In my last blog I told you how I decided to flee my country because of political reasons. My mother accepted my decision to flee Nigeria but the money wasn’t there to make the travel happen. We eventually decided to sell our family home. This house was sold for around 2,500 euro and with the money I left for the Nigerian Northern State of Kano where I was told I could travel to Europe without threat.
What they call "a success story" of dreaming of home
Is Europe worth taking the risk? My answer is: ‘NO'!
Over and over again, I hear about African people risking their lives to get to Europe. We know the stories of immigrants risking the seas on tiny boats unequipped for the journey, but there are even more dangerous ways to travel. A guy from Angola got into the chassis compartment of an airplane, planning to get to Heathrow. When the wheels came out, 2000 ft. above the ground, he fell to the ground. Of course; he had frozen to death long before due to exposure to high altitudes and low temperatures.
My wife warned me against traveling with a big suitcase
Saying goodbye to the family
I had enough time to organize and prepare for my trip. I knew what was involved and the immediate consequences like missing my family and friends from the start. The trip arrangements involved so many things including looking for money to travel with, buying some stuff, bidding farewell to my people and packing suitcases among others. In all the preparations I was such a joyful person and I was so eager to go to Europe to fulfill my dream of becoming a rich man in society.
I struggled and almost exhausted all means of raising money for my trip but all was in vain. I contacted several people to lend me the money but I never succeeded. I was under too much pressure and the visa dealer was on my neck to pay the balance or else I will lose the $4000 I had deposited in advance. I was stuck until when I realized that I could sell my only house to bail me out. It was not my wish to sell the house but when I realized that when I reach Europe I would make much money to replace it, I went ahead with the plan.
Before applying for my visa to Europe, I had no idea what Schengen meant, or which countries were in the Schengen region. I asked Richard the visa dealer how to get into the UK and he abused my ignorance to plan a fake trip for me.
I was green about everything in the process of obtaining a European visa. But then I witnessed it myself, when my best friend took me to the office of a visa dealer in Kampala. I was shocked with what I saw in the visa dealer’s office because I had never imagined that people who go there experience such real hardships including being shouted at, shading tears and ladies being asked for sex by the dealers in the guise of getting that sticker in their passports. One major thing I noticed, money talks in the visa dealer’s offices because without money you’re nobody to them.
I was a freelance photojournalist in my country and enjoying an average standard of living. I could survive and also support my family with the basic necessities of life on the small salary I was earning. I can say I was content with what I had and life was okay until I saw the richness and the luxurious life of my friends who had migrated to Europe. I admired them and their richness so much to the extent that I started regarding myself as one of the disadvantaged people in society.