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I once lived with a fellow Nigerian Emeka but we were both in the same situation of hunting for jobs and no one could help another. This friend of mine had other friends whom he used to visit. One time, he came up with the suggestion that we should go together and join them in Amsterdam West so that we could start working and earn some good money.
During this time, we both had a job of distributing newspapers. Three months later, he moved and joined his friends and left me behind. Six months later, while walking on the streets of Amsterdam, I met this friend of mine again. Emeka was looking posh; he was smartly dressed in a nice new cream suit, a blue shirt with a matching tie, a new pair of black shoes, he really looked smart. He was also happy: “Good to see you my brother”, he said with a smile as he showed a kind of compassion over me. “What happened, you look so miserable?” he asked. I replied: ‘No job no money.’ “But I asked you to join me and you refused”, he reflected.
“Look at me; I’m enjoying the benefits of the job” he said. “Take a look at me; I have no legal documents to stay in the Netherlands but am doing good”, while posing with his two expensive mobile phones. “My brother, are you still on the same underpaid job?” ‘Well, without papers what do you expect me to do here?’ I asked him. He replied: “I guess you sold your property or borrowed money from your friends to come here, how are you going to pay them back without working?” He continued: “After failing to make it in a good way, brother you have to breach the laws so that you get the money you need. I am a professional teacher but European shave weird thoughts about illegal immigrants and even about immigrants who do have documents to stay here. They always think that we are poorly educated, stupid, and lazy so you have to do something,” he said.
“I still have a job for you”, he said. ‘What kind of job?’ I asked him. “I will get you a fake passport which you will use to smuggle cocaine capsules to Spain. It’s really a very simple job, you just need to swallow what you can carry in your stomach,” he said. ‘I will think about it’. “Since you have given me your number, I will ring you next week and I will expect to hear that you have made the right decision. You will keep in touch, won’t you?” he said. ‘Of course I will’, I replied. I took some time to think about what he had said, but made a final decision not to involve myself into risky ventures that can put my life in danger. He called me later to check if I had agreed to join their drug trafficking click and I told him straight away that I was not ready to take job he offered.
I escaped this dirty job, but I never escaped from dying a slow death perpetrated by the unnoticeable silent killers of immigrants in Europe: Depression and related diseases because I had too much on my head.
Sometimes there are faster but criminal ways to make money, for instance selling drugs on the streets of Barcelona.
Ssuuna tries to find a job. Being illegal makes finding a job extra difficult
Criminal activities: prostitution
Steven: Travel entrepreneur
Finding work in Europe