Christian Nwamba @codebeast JS preacher. Developer 🥑. Building the web with the community @concatenateConf @forLoopAfrica. JS & Senior Advocacy for the Next Billion Users thru @Microsoft Jun. 03, 2018 3 min read

We are fighting just the police for mistaking techies and related careers as fraudsters when we have a much bigger problem #thread

It’s painful to be misunderstood by a man in a security uniform but have you thought of how depressing it is to be denied of basic rights and opportunities because of misunderstanding from your society and your government?

Last year, I worked with deepstreamHub (a realtime SaaS startup in Germany). I was invited over for on-boarding and meetings. Guess who couldn’t go? Me. My Visa application was denied.

I work with an amazing team of developer advocates, evangelists and marketers @cloudinary. Last year they invited me to SF. Guess who couldn’t go again? Me. My Visa application was denied.

I am the program manager at @scotch_io and have been collaborating with that awesome team for 2 years now. Guess who was invited to go meet the team who I’ve never met physically? Me, of course. NO DAMN VISA, AGAIN!

Of course as Nigerians we hardly give up. So I counted my losses, reviewed my failure, and worked on all possible challenges I would have for any Visa process. This was me getting ready to smash goals in 2018.

…and here, 2018 came. I applied for the US visa to speak at Zeit Day conference with my friend @unicodeveloper. Had letters of invitation from @zeithq. Had recommendation letter from my employer, @theflutterwave. What else could I have been missing? Yet, I was denied again.

“Oh no try again. Maybe they got something wrong” These were words from friends, families, and colleagues. Of course, I tried again. Had to go to Abuja so it can be quick since @zeithq day was close.

Wanna know how much I enjoyed being at @zeithq day? Here is a video of me having so much fun at the conference: 

I never made it to @zeithq day because of….VISA. WTF? I am not even a criminal. I don’t even have a background of one. My both parents are average civil servants and my mum is a professor hoping to see me make her proud out there.

Now I have been advised to stop applying for the US Visa for 6 months if not I won’t get it. WHY? Just why? I have a @buzzjs conference to speak at with my friend @unicodeveloper in June. So this implies my friend will have to go without me, again.

I got a chance to give a lightning talk at @vuejs Paris happening at the end of June and organized by @Frontend_Love. I also got invited to GraphQL Europe by the @prisma team. I was excited and scared at the same time for Visa. Well, I still applied for a French visa.

Last week, my passport came back and I was refused as well. My mum almost cried on the phone and this drove me to make this thread.

I am not a criminal neither does my background show that I could be. The last offense I can remember committing is being a Nigerian (and I love it). I know I will get through with this shit someday.

Since I know I will, my major concern is no longer me. It’s for people who don’t even have these much resources to fight back for their career and future.

I see a lot of talented developers here and I don’t know how to look them in their face and tell them that the hardest part of being a programmer is no longer solving problems or coding. Rather it's being a Nigerian where you're guilty of being a criminal unless proven innocent.

I spent the last few months chasing Visas and giving my employers and colleagues excuses so they can buy me some time. They’ve been supportive and I really appreciate and love working with them so much.

Oh did I forget to mention that I had a @GoogleIO2018 ticket too and of course I couldn’t go for this same reason?

I also know people like @moyheen and @aniediudo who have sometimes also been on the receiving end of this situation. We are creatives, not criminals. I really hope someone will intervene and let’s at least know what they said we did wrong

It’s my responsibility to my employer to speak at events and I’ve done this in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, etc. It’s really limiting since I can’t spread out because of Visas

You can follow @codebeast.


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