Titbits from Birmingham 2022
Petty thieves ahoy at train stations
Change they say is inevitable, I was taken aback when a public announcement was made at one of the London train stations warning passengers to be wary of pick pockets .This did not ring a bell until the announcement was repeated several times that passengers using the station must be always alerted to prevent being victims of petty thieves who were regulars at the stations. It was my host who later explained to me that police most times do not dissipate their energy on pickpockets as there are more challenging duties out there for them rather than focusing on petty pickpockets milling around the stations.
Maddening Birmingham rush hour
I thought they said those that lived in the UK most times followed due process at bus stations but this seems not to be the case when I wanted to board a public bus heading to Coventry from Birmingham.
Since there were many passengers, I wanted to know the last person on the queue but was told to just hang around and manoeuvre my way when the bus arrived. This is usually what’s obtainable back home especially in the hustle and bubble lifestyle of Lagos. But to my consternation, the elderlies were not spared in the ‘rough and tumble’ as everybody had to force their way into the bus. I just wondered whether this is still the UK we read and talked about.
Lamentations over ASUU strike
As far as Nigerians in the Diaspora is concerned, the world indeed has become a global village . I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of knowledge and information possessed by some Nigerian residents in the UK. Though some were pained to have left the country due to economic challenges, you could feel the passion and patriotism with their palpable lamentation over the security situation back home in Nigeria. Apart from economic setbacks, they were not happy with the on-going crisis in the educational sector with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike which has kept most Nigerian youths at home for months.
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Nigerian students serving as volunteers
It did not take me so long to identify two Nigerians studying in Birmingham courting holiday jobs at the on-going 2022 Commonwealth Games. The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games reportedly had over 300 volunteer roles to be filled by 13, 000 people. The volunteers are known as the Commonwealth Collective, and are expected to reflect the diversity of the West Midlands and the modern Commonwealth. The two Nigerian ladies who are students in Birmingham were assisting in the cleaning up of the venue for the table tennis, boxing, and weightlifting events at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC).Decked in all black shirts and trousers, they were seen gently pushing their trolleys around the venue to pick litters at the venue.