i swear i was not going to write a blog post today. my abeokuta adventure over the weekend seems to have re-inspired me to just go on about everything. i am literally appaled by nigerians at this stage. so there i was last night, lounging in bed and writing my blog when i suddenly remembered that i had applied for visa lottery a few years ago (just because) and nothing became of it. so i made a mental note to check the official site for the DV and maybe apply. The truth is, i don't know what i would ever do if i was even given the green card because i am not at the stage of life where living in a foreign land would make a remarkable difference to me. i'm kinda used to the way of life here, i know how far my salary will take me and that nepa will not change. but anyways, what does not kill you makes you something or the other so whaddaheck.
so i get here this morning and log on to their site and now i am angrier than mary slessor upon ariving at 1876 calabar (all my generation z readers can never get that reference...you need to know more than miley cyrus twerking for it to make sense). You see, applying for green card is not a trivial matter. like every nigerian, you have to fast on that day, mark a cross on your forehead using holy olive oil, pray longer than you usually do before leaving the house, cast and bind any spirits that will delay or otherwise hamper your application (including the spirit of "your photo is not valid" on their website) etc. so naturally, i had to rush out all my work for today, get my colleague to come and snap me fresh photo wherein i had posed against a white background, buttoned my collar, chooked paper behind my ears so they will stand out and show, put on my "you better give me this visa" look, used microsoft office to crop and resize the photo for over one hour until they approved it, then started the application.
after getting halfway through, i find the usual notice that says that you must come from an eligible country and bla bla bla. i almost skipped it and went on because please, nigeria has always been at the forefront of visa applications worldwide. i can almost swear that we send in the highest number of entries per year over the last how many years. infact i know a few people in my former church who apply for their entire families from grandma to housegirl, as a family routine, year after year...but just to laugh at those random countries like ghana and kenya who always think they compare to our greatness, i decided to look at the list anyways cos i was certain one of them would be blacklisted. with the smile slowly waning from my face as i read country after eligible country and not finding nigeria, i finally find one special line at the end: "In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year’s diversity program." i. don. die.
i wasn't even sad. it felt like the right thing for oyinbo people to do. our own is way too much. i have heard all the stories before, how by the age of 28 nigerian women with foreign citizenship living in the UK and US would have been twice divorced and on to the next "husband" who happens to be her biological cousin in ilesha, how nigerians go out at night to avoid running into the police, how nigerians forge documents, steal identities, pose as parents to children with foreign citizenship...the works. about time they stop us from entering their countries altogether, maybe then we will fish out the crooks amongst us and do the right thing for the 90% of upstanding nigerians who struggle everyday with a clean name and live within their means. i am getting tired of getting "the look" each time i show my passport to customs in foreign countries and how they spend additional time reviewing my documents than all the people who had gone before (Dubai and Turkey were the worst)
and we can't push this one on the government.
We need to change before the world shuts all the doors against our elderly, students, infirmed and people with legitimate reasons to go to places where they can get the help or knowledge they need.
nuff said. they better make us eligible by 2016 own sha or else the owner of the one room 'ULTIMATE visa and travel agent' near my house may resort to burgling my house when i'm away at work to feed his 6 children. abi? see y'all around peeps.