Alexander Somto Orah, a 25-year-old Nigerian student, says he faced discrimination when trying to flee the war in Ukraine.
“The first discrimination was in Kyiv,” he said.
“They were allowing only women and children. I said, ‘OK. That’s fine, but I don’t see you taking the other African women and the other Middle Eastern women, they are pregnant’.”
When Alexander finally made it to the Polish border by foot, he says initially he was turned away.
“A man in black came and told us, ‘Indians, Africans, and Middle Easterners should leave here and go to another border,’ which is the Romanian border,” he said.
“We told him that we could not do this thing again. We have been on the road for three days, and we cannot go back. I felt like maybe someone might die because there are some people fainting, and there was no blanket. So we were just covering ourselves with our clothes and anything we could find.”
He was in the end admitted to Poland, but said his experience had taught him a lesson that he wants to share.
“The war made me realise that if there are human beings, there are some that are regarded differently from others,” he says. “I want other Africans to learn to speak up. That’s all.”