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Home / MY LIFE IN GERMANY / “I quickly learnt that you need the German language and education to achieve your goal,” says Lanre Mabinuori (49) as he talks about successfully living in Germany
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Lanre Mabinuori (left), a member of the SPD, and Dr Nils Schmid, former Minister for Finance and the Economy, Baden Württemberg, and the state’s chairman of the SPD / Photo: Private

“I quickly learnt that you need the German language and education to achieve your goal,” says Lanre Mabinuori (49) as he talks about successfully living in Germany

Originally from Nigeria, I am now German and have lived in Germany since 1989. I’m happily married to a German woman and we have four children.

I quickly learnt that you need the German language and education in this country to achieve your goal. For this reason, I first learnt the language and obtained technical education training. I’m a mechatronics technician and work as pharmaceutical technician at Catalent Pharma Solutions in Schorndorf, state of Baden Württemberg .

German politics and the structured life have persuaded me to put my new roots here to provide a secure future for my children.

Let me recount an experience which I will never forget and that I always tell my children to motivate them. An elderly couple saw me and my wife at a hospital and both made nasty remarks about my skin colour. My wife told me to stay calm. A doctor came out and called on the couple to treat them, and the doctor was an African-German woman. I looked at the couple, started laughing and said in German:  “God, you’re a Mighty Lord!” Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all Germans are racist; we have so many tolerant Germans, and moreover racism is a global issue, even among us Africans.

Lanre Mabinuori and his family, 2013. “German politics and the structured life have persuaded me to put my new roots here to provide a secure future for my children” / Photo: Private


The Germans are reserved at first but when they get to know you and see that you understand their language, they’re very friendly and loving folks. Germany has made enormous improvements to the regulations concerning aliens. I’m proud to be part of this diversity in Germany and I think we all have to integrate. I will always say yes to integration but no to assimilation, because we should not forget our culture; rather, the variety of cultures is an enrichment for the Germans and that’s exactly what the German government is supporting.

It’s a pity that I’m the only Black member of my political party (SPD) in Schorndorf and we have so many Blacks in this community; this an area where we can show our presence to enable the Germans to see that we’re part of them and are interested in making changes to the country. I wish for the future that we Africans show more presence in the city where we live and participate in community work.

I’m also engaged in many volunteer activities. For example, I have been president of the African Union in Stuttgart (Afrikaverein-Stuttgart). We organise various cultural events, including the annual African Football Gala for the past 22 years, and we help Africans in administrative procedures.