What is both funny and upsetting is that whilst I’m here to pursue a future, there are so many Ghanaians who have written their country off. As I was doing my hair (extensions, I don’t wear weaves and I don’t relax) I was having a conversation with an old friend of mine. I met him in 2007 and he’s always been professing the same story, one day he’ll live abroad. Now, I admire a traveller. I read all those articles about how the life of a traveller or study abroad student is so much more fulfilled, open-minded and creative than the stay-at-home, you’ll-fall-off-the-edge-of-the-horizon type person. But, this Great African Escape when so many of us born outside of the continent are screaming TINA! (This Is New Africa! courtesy of Fuse ODG) baffles me no end.
I didn’t take the Guvnor (that’s his nickname) seriously when he said it in the past – I really couldn’t take anything he said seriously because he first said he had been to New York City in California, or some sort of absurd geographically impossible lie that combined two locations from the East and West Coasts – but now it seems he’s paid for a visa to fly East and he doesn’t care if the job he finds includes sweeping streets or cleaning toilets although he’s not prepared to do that now in Ghana.
Maybe I’m lucky because I have prospects and the back-up plan of going back to the UK. People here are stunned to here that I’m 22, with two degrees, born in the UK and choosing to be in Ghana independent of any immigration-deportation coercions that bring so many other Ghanaians back home. It has always made sense to me, the investment stats (especially for agric) show that Africa literally is the greener pasture, but I guess you’ve gotta get some distance to get some perspective, on just how good and how green you’ve got it.