PLOT TWIST: A few weeks ago, my UK visa was (erroneaously) refused, I was threatened with deportation, had to hire a solicitor, and have been barred from working till everything gets sorted out.
Authenticity is really important to me. My most effective way of teaching is through my lived experience, and my most far-reaching writing has always been my ‘personal essays’. So this is my present situation, in real time.
This immigration situation unfortunately means that my job offer (for a permanent role as Academic Skills Consultant at the University of Leicester) was rescinded. The university’s hands were tied, they wanted me on board but there’s no telling how long it will take to resolve this issue.
Let me just quickly add, please don’t ‘but you have a PhD’ etc. Please don’t.
There are many people who have been unjustly excluded. The Windrush families for starters, and many others.
I have often spoken about the immigration issues that have plagued my family. Not once have I exaggerated. The past few years have been very horrible for us, immigration-wise and in many other ways. My mother is now a refugee in Nigeria, but at least luckily has a travel document and UNHRC ID card.
And my mother, who has been through all these immigration trials, reminded me the other day, ‘we make it by putting one foot in front of the other’. So I cannot keep waiting for the perfect conditions to fully inhabit my potential. SO I am going to continue living and being myself and wait for my situation to catch up with me.
As of now I cannot say what will happen. It’s down to my imminent judicial review. But I will keep myself busy with writing, mentoring, bits and bobs, and being your lovable nuisance on these Twitter streets. And you bet that as soon as my solicitor says I can tell the 100% facts, I will sing like a canary.
Do NOT hesitate to approach me still with writing and collaborative projects. I need to stay busy!
AND: I literally am not allowed to work so have no form of income. However, I’ve been creating content for years, most of it for free. I feel the burning need to keep using my voice especially in this time. So I’ve made a Vimeo channel to keep everyone updated, and linked in a PayPal for anyone who would like to make any donations to me at this time. My promise is that when I am able, I will pay these forward- you have my word on this.
And last but not least, I am so grateful for the wonderful people I am blessed with as family and friends who have buffered me these past few months. Phew. I am grateful. I have good friends. My God. I have GREAT friends.
If you are the praying type, please send one up for me: you need only pray for justice to be done in my case. Thank you.
Below is a video giving a little more context. It’s 45 minutes long and a bit emotional at certain points, so please do take care when watching and pause if you need to.