Life in the diaspora is not always a bed of roses, it can be tough, it can be depressing due to various reasons and circumstances. Here are some of the main reasons it can be depressing.
1) BECAUSE WE MISS HOME:
When one is at the J.K.I.A Airport, one dreams of the good life that is up ahead, you see your dream car, your dream house, your dream job, your dream investment, you see the many plots you will buy, you see high rise buildings under your name.
In the excitement of it all, it never dawns on you that you are leaving you family, your relatives and friends behind and heading of to a new country where you have to start a fresh. It feels like being born again. At that moment, when you are thinking of the good life you will have, you never think of the simple fact that, sometimes, the things that make you happy in life are the simple things in life.
Nothing in the whole world beats the love of family, love of relatives, love of friends, that LOVE, that is what life is. Sure, living in the diaspora does grant you most of the material needs of life, you are able to support your family in ways that you never thought possible, and sure, you can finally afford things that you never could, but that LOVE, nothing in the world can replace that!
You see back home, even though probably one did not have all the material needs, the community life brought a lot of satisfaction, a lot of togetherness, a lot of oneness that you will not witness when you are in a foreign country. All this ends, and the different culture, the different way of doing things makes it so that even getting to know and understand your neighbor is an issue.
One would think with having a carpeted house, a television with all the channels, super fast internet, driving a car, having a good job, the ability to support your family back home, you know the very dreams you had at the JKIA Airport; that one would be happy living life in the diaspora. NOPE that is not the case. There are many depressed people living in the diaspora, who feel there is a void, that only the LOVE of family and friends can fill.
2) IT IS TOUGH TO ADAPT TO BEING A 2ND CLASS CITIZEN:
If there is one thing that is hard, is to come from your motherland, and all you have known is that you are a human being just like any other human being in world, and land in a foreign country where they treat you as if you are not supposed to exist in this world, that is hard.
You ever tried to be friends with people who do not want to be friends, or try to fit in a social grouping that you definitely you do not belong, the cold stares, the cold shoulders, people ignoring you, it is a tough life. Don’t get me wrong, this does not happen to everyone, and the cold shoulders are not from everyone, I have met many who have embraced me and others with full open arms.
However, as an African immigrant, one fits into 2 stereotypes that are very negative in a huge way.
1) You are black! There is no one time, back home I ever even thought about being black. Its a new experience when someone judges you for your skin color. From your first day in diaspora, to the last day, you will have to fight the negative stereotype of your skin color. You will have to work twice as hard, to be as good as anybody else. You will face racism either in your face, or in a subtle manner, whichever way, you will face it.
2) You are African: If there is one thing that I have come to realize, is the low opinion most people have of Africa and Africans. There are many who will think you are dumb, and all you have witnessed in your life is death, destruction and disease. No matter how educated you are, as long as you are African, even someone who has not finished his high school will feel superior to you. This is partly due to the fact that, yes, there are many regions of Africa that have death, destruction and disease, but also because the African man, has not put enough effort to make sure that the full facet of African life is taken out there to the world.
So everyday as a BLACK person and as an AFRICAN you have to prove yourself over again, you have to outwork everybody else and you have to give that much more into everything you, do just to be at par, not on top but at par with everyone else.
If as an African immigrant, you work in a field where brain work is needed, say a doctor, a nurse, analyst, engineer whatever professional field, you will always have someone second guess you in ever decision you make.
3) SOMETIMES DIASPORA LIFE IS JUST NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE:
There are very many out there who dream of life in diaspora, and see all the beautiful cities, picket fences, dream cars, dream life, and they drop everything in order to experience the life. You land in whatever country, whatever city you have always dreamed of, only to find that it is not exactly what you though it was going to be. The glitz and the glamour that is diaspora life, sometimes is just not what its cut out to be. You come here and if you are not prepared psychologically for the kind of life and jobs that are available. If you have a set job in Africa, a set career in Africa, I would not recommend diaspora life for you.To me I feel that diaspora life is good for young guys who are students, because for one they are young and easily assimilate into the culture, and second, they do not have a set way of doing things like the older generation have, they therefore are able to mold their lives around the new culture and the new way of doing things.
The toughest challenge I find for most is the ability to adapt to new jobs and new working environments. The truth is, there are many jobs that are available at the entry level. Many require little training and are therefore easy to get into. UNFORTUNATELY they are jobs that need more of a CALLING than anything else.
4) DIASPORA LIFE CAN BE MADE DIFFICULT BY YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN:
Am not going to lie. Some of the problems that people in the diaspora face come from the very people they call their own. It is sad, but it is something that happens almost every where.
For some reason be it being jealous of another, be it hatred for another, be it lack of love for one another, some people just make the lives of their fellow countrymen much more difficult than they should.
Some of them will:-
-Sell you out, especially if thy know you got issues with papers
-Will not help you in getting better jobs, better deals
-Will constantly send negative feedback/stories back home
It gets to some point where it is far much better to live life away from your community and only interact with them on the common community issues.
When all is said and done, life is what you make it to be. If you focus on the negative, and never make an effort to make it better, then it will always be a sad affair. That is the same with diaspora life. You can choose to focus on all these negative aspects and without a doubt it will be the most depressing life you have ever led. On the other hand, just like many many people out there, you can choose to focus on the positive, focus on what is good and your life will truly be a happier and more fulfilled one.