Ghanaian-born American rapper, Gibril ‘Gibrilville’ Mansaray, sharing how staying in America with an expired visa landed him in jail, has advised Ghanaian youth against following suit.
The musician who is not ashamed of speaking about his incarceration said, “I like to talk about this experience a lot because I think it is very important for the youth. Because knowledge is power, whenever I talk about it, others learn and avoid such circumstances.”
Gibrilville who went to America on vacation and also to look at schools in which he would have continued his education shared, “When I got there, instead of looking for a school, I started looking for friends. After friends, I started looking for money and a life and before I realized I had spent 2 years in America on a 6 months visa.”
After becoming a part of the American culture for 2 years and not wanting to return, he had friends advising him on what he could do to naturalize, including an arranged marriage but unfortunately, that did not work out for him as he was finally arrested and prosecuted for overstaying on his visa.
The Hip-hop artiste was locked up in a maximum-security prison for a year. “There was no exception that I was caught up in immigration problems and had to be treated differently. I was thrown in a maximum-security prison just like any hardened criminal.”
Gibrilville who was not built for prison life had to learn to toughen up and defend himself. The musician upon his release has ever since used the experiences he suffered in prison to make his music. “When you look at my catalogue, you will realise that my music is not just for anybody.”
In an interview with Kojo Manuel on Y107.9FM’s Dryve of Your Lyfe show, the musical act said, “I am sharing this because it is important. When you visit the States on a visitors’ visa, come back home when it expires and when the visa is good you can go back.”
He advised the youth visiting the states with a student visa especially to “look for a school and do it the right way. Because if I had gone to school as planned, the school system would’ve found me a job and the job would’ve filed for me to get a visa and I doubt I would’ve ever have been caught up in the immigration problems.”