African Diaspora: “I can’t go home because there are no McDonald’s there”

face-of-the-african-diasporaNo one could be respected or could ever claim ownership of a land he/she has not built, no matter the number of years he/she has lived there. Africans in the Diaspora have to come to build a place they could call Home.

In 2012  Africa became the fastest growing continent in the world with the highest number of new millionaires. There are now more than 100,000 millionaires in Africa and about 20.000 new millionaires will be added every 3 years.

That makes lot Africans in the diaspora asking themselves “What Am I doing here?”.

The unstoppable  medias’ drumbeat about “Africa is Rising” is making them restless and hopeful because most of them have quite a petty life in the West. They are constantly harassed by the state police, crushed by daily racism from their neighbors and strangers, economically and politically isolated, and with very little hope for a near-future improvement.

Unfortunately their dream to return home is painfully held back by deep fears and unanswered questions.

Here are the top 10 fears of the African diaspora about Africa, and also the top 10 questions most of them are confronted with. (You can see full questions list at Return2Africa.com)

Top 10 Fears

1. I know few people who have returned but failed, and had to come back to Europe.

2. I’m not successful here. I don’t have money. I’ll be ashamed to return just with my suitcase.

3. I don’t know how I’ll face all the social pressure and people asking me money.

4. I want to start a business back home, but everything is political in Africa. If you don’t have connections, your business could be crushed and closed at any time by officials.

5. How to explain my decision to my parents, my family, my friends? I’m afraid of their reaction.

6. How can I be sure that my professional experience will translate into something useful when I return to Africa? The work conditions are not good there.

7. I’m afraid of political instability. Every election is a matter of life and death with widespread of violence and fear.

8. There is no health insurance in Africa like I have here. The health system in my country has completely collapsed, what will I do if me or my family would get sick? How to find a good health insurance company?

9. I don’t have local connections anymore. My friends are now here. I’ll feel alone and isolated there. How to rebuild my social network locally before moving back?

10. I don’t have a place where to live. I don’t want to return to my parents house. Where will I live and host my family when I don’t have that much money?

Top 10 Questions

1. Is there any local association or group of Returned Africans that I can join or get support from?

2. How to deal will the feeling of failure of returning back without lot of money?

3. What to do if I don’t have any money to return with?

4. Is there any organization or support group that help people who want to return to Africa?

5. How to find a job when you are not yet in Africa?

6. I want to start a business back home. Where can I find accurate and non-biased information?

7. How to find a house or an apartment to rent? What risks to avoid?

8. Which Banks or Financial organizations give loans to people in the diaspora to buy or build their house?

9. I’m married to a European, how can I convince him/her to move back to Africa with me?

10. How to find the best hospitals/Good Doctors for my family, and the best school and kindergarten for our kids?

Well, these are all sensible and reasonable fears and arguments, but wait …

“The political climate in Nigeria is one of the top reasons why the Nigerian Diaspora refuse to go back to Nigeria.” GO HOME & CHANGE IT smh

When some in that so called diaspora say “political instability, lack of infrastructure, blah blah” are reasons they cant go back I just LOL

So Africans in the West cant go home because it’s a mess. Do they know PEOPLE WORKED to create conditions they ENJOY in the West? #Stoopeed

“I cant go home because there are no McDonald’s there” This is pretty much the summary of what they mean!

Some Africans can be so lazy and weirdly they take pride in it. SMH”
– Said a commentator to a recent article onWhy The Nigerian Diaspora Won’t Return Home

“It appears they are quite comfortable in lands where other people’s ancestors have laboured to develop. We here will labour to also develop our land and before they know it, Nigeria will have no place for them.” Warned a following commentator.

Okay,people say negative things but there is surely a positive story. if all Nigerians do not work move this nation forward I am afraid it will remain this way and future generation will blame us just the same way we are blaming our fathers. If the people in whose country we all stay didn’t work hard to take their countries to greater height you won’t be there now! Nothing good comes easy. outsiders come to Nigeria to invest and they are making it,while the land owners are there in another man’s land struggling! Just have it in mind that a home you did not Arrange can never be yours.Wrote another commentator

“No one can ever claim ownership of a land he/she has not built, no matter the number of years you live there. Now, how can we build and make our home comfortable for ourselves, and even for others to desire joining us? It is by developing the unrelenting desire/passion to fix it. We have also commented on corruption and all kinds of ills being endemic in our country.

I tell you, No country was born without ills, but the issue is that those countries’ citizens were resolute and set out to fight and eradicate those ills that impede or keep them from growing. What am I driving at? We quite understand that the political system is the steering to our societal fate – it drives everyone to a certain societal status (i.e., healthy or unhealthy), depending on the driver(s).

So, if i may add vividly and concisely, it is time for us to understand that until the steering, which provides the platform on which every other good expectations spring, is handled by the right set of people We might just remain analyzers and philosophers of our problems. Straight to the point, we all have to come back and say, ”enough is enough – we must see the right people in the right places!”.

I tell you, there have never been a time where the few ”wrongs” are more powerful than the much more massive ”rights”. It’s just that those ”rights”, most times, are pitiably unaware of their collective strength. I put it to all of us that immediately this area and fact is recognized and addressed, there will be an unimaginable outburst of great development in that our exceedingly blessed nation. Otherwise, we will keep revolving and lamenting in a problem we all are contributors to. Take it or leave it, I have said it!” Continued another commentator.

“Nigerian in diaspora must understand that a Lizard in US can not suddenly become an Alligator in Nigeria. What ever business you want to do back home should be first tested where you are now. People go home with great ideas, huge investment but little experience in business and expect to succeed in the first year. LETS GIVE IT TIME TO GROW.” Advised another commentator to those want to return to get prepared.

Now to what I think any discerning, aspiring returnee should do: Coming back to Nigeria after years abroad will present a rude shock to you, in terms of culture, way of life, way of doing business, traffic congestion, infrastructural bottlenecks, social ills, the charade and crony-ism within political circles and a lot more other issues.

That is why, you have to plan and make it a carefully phased one. Before I finally relocated, I visited Nigeria about four times within two years, I had my business plan well drafted, I knew what I wanted to go into, I knew what areas I wanted to live in. I asked questions, I contacted some family members (mine and those of my spouse) and old friends. I spoke to people I knew that relocated as well. I had interviews with companies I could work for (as Option B, in case I decide not to venture fully into business). When I finally decided to, I was well aware of most of the issues that would confront me in Naija asides from realising other opportunities in the course of my visits. I then requested for 12 months sabbatical leave from the investment bank I was working with (just in case things took an ugly turn, I could always have something here to fall back on). Things turned out even better for me (lucky me, I guess) and I resigned within 6 months.

So my brother, for you to relocate, have no fears. Just plan, visit, re-plan, visit and alter your plan again … Also try to hedge your risks. Always have an Option B (even option C). Then ask questions too. Don’t relocate at same time with your family. Come in first. You can get a job first and with time you can decide to do other stuffs. But please don’t kid yourself, a sea of opportunities exist in this country called Nigeria and so many sectors are still either virgin or untapped. It’s not easy doing business, but it’s well worth taking a plunge, if you ask me. The decision is yours to make.” Shared a Nigerian who has successful returned.

“Fixing Africa, making it attractive starts with us its people, we can’t leave the space to others and just complain that things aren’t improving, you must get involved even if you are abroad, otherwise.” said another commentator.

“It dawned on me that almost all my life I had enriched my country of birth and neglected to do likewise for my country of origin. Some of the reasons for neglecting my country of origin have already been covered in the article, however why should I leave it to someone else to contribute to fixing the problems when I can equally contribute. This spurred my return to this country with view of giving something for nothing but perhaps setting the stage for my future generation to get something from my commitment. Without a doubt, they will achieve little from my abandonment.

The more brain-drain is allowed to fester and the longer folks stay away, the more anywhere outside of this place will continue to seem better in so many ways. ” Pondered another commentator.

Okay,people say negative things but there is surely a positive story.if all Nigerians do not work move this nation forward I am afraid it will remain this way and future generation will blame us just the same way we are blaming our fathers. If the people in whose country we all stay didn’t work hard to take their countrys to greater height you won’t be there now! Nothing good comes easy. outsiders come to Nigeria to invest and they are making it,while the land owners are there in another man’s land struggling! Just have it in mind that a home you did not Arrange can never be yours./div

Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN

About Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of SiliconAfrica.com, Founder of Goodbuzz.net, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at linkcrafter@gmail.com

4 Responses to “African Diaspora: “I can’t go home because there are no McDonald’s there””

  1. Personna Newell

    Another issue a lot of black americans have is seeing some of the conflicts there and not knowing were we would fit in. For instance, I wouldn't want to live in an area where Igbo and Hausa (or Tutsi and Hutsus or any other group) and find out that I look like one side over another and may be considered an "enemy" and be targeted for it. In America, white and black are very clear lines. In Africa, "this" black and "that" black would be too difficult for us to try to figure out.

    Reply
  2. Nasser Ugoji

    The proportion of conflict to the vast ethnic diversity in Africa does not call for alarm. There is much more getting along despite differences than there is conflict. The key is to rise above differences and accept that relationships are complex a simple approach is not realistic. I am sure that there is a calm in the eye of humanity's storm.

    Reply
  3. Kanda CGartist

    Africa is for Africans, not for lost americans, who never consider as African until it's conveniant, remember you re talking about a continenet , not a country, stop claiming strangers, do africans ethnies or countries even get along themselves? what an ignorant thread

    Reply

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Loading Facebook Comments ...