Uche the Nigerian immigrant in Paris: Episode 1 – by Cyprian Josson, African Writer in Chartres, France.

uche the nigerian immigrant in paris

Uche had left behind a comfortable life as a manager in Lagos, Nigeria to seek a better life in France. He arrived in Paris undocumented, with little money and no knowledge of the French language. He was forced to take menial jobs to survive.

For the past year, Uche had been living in a chambre de bonne on the 6th floor of a dilapidated building near métro Parmentier. The room was small, with a bed, a desk, and a wardrobe. The toilet and bathroom were in the corridor, shared with other tenants.

Uche’s days were spent working in a restaurant, washing dishes, and cleaning the kitchen. He would return to his small room exhausted, dreaming of a better life. He missed his family, his home, and the life he had left behind. 

But Uche was determined to make a better life for himself in France. He started taking French language classes at night, even though it meant sacrificing his precious sleeping time. He was determined to learn the language, communicate with the people around him, and find a better job.

One day, as he was walking home from work, he saw a “worker wanted” sign on the window of a small store. He mustered up the courage to walk in and speak with the owner, who was impressed with Uche’s work ethic and willingness to learn. The owner hired him on the spot, even though his French was not yet perfect.

Uche continued to work hard, learning the language and the customs of his new home. He eventually found a better place to live, in a small apartment with his own bathroom and kitchen. He even started saving money to bring his family to France.