Not All Nigeria is Part of a Scam

As a consultant, it is often my job to state the obvious. We are picked on for such things.

Yet I feel the need to state the obvious on my blog.

Africa still suffers a stigma in the first world. Few countries in Africa suffer a heavier stigma than Nigeria.

A few years back, Australia would not issue a travel visa for one of Koha's speakers. A poor man had scraped together literally thousands of dollars to get himself so far away, and yet the immigration authorities did not see fit to allow him to cross from one side of the airport to the other. Good Australians lobbied their government to no avail to let him pass. And so all of that effort, those blood, sweat, and tears were wasted in the name of security.

A few months ago, I was at an international conference. There was a marvelous talk. The speaker was a white African. During the proceedings, another white African felt it was necessary to bring up politics. The looks on the faces of the black Africans present will not soon slip my mind. The man in the audience was so divisive that the black Africans felt the heavy need to approach the speaker and apologise.

Nigeria came in second place for hosting a Conference lately in a Community I love dearly. I do so hope that they'll rebid in future. They very nearly won, were it not for a bunch of last minute voting. Even though I had a bid in to host, I feel that it would have been more equitable for Nigeria to win, or perhaps Argentina. It is better to expand one's thinking than have Conference in one's backyard in perpetuity, nice as it may be to save on travel costs.

Nigeria shines in my email box. Not for the incredible amount of spam. One of the crazy side effects of authoring documentation is that one acquires a whole load of penpals. I keep many of the Nigerian emails since they keep me smiling.