Trip To France.DLN Technologies Ltd was now operational and I had negotiated a great deal with a French Company. To conclude the deal, I needed to travel to France and sign the agreement documents, meet the management team of this multinational and go through a basic technical training to ensure that we represented them well in Zambia.
I went through the normal Visa application with the Swedish embassy representing all the EU countries to obtain the Schengen Visa by submitting my bank statements, invitation Letter, and all the other documents.They assessed and was given a Visa. 14th March,2015 this villager had a dream come true by embarking on the first ever trip to Europe via Ethopia. Around 4am 15th I had landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris the largest airport in France and the second largest in Europe.
Mistreated At France Immigration.
Getting to the Immigration counter to have my passport stamped, the lady asks me what I was there for, I told her that I was there on a business trip representing a company called DLN Technologies Ltd. So she further finds out my position at the said company, I then sold myself when I said I am the CEO.She suddenly looks at me with so much disbelief, she then requests for my bank statements, letter of invitation, and the filled in form. I told her that all those things were submitted when applying for the Visa in Zambia and there is technically no need to be moving around with those things.I was then held there waiting for an interpreter to help me converse with the chief immigration officer. They seemed adamant that I needed those documents, and they offered to put me on the next available flight back to Zambia.I said that is impossible because technically that is deportation and I cannot have that kind of a record. I then said the next option was going to Court to justify that the reasoning of these immigration officers was unreasonable because it is like applying for a University place with your grade 12 results, then after being accepted a lecturer expects you to be going with your grade 12 results to class to prove that you qualified to be in University.
Treated Like A Criminal.
I was then taken to a high security Redcross centre with armed vehicles at high speed within the parameters of the vast airport. The feeling was terrible I felt insulted because the treatment was that of a criminal, terrorist and anything of that nature.I almost thought of accepting coming back but my other thought was saying these are things we should stand against and I will be the change. Getting to the centre I was shocked to see a lot of Africans and some Asians who were held there.The few African Youths I talked to justified the actions of the Immigration officers. Just one example, there was a girl I befriended from Kenya who confessed that on arrival at the airport, she secretly tore and binned her passport and NRC so that she could seek asylum and stay as immigrants Europe. I heard many crazy stories of the Nigerians who were the majority by the way.
First Time In Court In A Foreign Country.
Two days later I appeared in court for the very first time in my life, crazy worse in a foreign land. Our foreign mission in France had contacted my bank in Zambia and put all the other pieces together, special thanks to Madame Mfuta and Madame Kachesa who led the team to my court session.My case was disposed off immediately after seeing the turnover in my bank statements and I was immediately released to do my business in Europe as an authentic businessman as it was proved that I wouldn’t give up what I was in Zambia to become an immigrant in Europe.
Your Are Judged By Where You Come From.
Comrades you need to understand that, no matter how wealthy and upright you are, provided you stay in Chibolya your fellow Zambians will look at you with suspicion and question your every move because of what is known about that place.Same applies in this context, no matter how authentic a businessman you are provided you are coming from poor countries like Zambia, you will have to face challenges because of prejudice. It’s like you are guilty until proven innocent. I have since decided that making it alone in Zambia is not the best, I will do what I can to let many more know how to climb the ropes of success locally through entrepreneurship.
We Have To Work Hard.
Once we succeed as a country the world will respect us because the very places we struggle to apply for Visas, other citizens from successful countries do not have to apply for Visas.Improve Zambia as you improve yourself.