Nigerian migration in central Durban : social adjustment, voluntary association and kinship relations.
This study examines social adjustment and renegotiation of identity through networking, arrival and settlement of Nigerian migrants in Durban. The focus of the study therefore was based on the interrogation of personal relationships and the varying experiences that the migrants had as newcomers to Durban. It examined the barriers and challenges that individual Nigerian migrants encountered, as well as the ways in which they sought to transcend them. Since the study is anthropological it seeks to describe the migration experience from individuals‘ perspectives. I used both overt and covert participant observation, as well as semi structured interviews as part of my qualitative research approach. The goal was exploratory with a view to understanding the human side to a group that is often tarnished by accusations of illicit activities. While the number of Nigerian migrants in South Africa has increased since 1994, the media has been selective in its reporting of this migrant population group in Durban, shaping and determining popular perception about them. Issues such as reasons for coming to South Africa, their challenges and coping strategies, and their personal living experiences in Durban were central to this project. The information will show that respondents to my research had different reasons for migrating and settling in Durban. As much as the individual case studies differed in many ways they converge towards at least one common goal – that is to uplift themselves and their communities back home in Nigeria.