‘’IT IS INCUMBENT ON US TO TELL OUR STORY”—Nigerian Consul-General.

Posted by on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Under: News Stories


Nigerians living in South Africa have been advised to learn the ways, laws and regulations of their host country, said the Consul-General recently in an interview at Johannesburg.

Mr. Okey Emuchey made his point clear to all Nigerians that South Africa is not Nigeria. In his briefing, he insisted that Nigerians must know how things are done in South Africa. “You must comport yourself becase if you have brushes with the law, the long arm of the Law would catch up with you”, he warned.

He added that “we need to encourage our people to come together”. “ A lot of our nationals for reasons best known to them do not want to associate with others, they only come out if they have calamities or if someone has died or whatever, but if things are going well for them they don’t bother”.

He also noted that a lot of Nigerians are supposed to have their first contact with the consulate on arrival before establishing their presence here in South Africa but a lot of them don’t do this. “Ideally it’s even at the back of their passport that when you get to a foreign country your first contact should be with your mission. We have a register here but not too many people come to register and tell us they are here”.

The Consul-General revealed that he fought seriously to renovate a Nigerian government building located at Rosebank that has remained fallow since 2002. The building which used to be the old Consulate building before the mission moved to its present building is to be converted to a cultural center, “Mr. President has approved that the building should be converted. Later this year or early next year, we hope that work would start”.

“It would be  designed in such a manner that it would have offices for NIDO ( Nigerians In Diaspora Organization), there  would be offices for NUSA ( Nigerian Union South Africa), Conference Room, Library to stock books , DVD’s and films because as the class of Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Thabo Mbeki, or Zuma leaves the political stage the younger generation of Black South African especially the younger people have no idea as to the role we played in their recent history, they don’t know… it is incumbent  on us to tell our story”. The consular also made a point that Nigeria “played very vital roles in just not South Africa but also in Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and other countries.

“South Africa is launching their own tourism office in Lagos on the 3rd of October, so we need to do the same thing here and it would serve as a veritable platform for a lot of things. Nigerians in groups can use it for different things but the whole purpose is to use it as an Arty to tell our stories”. The Consul-General explained.

Advising the Nigerian Voice Newspaper, he said that “it’s incumbent on us as a people to tell our story. Nobody is going to tell that story and the Nigerian Voice Newspaper would help to break barriers, it should be the vanguard to tell our story’’. He cited the example of Obama’s story in the US, ‘’we are likely to have an Obama here emerge in years to come. Somebody who would become President of South Africa or Vice President of South Africa whose father is Nigerian and then the mother is South African.

He further stressed the importance of telling the Nigerian story in South Africa recalling his recent experience at an event. “In June, precisely on 13th, I was invited to an event. The MD (Managing Director) of FAN (Federal Airport Authority Nigeria) George Uriesi, the mother celebrated her 70th birthday. Although the birthday was in February but she had a surgery so it was postponed to June. The mother is South African; she is a Xhosa lady from South Africa, …She left here in 1967, she met a Nigerian young man who came here to work for the UN (United Nations) and they fell in love from the first day and she smuggled herself out of Apartheid South Africa. Then it was risky, difficult to get out but she took the risk for love, so she had her 70th birthday celebration on the 30th of June this year. George is doing so very well. He used to be in charge of the Cape Town Airport before he went to the United States. And then from the US, he was head-hunted and came back to Nigeria. He was the director of FAAN, until the opening of the office of MD and then he was appointed the Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority, there are so many others like that. The point I am making is our people need to be informed and informed appropriately, facts because information, the Media runs the world. Information is very vital, very critical to development”. He narrated.


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