There are a lot of issues affecting Nigerians living in South Africa and we want to address the issues with the relevant organizations. We would like to share Tunji’s story from Lagos to Jozi with our readers.

My name is Tunji & I am a Nigerian mechanic living in Johannesburg. I came to South Africa in the year 2008 in hope of a better life because my friends in S.A were always talking about how great Southee is.

I left my flourishing industrial plastic selling the business in Nigeria to come live in S.A, little did I know that one day I would be sleeping in a broken down car.

Here is my story & experience in S.A

I came to S.A with $2 400 & I was homeless on the night I landed because my S.A friends told me that they were out of town when I called to tell them I was in S.A.sleepingded up slept at the airport. The next day I paid an airport shuttle service $100 to take me to anywhere around GP where there are many Nigerians, he took me to Hillbrow in JHB. I sadly didn’t know where to change my dollars so I continued to pay in dollars.

When I got to Hillbrow I saw someone from my village, he looked very different. He looked fresh & cool. I had a serious culture shock when I saw things I have never seen before from elevators to street polls, you name it.

My village mate then took me to his flat where he was living with four other guys, they demarcated a small space for me in the dining room & charged me $100 then they told me that I need to pay $100 to the security guard who stays by the gate (gateman). I stayed with these boys for a few weeks a& they kept asking for $100 dollar almost daily, they did not allow me to go outside. They told me that I would get harassed by the police if I go outside and that they were protecting me. When I saw that my dollars were almost finished I hid $600 dollars in my deep in my underwear so that they think all my money was finished.

When my money finished my village boy told me that I have to start to work with them because they can’t be feeding me. They then introduced me to what S.A people call Magosha business or Ashawo business. My job was to 1, fetch condoms for the girls 2, keep the girls high on drugs & 3, watch the girls as they work. I am very ashamed of my past, it always hurts me when I remember that I left Nigeria as a good man and came to this place to become a troublemaker.

I am writing this because I have nothing to lose, I am at my lowest. One day I got arrested when I was going to get condoms for the girls, the policeman told my friend to bring 200 rands & he will let me go, my village boy said he doesn’t have it. I spent a month in jail, when I came out I decided to leave the prostitute business. After leaving I became a cleaner and dishwasher at a Nigerian food outlet, the Naija lady who hired me paid for my rent every month & I was making enough.

Unfortunately, I listened to my village boy again who laughed at me& asked if I came to S.A to wash dishes. I left the Naija mama’s house & went to the streets again. I regret that very much!!!!!
I got arrested more times than I can count, I ended up even selling drugs in the streets of JHB. I again left my village boy & went to use my skill as a mechanic to open a mechanic shop, I was doing well even police was fixing their cars at my car shop.

I worked hard and saved 12 000 rands, I raised a whole 240 000 naira just so I can leave this country. I asked a Nigerian friend of mine to do a traveler’s cheque for me. My friend got a SAPS (police) friend of his to come to stage an arrest so that I can go to jail & be deported. I know I wanted to leave but not like that o. Later on, the policeman who arrested me told me that it was my brother (who I gave money for the traveler’s cheque) who paid him 500 to arrest me.

My friend dubbed me. I stayed in jail for a month, none of my friends came for me until one day I was able to call someone from jail & begged them to come to help me. The guy came & today I am free but I AM NOT FREE because I am still in this country. I have resumed my mechanic shop again but I don’t know what life holds for me. I sleep in the car at my mechanic shop & I am very sad about where I am in life at my age.

I am honestly very close to giving up on life because ever since I came to this country nothing has been working for me. ALL I WANT IS TO GO BACK HOME TO NIGERIA, I don’t care about the shame of returning home with nothing. It is better than dying here in a land where no one cares about me.

I am sharing my story hoping that it will help someone else one day.
Thanks for reading & please pray for me.

Facebook Comments

About author

Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 3425 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

You might also like

Politics 0 Comments


President Cyril Ramaphosa has stressed the urgency of intra-Africa trade and has nudged Nigeria not to hesitate in joining 44 other African countries who have signed an accord to allow


The All Progressives Congress, South Africa chapter, on Monday urged Nigerians to support the Federal Government achieve meaningful development in the country. Mr Abbey Oguntuase, its interim chairman, and Coordinator

Nigeria striker Samuel replaces injured Iwobi

CSKA Moscow forward Aaron Samuel and Standard Liege defender Uche Agbo have been moved up from standby to the main Nigeria squad ahead of this weekend’s 2018 FIFA World Cup


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply