A couple of years ago, I happened to be at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as I was returning from a trip to Nigeria. Something happened at arrivals that really got me very upset. It also got me wondering what really is the use of the Afrikan Union, whose unity seems to only point to how it relates with the outside world in regard to aid and loans, rather than how it reflects mutual respect among member states and unity at home.
As I waited for my visa to be processed, a couple of young travelers from Ghana arrived and were also waiting to be processed. There was a bit of an argument between the travelers and an immigration officer. She appeared to be the boss of the other officers on duty. The issue was that the travelers from Ghana were asked about what accommodation they had, of which they explained that all their travel arrangements were done by a travel agency since they had never visited Kenya before and that they were expecting their agent to come for them at the airport. Obviously, the immigration officer would have none of it. I watched her face and could see this horrible disdain for these West Afrikan guys and a very unkind show of an ‘I-am-the-boss’ kind of attitude that was both immature and unprofessional and most importantly, un-motherly, if there is such a word.
And mind you I am a Nigerian and was also coming from Nigeria, a west Afrikan country, so I was also dealing with some unnecessary profiling in which I was made to sit in one office that looked like it was set aside only for anyone coming from West Afrika (no other nationalities were referred to that office for the three hours or so that I was there).
Read the rest here.
Change your perspective
The little – and big – things that we do to each other matter so much. They are the building blocks of culture. How do YOU want to be perceived?