Emmanuel Akinwotu is a British-Nigerian writer based in London and an editor and contributor to the Project for Study of the 21st Century PS21 AFRICA channel. He tweets @ea_akin.
Richard was a normal guy from Nigeria who loved to go out with his friends; he spent time perfecting his pose and standing out from the crowd.
Here he is perfecting his pose and standing out from his crowd…
He loved his home and loved Nigeria but there were few opportunities , so he decided to travel to Europe.
He went to France and quite liked the cars,
but the 80’s were made for London, so he left Paris and soon decided that London was the place to be.
He studied, found a job and made great friends
He became a taxi-driver. The money was’t great but he loved it because it meant he could see parts of London he otherwise may not have known.
He met Bola, they fell in Love..
And soon made Emmanuel..
Who loved Quavers
And loved life.
He grew up knowing that his parents had left everything they knew to give him a better chance. He felt lucky because he could have two homes instead of one. Britain and Nigeria.
He hasn’t always been perfectly happy.
Sometimes his birthday suits were too big and he wasn’t at all impressed
Sometimes his country talks about migrants, like his parents, in a dehumanising way
But ultimately his chances at a better life have been measurably better than they could have been.
He knows that migrants, just like Richard, are ordinary people. Often they are fleeing conflict and persecution. They work hard and they contribute to society.
They are not animals but people with hopes and dreams. And they deserve the same respect and dignity as anyone else.
This article originally appeared on Emmanuel’s blog