I run a Lagos based small business with my spouse, we founded it in 2016. In 2017 our turnover was well above Great British Pounds £100,000. My partner decided she wanted to travel with our first child to visit her immediate older sibling and his family. Her elder sibling is a permanent resident in UK, and they also recently had their first child. So it was an opportunity to get the growing baby and toddler an opportunity to meet as well as to see family that hadn’t been seen in a while.
The trip was slated to be for a month. As my business and other important affairs take me to North America often, my wife told me before Christmas and we applied for a visa for her and our child early December.
We recently learned our application was denied by a Visa & Immigration officer for “lack of funds”. This was despite providing account statements with a turnover of over $100,000 and account balances in excess of $20,000. The blatant racism, discrimination and incompetence at the UK Home Office is a story for a day like today and let me tell you another personal experience.
In the late part of the first decade of this new millennium, an American investment bank offered me an internship in their London offices, and I had to go to the UK Deputy High Commission in Lagos and pick up my passport. I tell you there was so much blatant racism at the DHC, I overheard a staff of the British embassy call Nigerians “monkeys” and our country a “jungle”.
It would be hypocrisy to blame them for this viewpoint after I just saw a blog post about two armed robbers roasted alive to cinder in Akwa Ibom. Let us just say that human barbecue is not something that would happen in the United Kingdom city of Leeds or Manchester.
So a Nigerian black female entrepreneur and her first child, although they have direct access to a company worth over N100 million in cash and assets, are not granted a British visa to visit close relatives because someone is either too racist, or too incompetent to not know (or care about) the difference between fence jumpers and legitimate business, tourist or family visitors.
Then again how do you blame people who are dealing with Nigerians who are known to travel to Libya to be sold into slavery or possibly die along the way. The desperation is real, and it cuts across all shade of monkey business. So if we dabble in the business, and then seek to cry wolf when blatant racism is presented to us. Are we not purveyors and connoisseurs of racism ourselves?
Dear British Visa Officer, on behalf of all the legitimate travelers you turn down because you are either a racist or just less than competent enough to know the difference between legit travelers and fraudsters, I just want to warmly say “THUNDER FIRE YOU THERE!”
NB: I know telling the difference between legit and fraud in so hopeless a society can occasionally be mission impossible but your thunder will still be swift and merciless because you fancy or fashion yourselves into dream assassins for legit aspiring good citizens, while you show no scruples in granting the greedy and wicked political class the favours you so easily deny legit Nigerians.