A few things about me

Diasporan Dilemma!

The title says it all.

Talking to a handful of my friends who are all out here in the diaspora, USA included, I have come to realise that I am not alone in this circumstance. Let me draw the picture.

Little middle class african girl or boy, grows up in a home where education is sold as the way up to a better life. Little girl buys the whole story, focuses on education. Parents work hard, educate child and finally manage to ship child off to the disapora in hopes that child will attain the “DIASPORAN DREAM”.

The dream: Nice cushy office job in a blue chip company or medical doctor etc etc. We have all heard of “you know xyz’s son. He went to Harvard/Cambridge etc etc, before he finished, World Bank offered him a job, now he is working there, and head of xyz department” So your parents drum it in your head, if you work hard, that is you life and so you buy it.

Fast forward, not so little middle class african has finished education and joined the job market. The real world sets in. Well educated, fantastic grades etc etc, but it just ain’t happening. In order to survive various jobs are taken on, ranging from BBC jobs (aka british buttock cleaning aka nursing aid jobs) to small small clerical jobs.

The years go on, now the grown middle class african is frustrated as hell. Ambition burns, reality bites. The disaporan dream is further away. The toil continues as the years blend into one another. So we curse and rage but still we hang on.

Go back home (a tiny voice whispers)…to what?? (a louder one replies)To do what?? Meanwhile those peers you left at home.. heh, wacha tu. Dude is buying is 3rd plot in shags and is building his house in the outskats of Nairobi/Kampala and is manager of some blue chip company. You look around and wonder “where the fuck did I go wrong”.

You continue to toil..once in while you meet the african whose disaporan dream is a reality. They assure you “just work hard, keep on striving”. The urge to kick them in the nutz is overwhelming. What the hell do you think I have been doing.

Still we toil… the dream is just a sunset away…

That is the middle class african’s dilemma in the Disapora. Thing is no one ever talks about it, everyone pretends it does not happen, but there it is.

So to my fellow toilers…. keep on keeping on and hope for the best. They say luck is preparation meeting opportunity. I say luck is just that LUCK.

So good luck to us all!


Comments on: "Diasporan Dilemma!" (3)

  1. “The urge to kick them in the nutz is overwhelming. What the hell do you think I have been doing.”

    That’s funny 🙂 . From experience, if the ONLY destination for the dream is a “good” job, then frustration is inevitable. The lucky ones get to the dream easily, and for the rest, the journey itself might bring some satisfaction. It’s been tough, but I have no regrets about the journey. There’s something about the diaspora that opens up different sides of me that Kenya may have never opened.

  2. Good catch gal. I almost felt as if someone had busted my identity up in here. leaving a cushy job back home to chase down what is looking more and more like a mirage while those good ole boys I used to help with assignments are cashing in on the real estate boom and making obscene multiples on the NSE. But guess what… the excitement is in the chase. The thrill is in waking up and reckoning that that pot of gold exists and you just need to realign your sights a bit more accurately. And like my grandpa a pioneer entrepreneur and businessman par excellence, there will be stories to be told.

  3. Life abroad is a game of strategy. If you have no plan you will be broken into bits. It is hard to travel without moving, time passing you by and you are nowhere while those you left in Kenya are now moving on with life.
    I do think that if one is willing to take risks and bend the rules one can suceed out here.

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