The Rush to ‘Obodo Oyinbo’. Is it worth the risk?

Good evening everyone. I finally found a childhood song that I have been searching for weeks. Why was it so hard to find? Well, It was not in English and I had no idea who sang it. My parents recorded it in the 80s. I absolutely loved the video even though I had no idea what was being said. I spent weeks googling ‘Mananinaninama Kombo’ without no success. Luckily, I remembered it had some English lines and I googled that and viola! I found it. It is South African too. What do you know? Enjoy.

Best part 0.45 to 1.00

Rambling done. Topic of the day

Yesterday, a friend contacted me. He wanted to find out some information about the Middle East as he is planning on moving to Kuwait. He said life has become too hard in Nigeria and he is looking for greener pastures. I asked him if he had a job offer. He replied No. I asked him if he had a place to stay. He replied No. I cautioned him that they don’t just hand over visas easily. He responded that he is in the process of securing a three-year working permit visa and is paying half of the money to the agent on Monday. Immediately, I felt red flags because I know that this was in no way legit. I asked how much he would be paying for the visa. he responded 800,000 naira which is roughly 5,000 dollars.

hair tearing

Wait o! Life has become so hard but you have over 5,000 dollars to give someone who is most likely going to bring you over here on a labourer visa. This is not to mention your flight ticket and the cost of living. It makes absolutely no sense. I have never understood the desperation that my people have to leave the country. There are a LOT of people who made it there, without connections and without rich parents. They struggled and they made a name for themselves. I feel sad when I see graduates at home for years. While there are some that have been very unlucky, there are others who found work but felt that the pay was beneath them and decided to hold out for something better. Now those same people would kill for those earlier offers that they rejected.

In the same vein, although there are many people who have made it in foreign lands, there are much more who gave up better opportunities in Nigeria to come here and they end up doing menial jobs. I met someone a while back who sold his store in Lagos and rushed down here. Now he works as a labourer earning 120 dinars which is roughly 48,000 a month. By the time you deduct his cost of living and other expenses, he is left with little or nothing to send home. Now this young man who I was chatting with, is going to spend over a million Naira to come to a country where no job awaits him, no home, no family and really no prospects. Is it worth the risk?

Today, I read a story on Nairaland that made me sad. A student in the UK, whose visa was not even close to expiring, decided to get into a scam marriage with a lady there. Unfortunately for them, the lady had been to the registry in 2011 and was recognized. They were arrested along with the man she had married in 2011, who happens to be a Nigerian as well (face palm) and another accomplice. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, after which he is likely to be deported. The worst part of the story, he paid 5,000 pounds to the lady for the scam marriage. 5,000 pounds!!!! I cannot wrap my head around it. He had that much funds. He could not use his time wisely, gather more and then use the money raised to open a business back home. He could not look for a job there and get a working permit? I don’t know what drove him to do this. Maybe he had tried my above suggestions and failed. I don’t know. But what I do know is that he is in jail, 5,000 pounds poorer, going to be deported and probably banned from the UK. Again I ask, is it worth the risk?

A friend I broached this topic with, said “I would not understand”. Maybe I don’t. I know there are a lot of desperately poor people out there who feel like they have no choice. In my opinion, I think it is more of ‘get rich quicker’ than any other reason that makes these boys flee the country. if you can raise 500,000 to travel abroad, surely you can find a more useful venture to direct the money in and make profit.

This is my opinion. I don’t have a problem with people wanting a better life for themselves and their families. I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who took the risk of travelling to a country with nothing and ended up making it. However, I don’t think it is that easy anymore. A word of caution. These countries you are rushing to, have their own problems. Someone (I have no idea who) once said “It is better to be a king in your home than a butler in another man’s home’
Please drop your comments. Is my view extremely one-sided? Do I truly not ‘understand’?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. priscilla says:

    Pls gv d guy my contact, I v biz he cn invest in seriously!choi fr d ist tym I agree wiv u I dnt understnd d hyp of gOing abroad,I blv wats in sokoto cn b found in ur shokoto!

    1. herapereira says:

      OMG Halleluiah. Priscilla finally agrees with me. Somebody pop a bottle of Baby Milk for us!!

  2. Adams says:

    I read this article with a heavy heart and just like you, I have crossed paths with many Nigerians like that but I will start with the highlight on how I came to the Middle East.

    I got an offer from a private consultancy firm, which was reviewed 3 times during almost 6 months deliberation. In one of my mails to the negotiator, I had to tell him frankly that he should not think I would jump at any offer to relocate abroad. While going through the documents I had to sign as contract I saw many reasons why the long deliberation was important.

    Tell this guy aspiring to go to Middle East that whoever told him that he can get him a 3-year work permit or whatever he calls it without an offer in hand is a dubious man. The only type of visa you can get without a job at hand is not even listed online, they offer those for domestic workers. With that type of visa you can never be employed instead you will be continuously exploited by your eventual sponsor at whose mercy you will remain because you may end up not getting even a labourer’s job.

    The first guy I came across crept into the country with a 7 days conference visa with the plan of looking for job. I took time to explain to him how it works but he never wanted to understand so, I had to tell him that the best I could do was to advise him on how things are run. The next owned a furniture business in Nigeria and had to spent about 400,000 Naira to get a visa. He holds no certificate so, imagine investing that money in equipment in furniture business.

    There are so many of them today regretting coming out but cannot go back at the moment because they don’t even have the means. So many left their jobs in Nigeria, sold their properties Now they are tied down. I wish many who are planning will read these stories and caution themselves. A word they say is enough for the wise.

    1. herapereira says:

      Thank you for your comments. would forward your remarks to him, hopefully he will have a change of heart, though from the way he sounds, unlikely

  3. livelytwist says:

    Hera, it is sad indeed. I am with you on this one. But for every cautionary tale we tell, there are ten of their friends/family encouraging them to take the plunge- minimizing the difficulties, pumping hope, raising expectations.

    We don’t make matters easy also, when we arrive during the holidays, throwing Naira around, because the exchange rate favours us, and they think, “Well, if she/he can make it, so can I.”

    Documentaries have been made on this issue, highlighting the difficulties… I mean if you have N800,000 for crying out loud, gamble in Nigeria not Middle East or Europe or wherever!

    1. herapereira says:

      My dear, sometimes you cant even blame those who come home throwing Naira around. Many of them don’t want to. They have to, because that is what is expected of them. A typical Nigerian doesn’t want to believe that life isn’t rosy there. That’s why some people stay there for years without coming home, because they know they are expected to show I have arrived when they get home.

      As for this dude, I don try. He is not listening. He has his heart set on leaving. He believes if he ‘hustles’ hard, he will make it. Some people just need to learn the hard way. What a waste of money!

  4. danesi Aizebeokhai says:

    I have never craved for living outside Nigeria..I hope to get an international passport when I intend to go on vacation..The truth is whether Middle east or Europe, the Tide has changed..N880K is no small money,I will advise dat guy invest in Nigeria even is na recharge card biz

    1. herapereira says:

      Abi. The money is too much to give one phony agent

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