Nigeria’s tallest man, Afeez Oladimeji Agoro has cautioned Nigerians planning a trip abroad, especially the United States to ‘hustle’ that they could experience racism and discrimination like he did when he had the opportunity to go there.
Mr. Agoro, a returnee, recounted his experience when he spoke in an exclusive interview.
He said what looked like a promising trip turned out to be his worse.
According to him, getting the life he expected as a model and actor didn’t materialize due to his height and other acts of discrimination.
“It wasn’t easy for a tall man like me because I can’t hustle like people are hustling over there,” he said. “It wasn’t easy when I got to America, my brother.”
Mr. Agoro continued: “People say it is rosy over there, trust me, my brother, it isn’t. It’s hard! If you don’t have papers there, they treat you like junk, they see you as nobody.”
“You can’t even work with a foreign visa; it is a crime. So, when I spent about six months there, I couldn’t find anything doing, I couldn’t get a job. I was also paying house rent $300 – $400 every month. After I just decided to come back,” he lamented.
This is the first time Agoro has spoken about his ordeal in the U.S.
At 7 feet 4 inches, Mr. Agoro said previously that he missed an opportunity to play basketball in the United States due to greed from a number of national team coaches at the time. He said it cost him a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Mr. Agoro, who was 19-years-old and more than 6 feet at the time in 1997 said that the handlers of the various youth teams were more concerned about their own welfare rather than the success of the team. An attitude he described as “typically African”.
According to him, he wasn’t born a giant as he maintained an average height in his formative years. At the age of 21, he fell sick and it was discovered in a U.S hospital that he was oversecreting the hormone of gigantism.
At 42, Mr. Agoro currently lives in Lagos with his mother while he pursues a career in modelling and acting.