mind of a migrant

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

its a story about a young man trying to find an identity trying to fit in and found himself snared into things he'll not usually do its heart gripping its a must hear must read

story by olajide olasehinde ojotu

 

 

Mind of a migrant

 

This is a story about a boy who was conceived and born during the genocide in Rwanda.

He was amongst thousands of kids and women evacuated 4rm Rwanda to neighbouring UNICEF ally and Nigeria happened to be one of them so he was amongst many taken to Nigeria and was later adopted by a DELABU family where he was raised alongside  their kids TOLU TOPE TOYIN and TADE they were all older than me  we had to do chores no school straight faming it got so much and Ralph one day ran away to no were really lived on the streets washing dishes 4 restaurants and he managed to save enough to become a part time shoe shiner then along came Jay Jay and Femi  who became Ralphs mentor and role model Femi was a bus driver and jay jay was his conductor, Ralph  met them shining their shoes and later became part of the  team because Femi had just bought a new bus so he need a face he could trust to be his conductor so he chose Ralph.

And Ralph became the conductor and life became much fun for Ralph he was loving the streets and his foster family tried effortlessly to bring him back home but he was determined to survive on the street and he did it’s been almost three years since Ralph left his foster family and he was twelve now and almost a full grown teenager he wasn’t very tall but just right for his age.

And Femi had been trying his hands in other types of money making schemes across the boarders surrounding Nigeria importing cars and consumable goods.

Femi brought us in the deal and it gave us good money and we all lived in a flat together but we soon got to know Femi had been planning to leave the country well without our knowledge until the last minute. This became food for thought to Ralph and jay

Then they started to think about leaving the country which meant they had to work twice has hard and the boarder business had given us a link so Ralph took one of the links and used to his own advantage and he worked with a sailor by the Andrea whom Ralph worked for as a cabin cleaner and Ralph was paid in dollars so including all his previous savings was buried in a bush where only Ralph knew and jay jay soon migrated to south Africa and now it was Ralph and the struggle began and hustling was very tedious for Ralph because he was doing it alone again and he had to go coast to coast to sell and buy stuff both for himself and clients this was when Ralph met Andrew the agent on one of his trips around the west African boarders obviously because it wasn’t so secure and Africans aren’t really bothered about who crosses the boarders,

Even though there are boarder police they mostly don’t get paid enough so extortion was the way out so had couple friend in the police because Ralph was a frequent traveller so they knew him and he

Knows them, and what to do when he passed through their boarder .Ralph was now 14years of age and alone with loads of money and was yearning so bad to go to Europe and then he suddenly remembered

Andrew the travelling agent and he went to the republic of Benin in search of the agent and they met up and he told Ralph wt to do and how much he had to pay so Ralph did as he was told and in December of 1998 Ralph left Nigerian for England sometime in December.

 

Welcome to Heathrow ladies and Gentlemen.

He heard this and slowly began to wake up as every passenger was trying to grab their bits

So finally he had arrived in Europe which to him was a country making England a state or city in his perception and London another city and France and Germany anyways he got off the plane and slowly he arrived on the cue to the customs and he was asked for my passport and few other questions anyways all went well and he went on to the other side my agent had told me about and he saw London Heathrow and it was cold as ice like all the movie we used to c on TV back home he could feel the effect of the chills of winter for the first time in his life the vapour or carbon dioxide if u like coming out of his mouth to him was a wonder.

Reality soon dawned on Ralph when the cold started to hit him so he remembered the agent told him the places he could go in other to find Africans Nigerians in particular as well as other black Africans who understood pigeon English would be able to help get him settled in no time so he said so Ralph brought out the paper the agent, had given to him and the address he told him to visit which he did find only for it to be an abandoned property.

Ralph managed to navigate his way, through the help of a kind woman he got to Brixton and had to look for a way to get to Peckham, eventually his found his way. Then he came across an African restaurant got something to eat then sat down and waited to hear who would speak something he could understand suddenly he saw two guys approaching.

 finally this two guys came in for takeaway then Ralph waited outside for them and politely told them that he had just arrived in England  and needed a place to stay till he gets a job or figure out what to do but he was a bit reluctant at first but after he spoke to his friend for some reason he came back with a smile on his face and said well it’s your lucky day so he jumped in their car not thinking of who this guys are or what they are so we got there it wasn’t how he imagined people in England live but he didn’t care. Ralph slowly and slowly settled in good just the sound of our next door neighbours chattering away at wt ever it was they was talking about for him as an African boy who had never had a close encounter with a white person suddenly leaves next door to this white folks just gave him giggles so he was never really worried about the chores he had to do for my new found masters well this went on for a while and Ralph started noticing so much things this guys do for a living stuffs coming through the door every day and letters with credit cards but eh, what does Ralph know about cards and stuff also most interesting him was electronics laptops phones all kinds of things beyond his wildest dreams clothes expensive designer shoes and cash in duffle bags all this went on for about two years and being a natural hustler Ralph picked a thing or two that later became useful. As time went by Ralph gets bullied by the neighbourhood kids from time to time one because of his accent two he was a easy target and they see him as a dick head well that’s what they call him one very lucky day for Ralph when the notorious twins where in the hood and Ralph was being picked on as usual and the twins for some weird reason came to his rescue.

 

Next day Ralph waits for the twins in the same place where they met yesterday, and gives them a gift of fifty pounds each. The twins are shocked but took the money, then they said safe and told Ralph to meet them after school at their house. The twins started asking Ralph question about him.....then over a few weeks they start chilling with each other and they put Ralph onto street life in the UK. Then one day the twins take Ralph when they are doing the rounds Shutting, and Ralph tells them about fraud and how the guys he lives with used to get money and how they could get money like that y themselves. They were interested and Ralph told them what to do and they stated by ordering trainers, tracksuits, TV, and computers and games. The twins were impressed and began to find lots of yards for  to order the items... this goes on for months.... the twins show Ralph where to shop and they started partying together and Ralph started getting allot of female attention.

ACT 4

One day the twins left the endz, To visit their dad in jail and gave him a Rolex 4 his birthday. The dad is shocked that they can afford to buy him a watch like that, and ask is the drug game’s that good for them....twins told him that they were into fraud now.....dad is now thinking of the potential of it and asks someone called Danny Do, who said he knows a few people in that field . Danny Do introduced the dad to a fellow called Clive, and they start talking.... then the dad phones the twins to come for another visited.....then ask them to make money by using his contacts and methods..... So the twins and Ralph started doing bank scam and bun n cheeses moves and giving the twin’s dad a percentage.

ACT 5

The moves start taking off and they stared spending money on mopeds and cars they also started clubbing partying at the top bars night clubs in north and south London then sometimes country saint Albans Milton Keynes Manchester where ever their legs could take them .two years gone and they are now 20 and go nap pa where they swipe 20 grand worth of diamonds with repo cards.....Brian {twin} meets his girlfriend on the trip as well.

ACT 6

Brooklyn {twin} is chilling with a girl who sets him up n he gets robbed...the click are starting to get know for making money....he calls his dad mate who gives the click guns....they kidnap the girl and pay crack heads to burn her house down....they drive the girl to way outside London and let her go with no money or id and drive back to the ends.... Ralph says they got to stay low...next day they start looking for cribs outside London.

ACT 7

They all move in together.....months later the twins dad visits them on a home leave and meets Ralph for the first time... the dad tells them about a big move that he is planning....then they go party... takes his share in all the money they have been making which by now is thousands of pounds, then dad goes to see his wife...

ACT 8

Ralph tells the twins to get a gang of car thieves to rob cars and send them back to Africa where they cars were sold at triple the price.... Brooklyn flew out to Nigeria to oversee the project and meets Ralphs old connect. The twins were flashy but Ralph was not because he did not want police attention since he was an illegal.... they do this for about 6 months until they get the call that the big job is on...

ACT 9

The twin’s dad comes home for another home leave and meets them to talk about this big move.

He told them step by step what need step be done and how the move will go down...and introduced them to a few of his people that will be working with them....the click gets a team together and start working the move.......they start making lots of money..

ACT 10

The police arrest brain for drunk driving and find code tens on him.....they nick him and let him go but start to look at the twins very carefully, because they have been hearing about them for months now and know about the dad being a top criminal. Ralph falls in love starts not hanging out with the click not as much and taking a more executive role.

ACT 11

Then one of Ralphs workers comes across a bank account with 950000grand in, Ralph keeps that to himself and crew and they extract the money on a low... they twins dad finds out via his contact at the bank....he tells the twins and his goons....Brooklyn cannot believe it but brain dose and does not wait...and tries to shoot Ralph...he survives and disappears.

ACT 12

Ralph moves to Manchester.....Brooklyn gets nicked with a gun at traffic lights.... the twins dad comes out of jail and puts a bounty on Ralph head.....

Ralph gets to Manchester settles down and found himself a place to live in and wanted to lay low and leave a normal life but trust me the streets was too tempting for him but he managed o get a dodgy passport and do dodgy national insurance number so got a spot in an agency basically doing everything had to pay rent as well as socialize. Just before he left London for Manchester he had met a rare beauty and they exchange numbers and few weeks later Ralph got a phone call from her and their relationship started.

 Ralph tried to lead a normal life in Bolton and he wanted to start college but his lack of id was a barrier and survival instinct was starting to kick in and money was soon running out and now he starts to realise that all is money and ideas was really nothing if he did not have the right permit to engage in business or any kind of job.

So he started thinking of other option everything came to his mind but all was to no avail.

After almost five months in Bolton he met a girl and they hit it off except that it was just infatuation so he had to leave again that had been pretty much his life after he left the guys who initially housed him when he landed

But u know what they say when tough gets going the going gets tough so he told her he had to go this time he met an old friends girl friend explained his situation to her after massive burning session well that is a  street term for smoking weed and knowing how things used to be she offered to let him stay knowing he was an illegal migrant  soon they started to grow fund of each other he was like the father of the house until his friend came out of jail and inside him wasn’t really thrilled with the idea of Ralph staying with his girlfriend but he himself was enjoying the company of other women elsewhere and Ralph knew all this and more but in the few months Ralph spent in the house along with Trisha and her cousins and friends everybody liked him and saw potential in him for an illegal immigrant who hadn’t had a formal education but spoke rather eloquently although with a light accent  mostly the things he spoke about such as what he had done been through what he wants to do and where he would like to be in the nearest future  but Ralph was also good at one thing that is learning his ability to learn was well not the greatest but was impressive how he would sit with Trisha’s  nieces and nephew when they return from school that improved his vocabulary and reading but well Trisha was not getting bens attention and a little birdie told Trish Ralph and Ben had been seen on numerous occasions hanging out with some girl who lived on the other side of the high road and Trisha confronted Ralph and said she had feelings for him he tried to stop her but I guess he could resist what he saw and secrets have a nasty way of getting out some Ben finds out and wanted to hear it from Trisha but she denied it happened but said Ralph came on to her so Ben and Ralph had a fight Ralph got stabbed in the arm and managed to run out of the house  about six blocks down the police stops him after the saw him bleeding during routine patrol they questioned him but he said it was a self inflicted injury that he was on his way to the hospital so they gave him a lift.

He could have there and then told them his problem but because of had been misinformed so he kept quiet and once more suffers in silence but it never stopped because Ben and his crew would phone Ralph up to 30 times

A day he had been sleeping rough in the elevators parks had no clothes cold and lonely he became a scavenger but one day met and old friend he met when he first arrived before he met the twins Anthony was running a business for his sister and took pity on Ralph and gave him some money to pay for a deposit gave him some decent clothes shoes and a TV and free view so Ralph was like Anthony’s right hand man and the sis was pleased with what Anthony had done for his friend Ralph became like a member of the family.

After almost a year he saw his ex girlfriend at mall and once again they started dating on that this time it got serious she got pregnant he wasn’t ready and she could not tell the people she leaves with she had to run away from home Ralph said she could move in but she said she’ll rather stay at her friends but they agree to terminate the baby not because they didn’t want the baby but because they could not afford to raise the baby after a while she broke up with him knowing that she was going to keep the child and he swiftly moved on with his life.

Business was not going good so his friend told him he had to find a way of supporting himself because business was not really good and the recession was starting to bite he had to give up my house to leave with a girlfriend and her 4month old baby so he became a dad a nanny and boyfriend which at the time was not what he wanted and plus she had some very nice quality and like every other human being she had her flaws, unfortunately the type a reasonable person or man will not put up with but being an illegal immigrant afraid of repatriation who was he to speak up and tell her of her wrong behaviour or of the way she spoke to him or the insults rained on him despite all his help she would take out her frustration on him throw his things out sometimes even threw his things out on so many occasion but one day she went a bit too far smashed his car up all because of a text message this made Ralph so upset he almost took his own life but decided he wanted more from life and pulled himself together but not for long and she came still upset with Ralph about the text message one thing led to another it turned into a fight she chucked an ash tray at him it hit him in the head he went down for minute gets back up slaps her across the face  repeatedly and he was I am not your foot stool u he retreats and starts park his stuff again as always when she calmed down she started to beg him and not to work out of her sons life in a nut shell emotional black mail and after 10months together Ralph was kind of fund of her son at this point he did not realize he had a son about the same age as his girlfriends son  with his ex girlfriend who he thought had got reed of the baby they met online  and she gave the news he wasn’t thrilled but he was happy to hear from her and they arranged an impromptu meeting and he sees his son for the very first time and they arranged another because his ex girlfriend had been in the refuge for a while and Ralph tells his girlfriend the news and she wasn’t too pleased it soon spiralled into an argument and this time he made up his mind to leave but she wasn’t done with him as he left the house she phoned the police  claiming he had harassed and assaulted her in her own home later that night Ralph admitted to hitting her and was remanded in custody for 11weeks and thereafter given a suspended sentence and placed on a two years probation  he came out in the new year February to be precise

Although she wrote him apology letters and sent him money and clothes she even said he could come back home with her all along she had been pregnant he only found out when he was being questioned at the police station at the initial point of inquiry though he stupidly admitted to knowing she was pregnant.

So he came out and he had to go see his son but this time she says its them or us and without a doubt he chose his son and ex and once parks the rest of his clothes and left so he saw his family and they could not really leave together but she let him spend few nights in a week with her and their son. the nights when he didn’t stay with them he had to find the same friends who could lead him back to a way of crime and he told the probation his problem and he was they said there was very little they could do as his immigration status restricts them from getting a lot of help most of the things they could do for was out of their zone he then shared his experience an interest with his probation officer and she enlightened him on what to do and she introduced him to a charity organization who specializes in using art as a way of rehabilitating ex offenders they became his mentor and he was inspired by one of the projects they had worked to write short plays and stories but there was still an obstacle he needed to get a job be a dad most importantly be his own man the organization saw talent but could do very little because they had limited resources although they tried and they still trying but only if people or other government bodies stop labelling people like him as an illegal migrant which he truly his and start maybe understanding what was chasing them and what they are chasing

One day during their usual rehearsal one of the guys made a comment saying those illegal migrants should be sent back to their countries they bunch of looser they just come and take our jobs and make like difficult for us. Ralph then asked him my friend wt do u see when u see me well he said I see someone who is trying to better himself and family and maybe if given a chance maybe make an impact on the world some day with so Ralph then said what if I told you I was an illegal migrant would that change the person u just described me as then he said pardon my ignorance my friend if I had known then Ralph said what would said it differently quietly rudely or behind my back? Honestly u have been misinformed just like me maybe just maybe if everyone including the authorities understood what goes on in the mind of the so called illegal migrant maybe and just maybe people will treat us different give us a voice understand our afflictions wants needs skills and so because we are human beings just like the rest of you some of u except some or most of us are less unfortunate all we require is understanding I speak for myself and many others like ralph with spirits and aspirations that cannot be broken

 


Submitted: April 01, 2012

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