Chapter 8: The Church and Africa.
The only black groups in Amsterdam were the Churches. We had Redeemed Church, Christ Embassy and others imported from Lagos. All they cared about was money.
The only time i went to the redeemed was the day Bisi, a girlfriend of mine took me there one night. The first thing i saw on the wall was that ”If you don’t pay your tithe, God will not bless you”.
That was it. I had seen enough and left the place. Money! Money! Money! Everywhere, that was what they wanted.
I never for one day, saw any Church campaigned for the illegal immigrants to be given legal status. I never for once, saw any church took to the street to protest the injustices being metted out to the black race all over Holland. They were simply contented with the offerings and tithes they collected after telling us that our own blessings would come from somewhere in the sky.
Yorubas had large presence in Amsterdam as well as Edos and Igbos. But Igbos were mostly single men who came for money. Yorubas integrated a little more with the system while Edos, divided into male and female categories majored in prostitution and Scamming. I had only seen one Hausa man there, just one.
In Africa, the Ghanaians were the most in Amsterdam. News had it that there was a time when a single Ghana person would marry up to ten people in Ghana and bring them to Holland.
Men: The man would go to Ghana and marry her sister in court, then bring her to Amsterdam only to divorce her in a year, then went back to marry another person in Ghana. Before 10 years, he would have married 10 people and brought them all to Holland.
Women: The divorced woman would travel to Ghana and marry her brother or uncle and bring him to Holland. They would live together for a year or so until his papers were complete, then she would file for divorce, go to Ghana and marry another one.
Before the Dutch government found out what was going on, half of Accra had migrated to Holland. The Dutch authorities had quickly put up a law that stopped the scam. They had stamped that if one got divorced, he or she would have to wait for years before marrying a non Dutch citizen again.
As a result of the massive Ghana Scam, their presence in Amsterdam alone had surpassed the rest of the Africans. The Ghanaians could be seen driving Taxis and even public buses all over Amsterdam. Something you hardly see a Nigerian doing.
On the other hand, Nigerians didn’t care about living long in Holland or anywhere in Europe. They wanted to make money and leave as soon as possible. The Igbos Championed the idea. Ask A Ghanaian how long he had lived in Holland and he would tell you that he had just came. 10 years in Holland for them was still ‘just came’ while 5 years for a Nigerian meant that he had spent a lot of time over there.
The Ghanaians and Nigerians didn’t mix up very well. They claimed that Nigerians were arrogant and pompous while the Nigerians claimed that Ghanaians were Lazy and looking for free meal.
Unfortunately for Nigerians, the Ghanaians were in Amsterdam long before they came. It meant that almost all the apartments we lived were bought or mortgaged by the Ghanaians. We had to rent them from the Ghanaians and pay them monthly.
Some apartments which the Ghanaians paid as low as €200 monthly would be rented out to the Nigerians at the rate of €800 monthly. The Ghanaians who would have mortgaged another apartment would then take another €200 from the Money he made from the Nigerian and pay for the apartment where he himself lived. He would still be left with extra money at the end of the month. They made money through the Nigerians who made their own money through hustling and drugs. Since the Nigerians lived there illegally, they couldn’t take the cases to the authorities. In any case, it was still exploitation and illegal and everybody was scared to speak.
I was once inspired to take up the case but unfortunately, my one months genuine visa had expired. I was then walking around with the Portuguese papers which i had used to travel home from Germany in 2006.
I had requested for it to be sent back to me from Nigeria. As soon as the one month Visa expired, i had started using it to walk around Holland. I had no problem whatsoever using it in Holland. I had been controlled once in Red light district and was left instantly. But naturally, I knew that i needed to get another resident permit with the new passport since i had no intention whatsoever to continue with the old passport which was done in my absence.
Some Ghanaians had somehow joined the Antilleans and Surinames to steal drugs and money from Nigerians. They would send their women to befriend the Nigerians and somehow find out when the Nigerians had drugs. The women would send information back to them and they would find a way to invade the Nigerians.
The Nigerians didn’t help themselves either. They wore the best cloths, bought the best shoes and foods, drinks and every other expensive thing they could find.
In the Night clubs, Nigerians would buy many bottles of expensive brandy, whisky and cognac. Hennessy and Moet were their trade marks. Hennessy which sold at €23 in the street were sold at €100 inside the GrandCafe and Passion night clubs situated in front of the Ajax stadium in Arena boulevard. The two clubs were ran by Nigerians (Igbos). They operated every other night except Mondays.
Nigerians would show up daily to showcase how rich they were. Some would even use as much as €500 note to write their phone numbers for women.
Antillean and Ghanaian ladies would troop inside the clubs to hook up with the Nigerian showmasters. The Nigerians would buy them drinks in quantum and take them home afterwards. Things happened in Amsterdam, the European capital of drugs.
Since Dozie was so mean to me, i waited patiently for a break. I knew it was only a matter of time before i stumble on something. I had no option than to wait and observe. I loved observing new things anyway.
” You can’t believe everything
people tell you – not even if
those people are your own