embassies in the name of visa.

Thanks for your article.

Signed: LS, Nigeria.

Why the Black Community Hate Nigerians:

I do sympathize with you on your feelings about Nigerians in the US. Will it surprise you if the same holds true of Nigerians in the UK? I attended a Christian conference last summer and I was the only Nigerian. An elderly delegate from Switzerland came to me and said the Nigerians in their country are criminals. All I did was to smile to show the other side of a Nigerian (compassion and peace). I first of thought that the oil wealth is what has turned us to be what we are. Do yourself a favor and read a book written by Anthony Enahoro “How to be a Nigerian” written in the sixties well before oil and 419 that may fascinate you. Without any question the young Nigerian today is a different animal vicious, aggressive and overambitious. That is our character we cannot change. Hope you find that book and you will have a fascinating reading. If that book were written by an English man he would have been taken to court for racism.

Kind regards

Signed: NH, London

You wonder why other Africans love to hate Nigerians. I am a Nigerian living in London, and even though I cannot ever say I hate Nigerians, I sometimes wonder what other people think of us. You only have to board a bus at the North Greenwich Station, going towards Thamesmead or Plumstead, and even you would wonder the same thing. First of all, most Nigerians still don’t acknowledge that London busses are not moluway buses, so if they were to follow a civilized queue, everybody would eventually get on. I think that is an example of where the aggressiveness comes in. I have witnessed many Nigerian men (and women) jostling each other and those around them (on more than one occasion, pushing aside old people or those with children) just to get on the bus. At the same time, they are loudly screaming into their mobile phones for conversations that last the whole of the journey, at the top of their lungs.

Now you can imagine some thirty-odd Nigerians all barking at the top of their lungs, totally oblivious to those around them. Tell me, if you do not happen to understand the language they are speaking, would you not be more than annoyed? To top it all up, this usually occurs during rush hour-very early in the morning, when some of us like some peace to think things through and to get fully woken up, and after working hours, when one just wants to unwind and let their brain rest. So to me, people are NOT accusing Nigerians of being loud, they ARE loud, and even I find it irritating.

As for the bit about the 419-lets be realistic. Nigerians have been blessed with supersonic brains-if only we would put them to good use. Here in London, Nigerians are the majority of Africans seen driving cars. And mind you, not just any car, but it’s the BMWs and the Mercedes, possibly the latest ones around. Now you might say they earned it through their work, but I have lived here long enough to know that a self-employed African with a money transfer kiosk and OTHER businesses just does not make that much money legitimately. At least others have the decency to hide the money they steal. But no, being Nigerian, we have to flaunt it around. And believe me, this is no speculation, as I have had a few Nigerian boys admit how they steal people’s credit and debit card details, buy things online, and sell them off again.

I think the bottom line is that most Nigerians are so under-civilized, but do not notice it and would never accept it. Yes, we do make it into the higher classes of society. But are we ever fully accepted? I tell you, if I was a complete outsider, I would avoid Nigerians like the plague.

Signed: HK, London

My good friend, reading through your article I just assumed you are playing the ostrich. Most of your country men (Nigerians) have brought shame on the black community worldwide especial in Europe and America. Even the so call celebrities in Nigeria are drug barons and drug couriers like one Wunmi and the most recent one James Tochi. You are aware that two Nigerians were executed in Singapore last year for drug trafficking.

If you see high crime in Saudi Arabia, they are Nigerians. In fact during the recent hajj, it was reported that Nigerian men disguised themselves by dressing like women to commit crime. It is true also that Nigerians abscond when they go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Israel and even when they go for competitions elsewhere.

Therefore until Nigerians learn to be honorable and will stop committing crimes like 419 and its like in Europe and America especially then the black community and others will love to hate Nigerians.

At least even the Nigeria High commissioner to the UK acknowledged that some Nigerians in the UK commit crime. Why must able-bodied Nigerians go to the UK to simply be cleaners while they can be better farmers in Nigeria.

The worst is that some of them use forged documents to look for visa and stuff.

Educate your compatriots to stay in Nigeria and salvage their country. That is the whole truth.

Signed: N. B, UK

Your piece with the above title makes an interesting reading.You enumerated all the obvious reasons why every Black soul ought to be grateful to Nigeria and by extension, Nigerians. However, your article missed the point or seemed unable to identify the real
issue for the apparent “hatred.”

People of African descent every where are looking for leadership among themselves. Given Nigeria’s size, population, education and abundant resources, this role naturally falls on her shoulders. But to every one’s amazement, Nigeria has not been able to, as they say, put it all
together. This is why they resent us. It is a self defense mechanism which is triggered each time whitepeople areseen looking up to America or Britain with pride each time thesecountriesare seen acting together or alone in defense of white interests.

People of African descent are reminded that if push ever comes to shove, they have no
where to go or no one to save them. They do not hate us, just resentful of our inability to play the leadership role they expect of us.
Signed: I. E, Nigeria

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1 comment

Anonymous March 31, 2007 - 5:40 pm

I was tempted to write 'whatever!' and send it like that but I decided to add these few lines for the benefit of those who do not know…… yes, some Nigerians commit fraud, scams etc but so do other nationalities. There always some bad eggs in the bunch. But to hold an entire nationality to ransome becoz of the 'crimes' of a few is most unfair. Those pointing fingers fail to note that Nigerians are some of the most well read, educated and talented amongst Blacks and dare I say other nations in the world. I dont have to mention names. No matter what any body says I will NEVER be ashamed of being a Nigerian and I will never join other nationalities to insult Nigerians. At lease a Nigerian would never dream of bombing National secretariat becos he hates the Govt like Timothy Mcveigh Nuff said


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