Africans launder more money abroad that can create wealth locally than all the Foreign Aid tokens given as economic assistance. It is easier to enjoy a full economic and social life by creating wealth at home than trying to capture wealth in Europe and America. Unless you think you have enough guns, cowries and mirrors to charms or capture the American Indians and Africans as they did centuries ago.
We must congratulate many talented and skilled Africans that were trained abroad without draining their countries’ Central Bank. Yet, they left all incentives abroad and returned home to render services as teachers, Independence fighters, health workers, lawyers, architects, business partners, “London trained tailors”, plumbers etc. They were fulfilled by the warmth of patrons and appreciative communities that welcomed them home where they could melt into any social class they desired, unlike in Europe and America.
Their needed and crucial contributions went deeper and further in their African communities. Compared to today’s Vagabonds In Power that destroyed the blood and sweat of their efforts. Investment in African children paid back. Those that have enjoyed the best of Africa’s welfare and culture trained themselves abroad by working and going to school, were happy to come back home and contribute. They cannot be compared to the children rendered homeless on environmental dumps, were denied basic services and have no love for their mother country.
The irony of looking for greater pastures is that most of those migrating can afford to spend a fortune on international airline tickets that could have started businesses locally. But would rather pay coyotes through South America, janjaweed through the desert. Many are talented and skilful professionals. When they are subjected to oppressive working conditions abroad, they are too embarrassed to admit it until NGO, labor groups or Unions expose their plight.
When we leave local politics to Vagabonds, we cannot complain that they ruined Africa. What do we expect from vultures in many families going into politics? We never hear about many that sacrifice everything including their lives before and after getting to their destinations or the sorrow of families left at home. But there are places, especially abroad where no matter how rich you are, your money is not enough. Hardly so in Africa; surprised?
Watch African Youths boast, you will think they are Christopher Columbus going to capture the people in the new world the way the Europeans captured the Indians in America and Africans in Africa. These Africans would relocate with their first million and talents thinking they were going abroad to enslave the Natives. Anyone that can launder the hell out of Africa to benefit those who captured them as slaves is still dreaming in the sugarcane plantations.
Yet, all available research points to our old familiar environment, friends and relatives as our best source of happiness; if we choose carefully avoiding the undesirable ones. By the time we realize that man does not live by everything that shines alone, we are either too old to relocate back to our old social life that has changed from the time we left. Forced to resign to a life at a lower social ladder despite our money and accomplishments, most rain curses on Vagabonds-In-Power for their economic refugee status abroad. In other words, they dangle between two worlds, stuck hanging on a seesaw. “Edie ba lokun, Ara o rokun Ara o re’die!”
The Prime Minister of an Asian country defended their highest rate of death penalty for foreigners, most of whom are Nigerians. In spite of it, he said drug mules kept coming back! Yet, gullible Africans still brag that Africans in Diaspora do not take advantage of the opportunities abroad; until you see them succumb to mentally debilitating discrimination they underestimated. They then turn desperately to nefarious activities at the risk of death. Nobody wants to believe that the United States, the bastion of freedom we all yearn for, has the world highest incarceration rate. www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/US.html
As a result, all the inventions and discoveries cannot place us in a convenient social ladder. Restrictions to enjoy them in a new relocation will turn most folks bitter. They think laundering money from Africa would give them immunity against social abuse outside. All your money cannot get you a seat at some restaurants or gain you entry into some stores. Your social life will be limited as you remain at the bottom of the social ladder. Unrecognized, Oprah Winfield, despite showing her American Express card, was denied a purchase.
Imagine a rich Nigerian that cannot flaunt his wealth. Many Africans admit they are economic refugees abroad that would rather wake up everyday comfortably in Africa. The reason for most of our hustling, bustling, with good or evil motives is to prepare ourselves for a social life where we are most comfortable. When we go through all these and acquire all the money anyway we can; if it cannot buy you a comfortable social life we call happiness anywhere, some become deranged animals forced into a primitive lifestyle like Covid-19 did.
Nevertheless, it remains true that wherever you are at peace and feel comfortable to socialize using the sweat of your economic success is home. Unfortunately, there is an opportunity cost we have to weigh and decide which is more comfortable for each individual; not only in the long run but for the duration of our life. Telling us you are relocating for the benefit of your children is the worst gift you can give your family in a strange culture where they become indifferent to their family members. They may ease you into an Old People’s Home later.
However, relocations become more complicated in a caste society where there is division of labor based on social status that subjects others to untouchable status. The Hindu religion in the Asia region has split society into countries because of social class and religion. When the caste system subject a group to perpetual lower social status, it spurs revolt to either split into different countries, relocate into another society in order to be free of discrimination.
So we have to be careful making the distinction between the motivations for relocation of people into different societies or the reason to divide a country along religious or social lines. This is why it may seem unreasonable to run away or relocate when the problem can be solved within: by revolts, confront your oppressors, demand change, split the country along religious or social lines. If the oppressed do not stand and fight at home, they will be subjected to the same or worse treatment when they relocate to a new society. It is said that when Africans are pushed to the wall, instead of fighting back, they melt into the wall.
You cannot allow the destruction of your own country by encouraging oppressors and looters, only to escape and destroy other communities. Better still, the Yoruba culture stands out in the world for religious diversity and tolerance within the same family. They also ease the problem of relocation by an adage: the way a child is born is no different from that of the free-born and a slave. Indeed, there are slaves that have climbed the social status to become king! “Bi won se bi eru ni won se bi omo. A ti ri iwofa to di oba, a ti oba to di iwofa.”
How much choice does a fish out of water have?
Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa