This morning, I brought you the report about a young man who was turned away from a Chinese supermarket in Abuja because he is Nigerian. [If you missed that story, click HERE.]
Since then, three Pweebers living in Abuja contacted me. They were disgusted about what happened and vowed to storm the supermarket between today and tomorrow to confirm the story for themselves.
I also contacted a couple of my media colleagues to find out how to handle it if the discrimination allegations by the Chinese urn out to be true.
In the mean time, I got in touch with Aminu G. Idris, (pictured above) the guy who first broke the viral story on his Facebook page to find out what really happened.
Here’s what he told me…
PBW: So what really happened, Idris? What took you to a Chinese supermarket of all the supermarkets in Abuja?
Idris: Thank you. I’m a chef and restaurant owner. We used to regularly stock up from the same supermarket. This time I went in [to shop] by myself.
I used to send my cousin and she would usually go in every 2 weeks to stock up. Since we relocated and started renovating the new place we haven’t had contact with the supermarket.
PBW: Just to be sure, your cousin is black (a Nigerian) right?
Idris: Yes she is.
PBW: Was she allowed into the supermarket to shop before your recent experience?
Idris: Yes as of December 2015, before we relocated. Something must have happened to make them change their policy, but I think it’s still no excuse. There are other ways to deal with issues.
PBW: You mentioned you relocated your restaurant. Where is it now?
Idris: We are now at Rhine Street Maitaga, Abuja. It’s called Chi Thai Revolution and we will be launching the new place in July.
PBW: Is your restaurant primarily a Chinese Restaurant, or an intercontinental restaurant that serves meals from different cultures?
Idris: It’s a Chinese/Thai restaurant. We only serve Thai and Chinese and soon sushi. I’m passionate about food.
PBW: Since your restaurant serves primarily Asian cuisine, I think you should have found out from the supermarket’s management why the security man turned you away, if he was acting from instructions given by his superiors and why.
Idris: Yes I guess so but it was hard because the gates were shut and padlocked from the inside. Basically, I felt unwelcome.
He [the security man] spoke through the gaps [of the gate] and I did say I would report them. He didn’t seem to mind. Cause he said Nigerians weren’t allowed and I asked how is that possible we used to shop there.
PBW: What was his response when you told him you used to shop there?
Idris: Not even a care. I’m sure he was instructed. You know Nigerian staff worship their foreign employers.
PBW: You mean he ignored you?
Idris: Yep. He was almost rude but I thought it smart to be calm.
A friend of mine, another restaurant owner also went down today because he was offended at the way I was treated.
PBW: What was your friend’s experience?
Idris: He came back and was like “taraaa!” Same thing happened to him. He even tried to record it.
PBW: They turned him back too?
Idris: Yes. He is taking action already I believe.
PBW: I’ve sent people to go check the place out and confirm if this report is true.
Idris: Okay. They have a chinese lantern hanging on the gate. That’s how you know you’re at right place.
PBW: As soon as I get feedback, I’ll let you know. Thank you for chatting with me Idris.
Idris: You’re most welcome. Thank you too.