I vividly remember my clienteles reactions as soon as they realized that December 2009, will probably be the last time , that I would make clothes for them. (The ones that I confided in).
It was a bitter -sweet moment for the most part. My clienteles were excited, at the same time worried about the likelihood of locating another seamstress, to satisfy their fashion needs. I promised to stay in touch and hopefully return to Nigeria to continue my fashion and designing career , this time with international experience.
Since I was knowledgeable and skilled in designing clothes, I thought it was rational for me to obtain an American degree in fashion and designing. Then return to Nigeria continue the business, so I thought !
The book of Proverbs 16:9 states that man makes his plan but the good Lord, directs his steps.
Few months before now , I collected my American passport and birth documents from my dad, peacefully. Can I get an Amen ?? Then I visited the embassy in Lagos to renew my documents. I didn’t go alone- I was accompanied by my then little boyfriend. Lagos city is a busy place! It’s like traveling to New York City for the very first time! Everyone is constantly in a haste and barely talking to anyone. Indeed the city of Lagos is a city that never sleeps!
Between the traffic jam, passengers jumping in and out of the bus at various stopping points, bus drivers and conductors screaming ewole!! Ojuelegba!! One chance! Music blasting from the radio station with the latest hit songs, I finally made it to the serene vicinity of the American embassy.
At the entrance of the embassy, I noticed two lines , the blue line and green line. I was immediately oriented that the blue line was for American citizens and Green for those with resident permit to reside in the United States. Very interesting!
There was a third group, behind the barbed wired fence. These were people hoping to get legal documents to the States. Some of them have been duped and don’t know what to do. Some of them have temporarily camped behind those fences, hoping for a miracle
As, I advanced towards the blue line, “madame! Where you think say you dey go? ” , a voice in uniform, quickly addressed me. He wasn’t friendly, he came after me like someone illegally, crossing a protected border.
“Show me your documents! !” He said, I immediately did. As soon as he saw my blue passport, he started apologizing “madame, no vex o! Abeg join the line, wait for your turn” I was astonished! I thought to my self that “this beast in uniform can suddenly become a lamb!” No be small thing!!…lol!
I observed that most of the people in the blue line spoke with a foreign accent. They were looking so posh like some of those actors in Hollywood movies. Here I was, with my Port Harcourt self, speaking pidgin English unapologetically, “like I no send, nothing dey happen! ” no wonder the uniform guy came after me…lol
Anyone watched the Star Wars series , and how those doors open automatically without touching them? As I soon as I heard my name and I stepped towards the reception, those doors opened automatically, just like that! American wonder for real! Lol! I introduced myself to the receptionist, with the best Nigerian – British accent, I’ve ever spoken in my entire life. Something along the lines of ” good morning madame, my name is miss Akudo Ekeke”…lol
The customer service received was excellent! I must agree that the American embassies abroad, do a great job in representing America as a great country filled with love, positivity, oneness of spirit regardless of the diversity, and indeed a place where your dreams can be actualized. Until you actually spend few seconds in the country and realize that it’s normal to identify a human being by color as in black and white, instead of by ethnicity and tribe, and that racism actually still exist. What a shame!!
Finally, I made payments for the renewal of my passport, after several questions to prove that the American passport and documents belonged to me, lol! The receptionist asked me to return in 3 months time to pick up my renewed passport. 3 months time seemed like 3 years time…lol! So the count down began…..!
…..to be continued. …!
“You can never know how great God is and how tough you are, until you are pushed in to your scary place!! – Bishop T. D Jakes”