The Story Behind It...
by Mohammed Yamah
The Nigerians in Göttingen group was created when the need to bring every Nigerian in our city arose.
In October of 2015 when I came to Göttingen, I started to notice that we had a lot of Nigerians in Göttingen who didn’t know themselves, and the few of us who knew one another were operating in little groups of a few friends. The funny aspect was if you belonged to a group, it was really difficult to know other Nigerians in other groups because everyone was going about their business in whichever group they belong to. In essence, they attended the same events, hanged out in the same places and things like that but there was hardly any mix among the different groups. So in my mind, I saw it as a duty to bring everyone together as one big Nigerian family but at this stage, it was just an idea and nothing more.
I finally decided to make this idea reality the day I attended an outdoor festival in an area around the city center of Göttingen. The event showcased music, culture, food, etc. of the different groups of people living in Gottingen and it was organized by the city of Gottingen at the time. In this event, several communities from so many countries presented their music, food, and culture. Unfortunately, Nigeria was not represented in this event because we didn’t have a united front and that was the point where I decided within me that I have to do something about it.
I started by asking any black person I met on the street, bus, or events if they were Nigerians and if they were, I introduced myself and told them of my plans in creating our association. The list slowly grew and on the 27th of May 2017, I opened the present WhatsApp group we are currently using called the “Nigerians in Gottingen”. I then proceeded to add all those people I had their contacts at the time and made some of them group admin so that they can in turn add other people into our group and that was how we started to grow in numbers.
“I didn’t stop there, but also made sure Nigeria as a country was ably represented in the General Student Council (International student parliaments) of the University of Gottingen. “
During this period, we had an association called the Nigeria Scholars in Germany (NISIG) that was an umbrella association of every Nigerian scholar studying here in Germany. NISIG heard about us and they contacted us that they would like to inaugurate Nigerians in Göttingen into NISIG. We discussed this topic amongst ourselves in our WhatsApp group and we reached an agreement to go ahead with the plan. On the 15th of April 2018, we (Nigerians in Gottingen) were formally inaugurated into NISIG and a Gottingen chapter of NISIG was created where I emerged as president including other excos of our chapter after an election was held on the same date.
I didn’t stop there, but also made sure Nigeria as a country was ably represented in the General Student Council (International student parliaments) of the University of Gottingen. Elections were held all around campus and I emerged as a Parliamentarian member representing Nigeria in our student parliament.
With Nigeria having a parliament member, this not only gave us access to quick information, free printing of our displayed material but small financial support from ASTA coupled with the huge supports from our members, we were able to partake in the “Global Village” that was organized by the University of Göttingen as a country for the first time.
Ever since the birth of our association, it amazes me to see how successive presidents brought in new ideas and continuously made the association even better than they met it. And it is worthy to note that the presidents couldn’t have done it alone without the help of their excos and the massive support of our honorable members.
God bless the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal Republic of our great nation, Nigeria.
Thank you and God bless you too.
Ex-president NISIG Gottingen Chapter (Nigerians in Göttingen group)