Home Interview Nigerian students discuss their escape from Ukraine and the racism they faced

Nigerian students discuss their escape from Ukraine and the racism they faced

by Emmanuel Ogundele
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In an interview with Zain Asher, two Nigerian students spoke about their experience of fleeing Ukraine, and the racism they faced at the country’s border.

24-year-old Adetomiwa Adeniyi and 17-year-old Amamchim Steve-Ajufo were both studying medicine in Ukraine when Russia’s invasion began. Their lives in danger, they travelled to the Ukrainian-Romanian border.

Adeniyi described what they saw at the border, “Initially there were several lines, I think the best way to say it, three lines in which there was one seemingly for the Ukrainians, one for the Indians, and then the Africans were also set aside. I wondered why it should be like that while trying to get out.”

He added, “If you were white, it’s almost as though you’re going fast-track to the front of the gates.”

Steve-Ajufo spoke about how harrowing the journey had been, “I cried when I was in front and the border officials kept screaming, go back, go back. I was just so tired, and I was exhausted, and I cried. I cried a whole lot because I was cold and I did not understand what was going on. I wanted to give up several times, but I kept reminding myself of my mom.”


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