Whatever happened to the sanitary pad loan?

I haven’t really been catching up with the news in Ghana. It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to know that the only issues that are up are politics and dumsor. However, I did read some pieces today which gave me the inspiration for today’s entry.

The first one was a report on a teacher claimed that he had to buy sanitary pads for his students in order that they did not skip classes. Now, middle of last year there was a big announcement by our present government stating they were taking out a loan for, amongst other things, sanitary pads. Young girls especially in rural areas were missing classes for a period (excuse the pun) every month and so however many millions in dollars were being earmarked for exactly this purpose. So why, pray-tell, did this teacher not have access to the money to cater to his girl-child students. Show him the money. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if the government had not made it such a deal, but yet they have shown another example of their lack of responsibility or accountability. #justsaying

The second article I read was about a demonstration by a group of old ladies in Kumasi. The dumsor, apparently is affecting the ability of their family members to make money, hence are not able to look after them. I am not going to comment on that, what I will comment about is, after a couple of pictures of old ladies wailing, there was another line which read that the dumsor is responsible for an increase in teenage pregnancies.

Seriously!!!

I’m going to keep this short because for the first time in history, I am speechless. I understand as adults, with no light, there is nothing better to do than to go at it like rabbits, but at the age of 15, is that what is on the minds of the youth. I am sorry but in my humble opinion, the dumsor is not the reason for teenage pregnancies, it is a lack of education. Somebody buy these kids a book and a torch, they need to be stimulating their minds and not their nether regions. The old ladies, instead of demonstrating on the streets, grow some kontomire and cassava in your back yard, and spend more time with your children so they don’t feel the need to go off banging the locals. I have stayed in my village for a while; you don’t need much in terms of material wealth. That’s just my advice though, if anyone else out there has better advice, feel free to comment. Maybe I am wrong in my thoughts but dumsor can be blamed for a lot of things, they state of the economy, even mental health (it sent me crazy a few times). Teenagers humping, if the light off contributes to the male child not being able to see where to put his condom on, then you have made your point, if not please let me know how it has any bearing because I just don’t understand.

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Marketing Politics

Last month I voted in the UK general election. Although the party didn’t win, it was so nice to vote within 5 minutes. No biometric whatever, no fingerprint, no retinal sensor, you walk in, they tick your name off and then you vote, put your card in the box and away you go. When the new Prime Minister was announced, there were no cries of foul play, no court contest, the party leaders even stepped down and the opposing parties are in the process of selecting a new leader while doing their root cause analysis for why they lost in the hopes that they will learn from their mistakes. A far cry from the half a day I spent in the scorching sun the last time I voted.

Fast forward to this month and I received a phone call last week to say that an uncle had won the NPP ticket for his constituency. The way this relative was talking you would have thought this uncle had won but no, it just means that he will stand in the next election. What does that mean for me, absolutely nothing, but I congratulated him all the same and genuinely wish him all the best. I did google him though, my uncle, well sometimes he does come off a bit arrogant, and I hope he turns public opinion around because well those are the votes that matter at the end of the day. Getting the party delegates vote, it just means that you or the person endorsing you is very popular with the party, getting the public vote, means that they you have talked the talk so now walk the walk.

While reading one story, I came across another new party delegate, it took me by surprise. Not shocked that he went to stand, but in a “I know this person” kind of surprise. The person is George Andah. Now for those of you who don’t know him, he is Ghana’s version of Donald Trump in the business man/celebrity. Back in the day, when I was a young pup he was one of my bosses. I never had an issue with him, but he has the ability to make a grown man cry. I remember once I had to get a contract signed and one of the directors would not sign it for whatever reason, so I asked one of the marketing guys, correction, I asked nearly all of the marketing guys to ask him to speak to this director as he had more clout than I did. Not one person would do it, so I had to do it myself. I did and he said fine. Why, because this a guy who deals with facts, and likes you to get straight to the point, unfortunately the average Ghanaian must tell a long arse story and go around the houses, it irritates him and he makes it known that you are an irritant when such a situation happens. Which is why I laughed when I read the stories that came up, the first one is that he is an NDC sympathiser and a good friend to President Mahama, he was expecting a ministerial position and when he didn’t get it, he turned his coat. The second one is that the group #OccupyGhana of which he is a founding member was an NPP “puppet” and the NPP candidacy was his reward for ruffling up the NDC feathers. Is this claim true or false, only the good lord upstairs can tell you, however, the only advice I can give to the Ghanaian journalists is “don’t bullshit a bullshitter”.

Andah, is a brand manager and a business man, and you know with marketing people, their personal brand cuts above all else. He knows what to say and to dig him out of any hole, so whatever means you have to discredit such a person, make sure it is backed up with cold hard facts because he can spin you around until you get dizzy. Which is why I am not going to comment on the first allegation, it is for God to judge and not me a mere mortal. I will however comment on the second point, because well whatever the reason here are the facts of which of which these so called “responsible” journalists seem to overlook when they regurgitate the same tired old pieces.

#OccupyGhana was founded by some middle class professionals who got together in protest to the poor management of the country. Some of you will say that the present government are doing the best they can, if that is how you feel; I am not here to change your mind. I just want to present to you the facts as I (and those who protested) see it.

• The dumsor has been going on for far too long and it is getting worse, in from what I hear it is more dum than sor, does this only affect NPP sympathisers or the whole country?
• There was a petrol station explosion which killed almost 200 people, there have been lots of reports as to why this happened but I am sure that it didn’t help with the lights going off every two seconds
• The streets are not littered with gold but with pure water sachets and filth
• In 2008 the dollar was 1:1 with the cedi, it is now 4.20:1, really?
• Everything that is sold is imported and hardly any commodities are exported (can anybody see what is wrong with this picture and fix it?)
• I’m not going to start on the roads and the open gutters
• Education was supposed to be a “right” as quoted by our dear president but still there is a high illiteracy rate
• Committees have been set up to look into the problems that are affecting Ghana, now one would assume that these committees are set up to find solutions to a problem. Where are the solutions?
• It’s been almost 8 years, and what have we seen nada, and this is not coming from a disgruntled opposition sympathiser, this is the consensus of the people.
Now if these things were happening in western countries, too right people would be out in protest as it is their democratic right to do so. They would also be A-political about it because it is an issue affecting the country so come again with a point, and too right even die hard supporters of one party would defect to another. That is the whole point of democracy; you have the right to choose at will. So again, what is your point.
In the piece I read , it went on to say that #OccupyGhana was used as a springboard for Mr A’s political career. Do I think this is true, well as I said Mr A is a business man, in whatever venture he does he expects a return on investment. He is also a marketing guru (in their words) so he can brand himself well. Is he genuinely motivated by doing what is best for his constituents, well time will tell. Just like all politicians from whatever party they belong to, there are those who will, at the very least, do something and at the worst will be in it to reap the rewards at the expense of the people. All I can say is, this is a person who is a shrewd business man, at times ruthless and always has to have his own way, so if he uses his powers for good and not evil, he can do positive things. I am just glad that there are finally people under the age of 55 in that party. Grown arse men almost at retirement clinging for power just doesn’t do it for me, but that’s just me.

I can see in the run up to 2016, there will be a lot of focus on Ghana’s home grown celebrity. Those that are not smart will come up with their stories and cash in now, those who are a bit smarter will wait and see if they can get a boost up from their political ally. What I will say is, you better read up on responsible journalism before you print any articles because love him or hate him, he is always two steps ahead. He wouldn’t have signed that form without doing his SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) first.

So the US has Donald Trump vying for President and Ghana has George Andah standing for MP. Who will win in their respective positions, you decide. I just pray that they sort out that voting system because I am not going to stand in that hot sun to vote for any party if there is a repeat of last time.

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A black woman’s worst enemy

A friend of mind is going to read part way through and laugh, then will say “I told you so”, and remind me about being too personal.

I had to pull down a blog, not because it was slanderous, or a bash at this person, I stand by everything I said about this person, but it was one of my earlier pieces and may have mentioned this person by name. It got quite a few hits, but I would rather people read this blog because of the writing and not as gossip so I pulled it down.

Coincidently, I was talking to my sister this morning about women being our own worst enemies. In the minority holdings, the Asians do it best, they move up and pull their counterparts up along with them. My sisters, well we like to stand on the shoulders of others but once we have jumped up, it’s a goodbye and out. Obviously not all black women or Ghanaian women, but most I have encountered. I was reading a blog recently and the writer had started at her new job out in Ghana, and the quote “friendly as trees” described the welcome she met with her fellow Sistren, I say no more.

This person who I likened to Cruella, well she spoke to me twice. The first time was to tell me that my shoes were not the most appropriate (I was wearing sandals), the second time was to tell me that someone spotted me smoking weed. The first incident, I will give her that, the shoes were warn where the sun had beat them down, however the second time, well to this day I don’t know who would be stupid enough to smoke an illegal substance feet away from their office. Who on earth immediately jumped on that bandwagon and the guilty until proven innocent tone in her voice “if that’s what you do, then stop it”. Really? Like Seriously? I will never know who started this slanderous accusation and, who knows where this conversation could have been discussed and where this rumour could go, thankfully, my work (for which she had no clue about) spoke for itself but trust, I have no love or trust for this person and that’s why I stand by what I said.

Criticism stings a bit, but I am all for criticism as long as it is constructive. I remember once giving a presentation to a group of people that I had barely met and was so nervous and I tanked. My nose was stuffy and I sounded bored myself so I am sure that the audience fell asleep. The HR manager at the time called me afterwards and pointed out what I did, then gave me pointers for improvement. The HR manager was also someone who actually spoke to me when I saw him in the corridor and we had conversations which were not just about negativity. However, he was a guy and non Ghanaian so I am not surprised.

The weed thing, a bit extreme even in my world, but not uncommon, you would think that we have enough of a hard time collectively getting to the top (given that we are not Caucasian middle aged men from redbrick universities), then we have to be negative nelly’s on top of that. It’s like crabs in a bucket, trying to pull each other down, we even get annoyed when one of us is given a promotion.

Then when we do, it’s like “well I got here the hard way, so should you”. I remember one lady boss saying that she could not trust any of her juniors to be her successor when she eventually moved on. How about, I think I am going to groom these people to take my place, no that didn’t happen, in fact apart from her daily bashing, I don’t think that she took the time to actually be a mentor to these people. There was a young lady who had potential, but I could tell she was either going to get overlooked or she was going to find somewhere else to perch and all because the one who was supposed to be her leader would spend more time finding faults than looking to build her up.

Once in a while you do get a gem, if it wasn’t for my friend P, I would have been told that after a year of photocopying papers, I was not ready for the next step up (of photocopying papers AND posting them). Rather than being a negative nelly, she actually helped me put a good application together. My friend E, she listens without judgement, gives her opinion when asked but would never get annoyed if not taken. My friend D who is my cheerleader even when I am not feeling like I want to cheer. These are the people that inspire me to be a good black sister, these are the ones that make me see that there are a few of us who are willing to help each other on the way up to the top. These are the ones who counsel and advise rather than pass judgement and step in only to spread negativity.

We always talk about the enemy that is holding us back, maybe sometimes we need to look at the enemy within.

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Nyame wo ho?

My time in Ghana has been much like this blog, I have sought to educate but also it has been an outlet to vent my frustration. I have been called a weed smoker, frustrated, and a b*** and those are from those who had the gall to say it to my face. My blog has won me friends, but has also brought me a few enemies along the way. The narcissist in me however only seeks to want their opinion on my writing style rather than a defensive rant about my faults and failings. I have lived with this body for near-on 38 years, I know my faults and failings, I just want to vent, and maybe make it as a writer one day…hehe

Today however, I am going to take a step out of my world to talk about a topic I like to avoid. Religion, a very controversial subject, the topic has started wars, got people killed and can easily offend. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God, but I don’t like to shove my opinions down anybody’s throat. I believe that we all believe in something, God, Allah, spiritual gods, Karma, some higher being that we have faith in that gets us through the day. That something that even when times are tough, gives us the power to wake up and make it through rather than crawl into bed to bow our heads in shame. As a Christian, we are taught that our sins are forgiven so even when we commit the most a crime through thoughts, actions or words, we can repent, ask forgiveness and sleep knowing that once we are no more, there is the possibility of eternal life. However, that God that I was shown as a little girl, seems to be something I wouldn’t say to be ashamed of in the country that I grew up with, but maybe in trying to appeal to every man, the essence of Christianity is slowly fading away.

This I find interesting, because long before I was born, immigration was actually legal. The condition, my ancestors had to be piled up like sardines with shackles around their legs and taken to the new land where the only job available was to pick cotton and be a slave. In return our gold and precious minerals were taken away from us, but in return we were given a legacy. A white man with long flowing hair with green eyes and a halo, he was the son of God who was sent down and born to a virgin in a barn. He was sent to take away the sins of the world. He was a hope for a brighter day, that it didn’t matter that we were robbed of our precious material wealth because we shall find riches in the kingdom of heaven. Fast forward to the same country that was used as a port to transport people and he still remains.

On a Sunday, in Ghana, tell a Ghanaian that you did not go to church and you may be accused of agnosticism. Tell the same nation that you don’t believe in God and well you may be accused of worshipping a darker force. When you meet a Ghanaian for the first time, it is likely that one of the first questions they will ask (other than why you moved to Ghana) is “what church do you go to?”. I never quite new whether I should mention the actual name of the church or say I was Catholic or why they even cared but it is better to answer than to have another long conversation about why you should find a church and pray every day.  I recall tending to stay away from my charismatic friends while they talked about bible studies, choir practise, decons, church eldering and all the other topics, not because I was not a believer but I just didn’t really want to get into their judgemental preachy conversations, and for some reason they felt the need to recruit me to some church or another.

The word Nyame wo ho (God is there) was a phrase that I heard a lot. When things are good, things are bad or just indifferent, everything is sent to God for blessings. Every week my cleaner would say to me “God should bless you”, after she got paid, if she broke something she would also call his name I really wish he would have fixed my broken bin, broom and other things around the house that slipped out of her hands, but from that I could see that God was everywhere and that he was watching in any event.

So now I am back in the country that taught us about the heavenly father, and what’s the first thing that I hear. Apparently, the word Jesus was not recognised as word when writing a greeting card from a florist. There was something about people using the word as a derogatory term, I think it’s because they didn’t want to offend any other religion. Why do I say that, for a long time we have stopped using the term Happy Christmas, instead “Happy Holidays”. My school, a Catholic school is now an Academy, the Cannon has been dropped and now who knows if they even observe any of the Catholic observations. I appreciated the disciplines of being in a Catholic school, but now I think in an effort to be an every school for every child, it has lost its way and the school is not the same one I used to go to. Which is sad, because ultimately it was a Catholic school, had it been a school of another faith, I would have felt just as passionately, as it is what it is and just like anything or anyone, trying to be something you are not is a risk of failure.

Thankfully we still have Songs of Praise on a Sunday otherwise I don’t think I would remember where I am.

Now I am not knocking any other religion, I am all for tolerance and live and let live, however, I just find it interesting that on one end I have lived in an extremely Christian society and now have come back to one that is rather indifferent. Then when you look at the history, it just makes one wonder if one day, the word Christian may be taken away altogether.

But hey, ho, without running the risk of offending anyone, I have said my piece, all I can do is follow my learnings and love one another as Christ loves me. That’s a mission in itself because there are some people that I have come across who make that painfully hard to do. I am trying to be less controversial (so I am wondering why I picked this topic), but some things just have to be said. I have never shied away from my truth so I don’t see why I should start now.

In the meantime, I bid you a blessed day, until the next time.

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Have your parents ever?

Every week since I have been back, my good friend E has called me thanks to her understanding that I have only 200 free minutes and she has like a gazillion. We usually spend about two hours catching up on the week’s events, and spend about 30 minutes of those talking about our respective smothers. Although they believe to be perfect in every way, they missed the boat on taking the time out to actually understand your child, but rather prefer to have mini me’s who if not in line with their values (going to church every Sunday, passing judgement on everyone etc..), they prefer to use the guilt trip. My friend made a poignant point that, unlike our caucasion counterparts, because our parents moved to this country when they were very young and didn’t have their mother’s to tell them what not to do, they obviously did everything right, therefore, we as their offspring must follow their same formula. My smother, well she bought a house, put all her children through university, worked in a very respectable profession before running a business for 20 years and even her step child is doing well. Therefore, why shouldn’t be Mary Poppins, perfect in every way.

Anyway, I digress slightly, what I wanted to do with you guys is play a game of “have your parents ever”.  I am going to pose a few questions, I am sure that your parents have said/done same, but I will go on to give you my examples and you can decide whether my smother is better/worse than yours.

I will start with a few easy ones. Firstly, has your parents ever pee’d you off knowing that what they are about to say or do is going to get your goat.

The answer is almost invariably yes. What smother usually does is start off with “don’t get angry but…”, that means that she is going to say something which is going to get me annoyed, usually repeating something that she said before or something that is probably quite obvious, but of course she feels that coming from her is going to change my circumstances. In the event that she forgot to start her sentence with “don’t get angry…” she will then end her spiel with “I only tell you this because I care, if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t say anything”. These will be simple things like “have you had a bath today” or “all jobs now are advertised on the internet”, I could go on but I have to take to into consideration my word count.

These are petty little things but after almost 38 years of it, it gets tiresome. My father, he also has his moments. Although I can contain my emotions somewhat with him, I do have to bite my tongue. For example, my father is the unofficial food monitor in my house. I remember, I have to admit, there was a time when I just ate. I was 5ft 4 and almost 70 kilos because I would eat a lot of street food and then top up with whatever had been cooked at home. My father always used to comment on my eating habits, and one day I changed them which resulted in a 13 kilo deficit. Now however, he feels that he has to remind me to eat. He can call me literally three times a day, each time he will ask “have you eaten” as if, if he doesn’t call I may well forget. Like seriously.

Have your parents used you to get back at the other.

Now I don’t mean, parents are divorced and going through a bitter custody battle or trying to use their time with you as a bargaining tool. I mean, parents live in the same house, sleep in the same bed but smother wants attention, and used you to get that. I remember one time, dad wasn’t giving her attention so she decided she will go out randomly, usually just to the local town centre. Then one day she tells me, “if your father asks, imply that I am having an affair”.  I really wish I was joking but that’s exactly what she said to me. All I could do at that point was stare, unfortunately for her, my dad never asked and the weather was cold so it was a colossal waste of time and she gave up. For someone who is so great at communicating with her children, I don’t know why she can’t use that same energy for her husband (actually on second thoughts, he stopped listening to her years ago).

Have your parents ever bragged about what they do for you

I used to go out on a Saturday, not very far, the same town centre where smother was having her imaginary affair, well for some reason they thought that I wasn’t studying and asked my godfather to talk to me. He sat me down and relayed what they had said, I was confused, but was hit with double confusion when he told me that he doesn’t give his children pocket money, they have to do chores first so I should save mine, buckle down and I would have all the time in the world to have fun when I had finished my exams. Now first of all, I did my chores for free, I had money for a burger on a Saturday because I would spend my lunchtimes in the library, so what were these people talking about. But, what could I say, if that’s how they saw it, then it must have been the truth.

Have your parents ever set you up on a blind date.

My dad, God bless him, is not the parent that gives pressure over marriage. When people ask why we are not married yet, he will say “when it is God’s time”. As much as I love him though, he is rather passive aggressive and I believe that he has a seat reserved right next to the Father so has deemed himself fit to do his will here on earth. He seems to think that I have imaginary friends so is trying to push some random guy onto me, it is either that or after the last guy feels that he is better qualified to finding me a suitor. A friend, who he told me, is a good Christian guy, is studying Oil and Gas at university and is an all-round good guy. However, according to law, this young man should by rights be on his way back to Ghana once he has finished studying, also, my dad spent a few years trying to set this guy up with my younger sister. I am not sure how much he wants us to get married as opposed to having this guy in the family but from the other side of the world, he has passed this guy’s number onto me. Awkward.

I have a feeling that the longer I stay, the more stories I will have to tell, I may even turn this into a series. Parents, well they believe they know what’s best and as they say, they do it because they care. So I sit here quietly and take whatever else they have to hit me with it, and try not to get screwed up more than I am already.

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A newbie’s guide to London…

This piece is for all the newbie Ghanaians wanting to come to abrokye. I thought I would give you a guide and tell you what your relatives probably wouldn’t even think of telling you.

First of all, when you get here, if you’re feeling homesick and missing those home comforts (waakye, kenkey, people speaking the Akan language, a row of churches etc..), you need to find a place with the word “ham” and their environs. That is East HAM (East London), TottenHAM (North London) or PeckHAM (South London). The only exception to the rules are Hackney & Dalston (East London) and Brixton/Croydon (South London), however they have become what we called in the 80’s, yuppiefied. Yuppie’s were the up and coming youths with a lot of cash to burn, since the 2012 Olympics, these cats have taken up residence forcing our Ghanaian brethren to seek more affordable housing in Essex, although you will find that they are also “hams”, that is RainHAM and DagenHAM.

Travelling in and around London is quite expensive, when I left, a monthly travel pass for zones 1 – 4 (so the whole of London) was around £80, it is now £177. Our Mayor of London feels that this isn’t an issue, but I never really thought much of Boris Johnson and I may have a libel suit on my hands if I talk about him any further, so you will find that the bus may be more suitable for a newbie in town. The trains and the underground, although not cheap, get you to your destination fast and you are less likely to get lost around town because there are maps plastered everywhere. Just like the tro-tro, if you want to use the must cheaper means of travel, you will have to get up a bit early and although the bus will tell you where you are going, you may have to ask a passer-by which bus to take if you are going to travel from one end of London to the other.

I remember back in the day, when a cousin of mine used to come over to work, his friend would set of rather early to get from South London to East London by bus. We live close to the underground and so my cousin’s method of cost saving was to wait until after 5 and pick up an unwanted travel card that had been discarded on the station floor. Unfortunately now, just like everything else, you have to top up on an electronic card, so either you add a travel pass to your monthly budget or you find inhabit yourself close to town so you can walk.

Jobs in London, well the population in town is almost 9 million, my sister told me that to be a receptionist nowadays you need a 2:1 (2nd class upper) degree and well you know my situation, all I can tell you is that it’s hard, but it is not impossible. You will need a National Insurance card and a bank account. That too is not so easy to obtain. All I can advise is that, if you are coming over for financial gain, pray that those around you are trust worthy. You would be surprised that your own relative may charge you for the use of their assets. At the same time, thanks to a few Nigerian scam artists, the banks pay close attention to any black person with an accent, so don’t go off on a frolic of your own, think you are smart and open an account without the aid of a local. You may find yourself in hot water if you don’t have all the necessary documentation.

So that’s all for today, if I have any more pearls of wisdom for you newbie’s thinking of coming over or are here I will let you know, or drop me a line, I am here to help.

Before I go, in terms of buses, here they are not the Benz buses, they are red, either double decker or long and bendy. If you do however see a bus with the Prime Minister’s face on it, do not enter as it only goes to one destination. Heathrow Airport….

Bye for now…

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A sense of belonging…

First of all, I would like to say a big sorry to those of you I should have reached out to and haven’t. Hopefully once you have read this piece you will know where my head has been at and know that once I am in the right mindset I can speak to you with a happy tone instead of the miserable old bag that I have become, something that is easy to fit in to when you live in a country where the people are as grey as the weather.

I have never had a child, so I don’t want to make light of post-natal depression, but in this past month, it really feels that I have something quite close to it, with England being that child, that I have gone through lots of pains for and now that I am back, feel no connection to it and it has no connection to me. The only shining light is that I remembered why I left in the first place.

I have to admit, with the constant power cuts and with my house, car, and me, falling to bits, I was in the frame of mind to come back, but now that I am here, it feels like I have gone back in time. If not for the fact that my birthday next month will add a years on this earth, the last 6 years seems to have meant nothing over here. I even decided to go and claim those national insurance pennies that I had amassed over the 10 to 15 years as a British national, and was told that just like the French, the Dutch and whoever else decides to make claims in this country, the fact that I stepped out for a while means that I have to sit here like a fig for 3 months and only then, if I am not in employment will they give me a bit of pocket money to live with. I am not surprised though. At the age of 60+, smother, who has contributed to the national coffers for 40 years of her life is only entitled to a mere £100 a week for her troubles. £1 up from last year, and with that she is supposed to pay her electricity bill, council tax, gas bill etc, oh yes and eat…, at least if she took that to Ghana she would have close to one person’s salary over there.

Things were looking bright when I came back, I knew that it would not be easy slipping back in, but I didn’t know that it was going to be 10 times worse, I spoke with some agencies, and they said I had a great CV but a month down the line, not even an interview and the agencies are realising they will not getting a commission out of me, have gone cold too. Apparently, even though I was working at the number one multinational known in the world, because the experience was in Africa, I might as well have been a cleaner. In fact, had it not been for the British Passport that everyone seems to want to have proof that I am “one of them”, I would probably be on the lookout for David Cameron’s immigration bus to take me back to where I came from.

It’s the same problem that has reared its ugly head once again. I have enough certificates and qualifications to cover my bedroom wall, yet even after I had accrued a mountain of qualifications, I never quite knew whether I wasn’t selling myself well or if my name read like a Nigerian fraudster in the eyes of the white folk. This is why I left in the first place, if I went to where everyone looked like me, would I have the same problem? I found out there, it was a bit of both. However, I got opportunities that I don’t think I would have ever got here. When I was here, I did a law degree, not because I really wanted to be a lawyer, but because I knew I was greater than my environment. The block was though, that I was on step 2 of a 3 step ladder, and well unless someone died, had I stayed and not taken control of those surroundings, I would have been waiting every year for one extra pound on my salary if that. I went to Ghana because of a desire to succeed, and for a while I did. Even with the epic failure that was Olam, at least for a while I was able to pay my bills and enjoy a kebab from DnR once a week. Whatever the mistake, at least I was in control.

Now, however, the control went to my family and forced to hear smother telling me what’s best. I can’t even get a job doing the shit that nobody wants to do, I am a legal, illegal immigrant you could say.

But it is ok, I am Efia,  a grafter and a fighter. I did it once and I will do it again, at least when I go back I go with a knowledge that I need solar panel for my house and an income outside of a regular salary. As a good friend of mine said, it’s just a short break while I figure it all out. My mission for the right now is to ensure that I am never dependant on anyone, I need to take back control of my life and my finances, because I am obviously too big in my shoes to continue to be a humble employee. So for now, I may have to take that travel back to 6 years ago, while I build up some capital and plan my next move. However, if this one month has taught me anything, it is that smother definitely doesn’t know best.

So now that I know what I am going to do, just need to figure out the how I am going to do it….and that’s where my story ends for now, but I’ll keep you posted….

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