Stone Circles

 

Stone circles

“People from outside Africa find it easier 2travel into d continent than the people of the continent & this must change” – Lindiwe Kwele

Above was another piece that caught my attention today. Africans are talking about uniting the continent for the betterment of us all. It is about time.

I have realised that Africans need to do bit more by giving examples of our experiences as it helps to understand situation better.

The first time I travelled without a visa was very exciting – it was going to The Gambia. Nigerians do not require a visa because of the ECOWAS. The two weeks there was quite pleasant, this was 2004, the year of the Tsunami.

The Gambia has more established tourism industry compared to Nigeria, so is better value for money – one area that we need to pay attention to in Nigeria, most ordinary folks travelling do want to enjoy their holidays but they can not be charged the same amount as our politicians – more to gain in volume.

Anyways, entering The Gambia was no issue with my green passport, had a great time and was nice visiting historical places such as Circle Stones, Goergetown (colonial town) and enjoyed visiting the gorilla park.

Exiting the country after two weeks was a different case. The lady at the counter was friendly enough but went away with my passport with what felt like eternity, every other minute, she’d come back to ask more questions which thankfully I was able to give satisfactory answers.

I saw her flipping through my passport as if something was sewn to it, she scanned all the pages so at this point I gestured to the lady if I could be of any further help as she still looks as if something was amiss.

In the end she told me of her concerns, she was looking for any slight traces of drugs and wanted to be sure that onward visa to my place of residence was genuine – “And it took that long even with computer access and all?” I thought to myself.

I thanked the her and left. That was the first time I was delayed for over 10 minutes for passport checks and it just happened to be a place I entered without a visa.

The lady was only doing her job.

 

Why do we have so many restrictions for Africans travelling within Africa?

Nigeria for example can do well by prosecuting corrupt officials. Also by investigating cases of injustices in our society, when this is done, we are a step further towards being a trusted nation.



Categories: Africa, Nigeria

Tags: , , ,

9 replies

  1. It has always thrilled me why the country is called ‘The Gambia’. It kind of gives it some type of of class I guess, like ‘The US’ or ‘The UK’, abi? Please someone enlighten me, if you can?

    But while on the topic ….. I really think Nigeria should be called ‘THE NIGERIA’.. Why you ask?
    Well because of the full meaning and origin of the name of course.
    it is ‘The Niger Area’ isn’t it?

    What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure why the prefix ‘The’ could it be because the country was named after a river of same name? Don’t know why o…

      Ha, ha – name change, that’s a thought. I would think the reason Lady Laggard named us Nigeria was for the ease of pronunciation. To break it into three now would perhaps require fixing our school first, otherwise more than half the population wouldn’t be able to say their country name correctly, if we stay with English name that is 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can confirm (funny & silly as it may sound) that some of our African airport immigration officers find it shocking to believe that Fellow Black Africans can be tourists within the continent. I have been asked why and what am looking for. We are yet to embrace the free movement of our our people within and about our very own continent, yes there are some few counties I can visit without the need for a VISA yet an American or European can visit more nations on my continent VISA free or gets one on arrival than I an African with a Nigerian passport can manage to achieve. Why are our leaders unable to amend such basic requirements yet are busy holding grands talks of creating a single: currency, trade zone, government, military etc. Even flights, rail or road access across our various African states are largely non existent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Oluscoop –

      Not silly actually – it happens.
      You are right, something is not adding up. We want to encourage intra-continent trade and knowledge base, yet our treatment of one another at the borders is appalling.

      And you can imagine the Grand Talk of Africans leaders to be lots of talk and no follow-up.

      Like

  3. Believe it or not, there is a lot more profiling and checking of documents if you go into the US or Canada. Travel has become a problem.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Leslie.

      I agree the need for more checking has increased significantly after Sept 11th and profiling has to be done because of the costs associated with checking everyone.

      Travelling within Africa with Nigeria passport is a different ball game though. I used to live in the USA, and have travelled a few times to Canada (as a tourist) – all with my green passport – questions asked at the borders were never out of place because already there is a fair amount of information on the passport itself.

      I thought The Gambia was out of place as they seem not to take any information they already have into consideration and just assumed if I wasn’t a millionaire/politician, why else would I be interested in knowing my continent except that I was either drug dealing/prostitute or all other names they had down.

      Nigeria is probably worse when dealing with other Africans at our borders – little wonder folks take their money else where for vacation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Many African-Americans, sometimes are ambivalent when we enter unknown as well as known spaces for fear of being racially profiled. Thank you for sharing this experience in your country.

    Liked by 2 people

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