I was having lunch alone at an Indian restaurant when I saw a man who looked like an African peddling his wares comprising mainly watches from table to table. When he reached my table I asked him, "Are you local?"


He replied, "No, I'm from Nigeria."


I said, "Can I buy you lunch?"


He hesitated. "I'm sincere," I stressed, "please sit down."


He ordered his food and ate heartily.


I asked him, "What brought you to Malaysia?"


"I came to study at a private college. I ran out of money and could not pay the fees."


"How do you survive now?"


"I stayed with some friends who asked me to sell these things for them."


"Does your family back home know of your problems?"


"Yes, I called my mother and told her I wanted to go home. But she does not have the money and told me to wait and be patient."


"How much did it cost you to come here?"


"I paid USD3,500 to the agent. My family sold some property to get the money."


"Now that you have problems, did you get help from the Nigerian Embassy?"


"No, I'm afraid to go to the embassy. I heard that the people there will beat me up."


"You must do something; you can't go on like this."


"I'm waiting for my mother to save up enough money to buy me an air ticket home."


I finished my lunch, bade him farewell and left him at the restaurant. As I drove off in my car, I was thinking:

  • Who can help him?
  • Who are his friends?
  • Where do his friends get the watches from?
  • Who are the agents who told Nigerians that they can find work in Malaysia?