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From Our Allies

No breathing space for you, home or abroad

No breathing space for you, home or abroad

by: Rahma O. Jimoh

I know you have been wondering and wandering for a greener land that you can call home. Do not expect this piece to show you the way home – Rasaq Malik already told us “there’s no home in this land”. Hence, this letter is not to lead you home but to teach you how to live in comfort in a home you can’t call home.


“You are required to constantly remember that even as you live at home, on our black soil, you are still not safe from tribalism, religionism, and maybe not racism, because they are all discrimination.” 

The sight of melanin disturbs people. You need to learn to amble around like a second class citizen of the world. Our role models like HushPuppy and Abba Kyari already proved our criminality and beautified our imagery. They have helped with our matter. Don’t forget they are our mentors —our honourable representatives, at home and abroad. They are only doing their jobs. 

Every young rich Nigerian is a Yahoo boy. Yes! They are our mentors too. Do not also forget that in Nigeria “Ole ni everybody, Yahoo ni gbogbo wa.” Our musicians have sung this countless times to our eardrums and our politricksters. Think about how they constantly save our resources, how they preserve them in the cold soils abroad just so we don’t go hungry in the future. We can instead keep living on an empty stomach,s for now, it’s all for the future.

I know you sincerely feel for your brothers and sisters abroad but you need to realize that you live in a similar state at home which you probably caused. Remember, you voted for the tricksters for two cups of rice. You refused to buy goods made in Nigeria. You hardly even support your fellow brothers and sisters. Maybe charity doesn’t begin at home anymore. You need to believe in yourself before the world is compelled to reckon with you. Another election is close by and have the presidential aspirants not said enough?

Another important thing is, anytime you qualify for a contract abroad and it was nullified based on our well-painted image, don’t be pained. The image didn’t create itself. You know your future is bright and you’re the leader of tomorrow. We can all see our government striving hard for the morrow. They are investing our resources for the future. Hence, till the mysterious future, be a good child else you’ll become another HushPuppy.


Black is the colour of crimes, hence you’re always guilty by default.

To our brothers & sisters whom sheer fortune has taken abroad. If you ever find yourself losing a deserved opportunity because blacks are criminals and Yahoo ni gbogbo wa. then you should shut up and move on. You need to always remember that you’re a second class citizen in the world. You have to develop the art of contentment— the mentality of our people.  

An important one is that you should be careful of places you go to. Some places are not meant for black-skinned guys and some houses cannot be for you, same as some jobs and schools too. How will you go to another person’s land and now goan be kinging? Do you want another wee twitter space on how Nigerians are stealing black Americans’ jobs? Hence, be careful or you’d end up being unable to breathe.

Another thing you must note if you wear black skin is this—when you see a cop, merely disappear. Don’t run! I repeat, don’t run. You’re a criminal, remember? Black is the colour of crimes and all blacks are criminals. Hence don’t run, simply disappear. It does not matter that you are innocent or that your documents are complete. It does not matter that you were not drinking, smoking or driving too fast. What matters is you’re black and there’s no breathing space for you, especially in a white man’s land. You may be born there, you may hail from Chicago but all that doesn’t matter. You’re a second class citizen of the world and that is what matters. In one word, you’re a weed, only waiting to be uprooted.

Rahma O. Jimoh is a freelance journalist, poet and story writer. She has bylines in Ripples Nigeria, New Telegraph Newspapers and covers Tech for Morebranches. She tweets @DynamicRahma

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