I came to India three years ago. When the plane that brought me from Nigeria finally touched down in Delhi, I felt exhilarated. I was ready to embrace a new culture and its people. This, after all, was the land of Mahatma Gandhi.
Then 21 years old, I was almost childlike about wanting to discover India — its history; its vast and varied territory; its diverse people; its food; its languages; its music and its movies. I had enrolled for a course at the Delhi Paramedical & Management Institute, and I walked into class with a broad smile on my face.
I was unprepared for the racist onslaught. It has hit me with unforgiving consistency, every single day, for the last three years that I have been here. The racist slurs, the frightened looks, the deep and long stares are a part of my everyday life. I am not alone. Every African in India has the same experience.
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Photo by Y’amal