Don't Be Afraid of Me or Other Nigerians

Nigerian kids waving Nigerian flag.
Source: guardian.ng

"Bonjour", she typed.
I replied, "Merci Bouquo?" Not knowing exactly what that means, or if it meant anything at all. Then I added, "I don't speak French. I speak English. You can chat me up on that."
Almost a day later, she responded.
"yes I can write to you in English. Tell me how are you?"
"I'm fine," I replied. "How about you?"



Thirty minutes later I got this reply:
"Me too well, thank you, my name is Christelle I am from France and you?"
"I'm Pius," I typed. "From Nigeria." Though I hasitated a bit before typing these last two words knowing exactly how funny it is that white people, and most foreigners for that matter, think all Nigerians are some crazy fraudsters. I waited for a response, then asked, "When you said Bonjour, what should have been my reply?"

No sooner had I typed that when I saw this texts pop up before my face on my Twitter DM: "You can no longer send direct message to this person."
I wasn't surprised. I only became confused. I regretted being immediately straightforward in my reply. So I checked her profile. She had blocked me after reading that I'm a Nigerian.

She had been the one to come to my DM in the first place. I was on my own. I thought she had checked out my profile before chatting up. What was she thinking? That I'm some black french guy when I don't even have one word of French on my profile? This is a bit of a problem for me.

The world should change their mindset about Nigerians. We are not all criminals, same way Americans are not all mass shooters nor all Muslims suicide bombers. We are sane huzzlers striving to survive at the face of corrupt government establishments. We are not all corrupt. In fact, a greater percentage of us are good people, hardworking and dreamers like people from other parts of the world. We depend on no one.

I don't have much to talk about here though, but I want the world to quit demonizing Nigerians. Stop shying away from even chatting us up because you are scared we might dupe you. Stop being afraid that we somehow can sniff into your privacy to steal your bank records and make away with your money. If you got to do business with us, why not be open minded and treat us like you would other people?

This short dialogue above certainly wasn't my first time, probably not going to be the last, but what will it take everyone to realize that this is dehumanizing for us? It drives a lot of people to desperation when they can't innocently get by due to the misdeeds of a few, like no other country has a trove of bad people within its shores. This has got to stop, and fast.  WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS! 
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