Friday 8 September 2023

The Nigerian Mafia Mumbai by Onyeka Nwelue BLOG TOUR #TheNigerianMafiaMumbai @onyekanwelue @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Nollywood actor, Uche Mbadiegwu leaves his Surulere neighborhood in Lagos, to Bandra in Mumbai to join Bollywood, so he could make it big, hoping to play exceptional roles. 

Like a flash, Periwinkle appears in his life and changes everything. 

Tired of living in a pigsty, Efemena wants to live a life in independence, but there is more to being a Nigerian in Mumbai – a constant escape from Indian police and narcotics agents. 

The Nigerian Mafia is a tale of violence, drugs, human trafficking, murder and sex.

The Nigerian Mafia Mumbai by Onyeka Nwelue was published on 4 April 2023 by Abibiman Publishing.
As part of this #RandomTTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from The Nigerian Mafia Mumbai by Onyeka Nwelue 

São Paulo, Brazil


Now that I am in Brazil, let me tell you a story. My story. My story of India. Of all that happened in Mumbai. But, before then, my name is Uche.

Uche Mbadiegwu.

This story will be short because very soon they will come and carry me to court.

You know as Mumbai dey. I lived in Bandra, in Mumbai.
I came to Mumbai on a one- year visa. Business Visa. I came to buy fabrics so that I could take them back to Lagos and sell them at Balogun Market. Not really so. 

I was in Nollywood, living in Surulere, where most  Nollywood films are shot. That’s where you will see Ramsey Nouah on the street and Ini Edo and everyone. When things got really hard for me there, I say, Make I just leave Naija, go India.

But when I arrived, I could not find the guy who did my visa, Stephen, who took a lot of money from me. The truth is when I later came to know his whereabouts, I hear say him dey prison for Goa. Goa na anoda city for India. You suppose don hear of the name of that city if you dey watch Bollywood film. Bollywood na the name wey them dey call Indian film industry for Mumbai.

Bombay = Bollywood. Hindi films. Someone told me that.

You suppose know that one already. Goa na where many foreigners dey go enjoy themselves. For Goa, them dey speak Portuguese. Na Portuguese colony wey that place be. E get another place wey them dey call Pondicherry.

I am not sure you understand Pidgin English very well. But I will try and speak as someone who went to university in Nigeria. Yes, I studied at Lagos State University. I studied geography. I am also an actor. I have been in about twenty films. Even though I never did any lead role. Just a few stuff here and there, with lots of cameos. I know a little bit of the world.

I wasn’t doing well in Nollywood. To be honest. So, as I tell you this story, navigating from one endto another, I need you to understand my situation, my life story, my past.

As soon as I arrived in Mumbai, my story took a different turn altogether. Life became different for me, a Naija guy who had to japa from Nigeria so that he can become something in life. In Mumbai, I needed money to pay rent. When my visa expired, renewing it at the FRRO was a problem.

You know, Africans get thrown out of their apartments in Mumbai, once their visas expire. When you go to places like Hatkesh on Mira Road, Pragati Nagar in Nalasopara, Naigoan, Vakola, Goregoan, Malwani and Kharghar, you will meet a lot of Africans, especially, Nigerians, whose visas have expired.

I needed a new source of income, and this is why the story I am going to tell you happened. And I am going to tell you exactly how it happened.

But, before I start, I want to let you know, that this is just the beginning of many stories. Stories that will span countries. From one city, to another.

Make you just listen... 

Onyeka Nwelue is a Nigerian filmmaker, talk-show host, bookseller and author whose
book, Hip-Hop is Only for Children won the Creative Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2015 Nigerian Writers’ Awards. He adapted his novella, Island of Happiness into an Igbo language film, Agwaetiti Obiụtọ and won Best Feature Film by a Director at 2018 Newark International Film Festival, and went on to be nominated for Best First Feature Film by a Director and the Ousmane Sembene Award for Best Film in an African Language at the 2018 Africa Movie Academy Awards. 

He is the director of the Oxford-based James Currey Society and founder of La Cave Musik, a record label, based in Paris. 

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