I am proud of my Nigerian English because the only people without accent are the English people. If you want the real English, live in England. Once you are out of England, it is fair game. From America to Ghana, South Africa to China, anyone can speak his/her own version of English. Unfortunately, many do not understand that. For an African, it is more than accent. Your identity is really what is accented. Yes, your color. Who cares if you speak better English than the Chinese man? For our women, it is double whammy: add the color to being a woman, the odds to success drops in many cities around the world. It is unfortunate that discrimination still exists; it ought to be only in history books by now.
One happened in English ball club West Harm and it is troubling: they think African players have “bad” attitude because they ask to be played. So, they would not hire them. Sure, I am not saying that our guys should cause world war if they are benched, but generalizing a race because of 2-3 players, is unfortunate.
West Ham United have suspended their director of player recruitment, Tony Henry, after he left them open to accusations of racism and potentially unlawful discrimination by telling agents in the transfer window that they don’t want to sign any more African players.
After being confronted by Sportsmail, Henry made the shocking admission that West Ham do indeed want to limit the number of African players because ‘they have a bad attitude’ and ’cause mayhem’ when they are not in the team.
“West Ham United will not tolerate any kind of discrimination,” the club said in a Thursday statement.
West Ham is not seeing the players; the club is seeing Africa. The players were not arrested for robbery. They did what most sportspeople do: they lobby for playing time. The transfer window exists partly to help accommodate players who can be shipped to other teams because they are revolting for low playing times. The loan scheme in the game addresses that also. Those existed before each of African players came to England to make a living. Yet, teams buy them, cut their time, and when they ask for freedom, it is mayhem.
Sometimes, I wonder why we see. If not, no one would know who is black, white or red.
I recall a day when a young lady of African descent was to speak in a technical conference I had attended. As she walked to the podium, practically everyone was leaving the room. We were three of African descent in the conference. Her talk was not professionally relevant for me. By the time she turned after climbing the podium, her eyes were on tears. I told her “hold on”. I ran and grabbed the other African. Then came back, and told her to present to us. It was a fair talk; her confidence was already decimated. But she finished. Then the room got back to full-capacity for the next talk. Her problem was double: she came from a historical black school and she was a woman. All the things she did right, in her world, to have gotten her paper accepted, were thrown out by people that saw her color. Yes, we have eyes so that we can discriminate!
1. Advance your career with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sept 13 – Dec 6, 2021): 140 global faculty, online, self-paced, $140 (or N50,000 naira). Click and register here.
2. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.