There is so much talk about moving back to Africa. Especially among first and second generation African immigrants, the idea of breaking the mould in the West and forging one’s path while contributing to the continent’s development is especially attractive.
To top it off, there are countless renowned entrepreneurs and activists like Fred Swaniker and Dziffa Ametum who sing of the praises of moving back and the need to do so. While these are awfully inspiring, there is another side of the story we hear little about – that of those who move back and don’t like it or find it incredibly difficult, like Moni Osibodu. She moved from the U.S. to Nigeria and recently shared an honest, funny, and harrowing view of her return home. Her comments are shown below.
As you can see, Moni’s thoughts brought about a huge debate about whether one should move back or not.
My own journey and beliefs, having moved from Ghana to the U.S. two years ago, tells me that people should just stay where they are most happy and feel compelled to do their best work. I have not found as much difficulty adjusting to life in Ghana, despite the daily frustrations and disappointments here, because I was well aware of these issues such as corruption, bribery, electricity shortages, poor infrastructure, etc before I made my decision to stay.
I do agree with Moni that more should be done, however, to educate those looking to move back that the seeming “gold rush” usually demands one’s blood, sweat, and tears to navigate an increasingly complex social structure in many African communities.
At worst, the move back campaign is all hype if all one listens to is sweet melodies of the successful. At best, it’s an opportunity to come into a deeper understanding of what it means to be an African living in Africa in today’s world.