by Alexa Eva Golda
Australians do not know anything about Nigeria.
If you tell them you lived in Nigeria, they will mention how they went on a trip to Tanzania to build huts, or ask if you can speak Afrikaans or Swahili.
Or they will ask if you know some random African person, ask what hello is in Nigeria (when there are over 500 languages and English is the official language).
I was once invited to a friend’s house for dinner and I was asked by her mother, ‘What is Nigeria known for?’.
I was about to mention food, music and movies, but this friend’s younger sister blurted out ‘Corruption!’.
Everyone else on the table laughed.
Then the father started talking about Nigerian prince scams and all other nonsense. I was told apparently that the sister wrote a full paper on Nigeria and corruption.
I was in a computer class once and the teacher was teaching about e-waste and how in Nigeria, people go through old hard drives and such and find passwords which are then used to steal information from people abroad.
I kid you not, but the whole class turned around and looked at me like I was going to steal all their money.
Other conversations with Australians include them thinking there are no fancy cars in Nigeria, that there is crime and a lot of theft, scams as usual, that poverty is very rampant, etc.
So, the reaction to Nigeria is not a very positive one.
However, I should add that the Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander population have a more positive view.
I have Indigenous friends who want to visit Nigeria with me and care enough to ask about the food, music and culture.
The white population on the other hand, not so much.
I’m a mixed girl who has had a very diverse life and has unique views about the entire world.