Ghana is fast becoming a mecca for black Americans who are looking for lucrative opportunities in a new environment.
the article should really be called “how you can find yourself in an exotic African country that’s not too African”
it reads like Ghana is the special place that’s managed to advance unlike those backwards African countries. i mean it’ll be annoying to not have constant water and electricity all the time like in the Great West but the sure the locals are lovely.
African-Americans will enjoy making a life in a place that will make them feel connected and celebrated in a way that they probably don’t fully enjoy in the U.S. as “minorities.” Local chiefs are often more than willing to grant prized land and other resources to budding entrepreneurs interested in real estate development, or other commercial ventures. This could also lead to a lucrative life in farming – or “agribusiness” – for those interested in a totally new, yet viable way of making a living.
right because, farming is totally cool and exotic way of living. what do people think of the article?
I view the article differently. There is some paternalism in the tone of the author (who is a Nigerian based on her name btw). I think she could have worded herself in a more concise manner, but overall, I get the gist of what she’s trying to say.
1. I take no issue with African-Americans making a new life in Ghana. I know some. One of them is my mentor who is retired. He moved to Ghana several years ago with his wife who is Ghanaian. She had lived in the US since the early 70s. After they both retired, they wanted a slower paced life, and decided to move to Ghana. Their retirement savings goes a long way there as well. For all inclusive purposes, their lives are much better. And they do indeed farm.
2. If you were to emigrate to a new country, realistically speaking, most people would move to a place where they can make an easy transition. Who intentionally seeks hardship? I don’t think taking the easier road in this regard is a bad thing. People emigrate for a better life, or the opportunity for a better life. When Africans emigrate to countries outside of Africa, is this too not part of the rationale as well? Who leaves their home country for more hardship? The less headaches and things to worry about, the better.
3. When the time comes, you can bet your life that I envision myself relaxing, and living the easy life. I too intend to live out the rest of my days as gracefully and headache free as possible, and that would probably include some farming. Ideally, in my father’s village, but I’m not beholden to that place alone. They are many places on the continent that I can go to, permitting that oil companies, monsanto and the rest of the multinational corporations haven’t destroyed everything by then.
I think it depends entirely on the rational for emigrating—education, career, finances, love, asylum, retirement, and so on.
I agree that no one wants “more hardship”, but I think that “different”—not more or less—headaches appear that a lot of people may not be prepared for. But my experience is only as a US citizen who has settled in Europe. That said, I know plenty Africans who have settled in Europe, and I think we all agree that the entire experience amounts to tradeoffs we are quite willing to make, for whatever reason, and can be assessed on a sliding scale from “Best Decision I Ever Made in My Life” to “Just One More Thing and I’m Out of Here.”
Might seem harsh but I want my football and the valid grievances of the Brazilian people kept separate. Like a “Yes I am Going to the World Cup” video response and an actual attempt to fix what’s wrong with Brazil (as with many developing countries). I want my World Cup and the amelioration of the lives of the millions of people who need and deserve it. Can’t I have both?
This is difficult to admit but I’m an emotional person.
No I don’t cry when my soccer teams lose, but my demeanor is pretty close to someone who just lost a loved one. I get swept by emotion and its difficult to present a calm exterior when something hits me. So to the people who see me go from weepy to grinning on my daily T commute, I’m ok honestly I’m just listening to the wrong playlist.
Maybe its better to describe myself as a serious person. I take everything seriously. I take entertainment seriously. I take joy seriously. I take other people’s pain seriously. I take life seriously. I know nothing is guaranteed in this life and I try my hardest to make sure I whatever I get to do I do it properly. I give my all into things, and when I say I love or hate something or someone I don’t say it lightly. You know every fiber of my being will strive to prove it.
I thank Allah for letting me win the lottery and letting me be born into a family that didn’t have to struggle a lot. When I see anyone in need I want to help and hate myself for not being able to do so.
Which is why overly serious Mo is not in a good mood.
Yesterday along with a number of people I happed to be on Boston’s Boylston street watching the annual Boston Marathon. I had my Nikon D5000 strapped to my right hand, gazing over the runners like a hawk over his prey (I also take photography really really seriously). I was looking for a story and a marathon is strewn with a multitude. The runner knowing the end is near, yet fighting the urge to collapse. The runner with the name of a loved one tattooed on their arm. The costumed runners with great senses of humor (I see you Leonidas and hamburger dude). I was hunting for agony, joy, smiles and relief.
Pretty girls out from hibernating Boston winter’s brightened an already beautiful day and were occasionally wonderful distractions. But I had work to do goddamit, so that grin turned to an angry scowl and I continued hunting.
I remember putting my camera down looking for more distractions when I heard and felt a boom. I thought it was a cannon from a ship. I hoped it was a cannon from a ship. But why would a battleship be on the Charles? I fought down the idea and remembered the last boom I felt. It was the earthquake in DC a couple years back and it brought back the same unwelcome emotions. Fear and anger, coupled with the shame of feeling afraid and angry. But the worst of all was hopelessness; knowing there’s absolutely nothing you can do. My short time was up.
I looked around and for a moment concern was covered by a little relief. And then the next moment another boom and a clear white shoot of smoke a few blocks away destroyed the calm that remained. There was screaming and running and crying and there was nothing I could do. I just stood there, fixed to my prime photography spot. I couldn’t move I couldn’t even think. I just stood there.
When I finally gathered myself I texted my mother over whatsapp and calmly told her I was in the vicinity of the bomb, but was unharmed and that if she couldn’t contact me I was fine. I still can’t believe how coherent I was when I texted. In that moment everything was so clear and I’m happy that she responded in an even calmer manner.
I quickly bagged my camera and ran towards the smoke to see if anyone needed help. Its one thing I have yet to learn in my two decades on this planet, knowing when to find my own safety. The police stopped me from going into the smoke and chaos and I’m thankful in retrospect. Like I said earlier, I take other peoples pain seriously. If I had gone in and saw with my own eyes the scenes that now cover the internet I don’t want to know how I would have a reacted.
From then on carrying into today I have the same face. Anger, fear, shame and helplessness plastered onto my visage. Anger at who ever did this, anger that this might again be a group of people using my name and my religion to justify pain on innocent people. Anger at myself for jumping to those conclusions when no evidence yet points to it. Shame for feeling that anger. Shame for feeling overwhelmed by anger and not just being calm and making sure any friends in the area are safe.
Fear that that morning, I had two choices of routes to take and I picked the one that allowed me to sit in my office today typing this up. I wanted to take pictures of the finish line since this is my last year in Boston. The plan was to start at the finish line and work my way through to earlier parts of the route. Going there first and seeing how many people were there turned me off the idea of staying or going back. And here were on Tuesday April 16, 2013, sitting in one piece while 3 people lost their lives and over 150 are injured. It’s really absurd how one quick thought can impact the rest of your life.
Most of the fear is gone now. But now I’m dealing with the anger. Why would anyone do this to anybody? Why my city? I live to understand what drives conflict. To understand what grievances lead desperate people to do stupid things. To understand why they are they way they are so we know how to make them stop. At this point we all know killing people just begets more death, more suffering. But at this point all I want to do is cause more suffering. I just want to pummel whoever did this into oblivion. Not bomb, not shoot; pummel with my own fists. Nothing can justify you causing a mother to cry over her child’s death. Nothing.
Time might be able to heal this. Maybe this weekend people will gather on Boylston and grab a drink (or five) and let loose and let out all this emotion. I just wonder if I’ll ever be able to walk past Copley and not see blood and pain. I wonder if even these idiots get caught whether I will actually be able to forgive them and let it go. I wonder when I’ll be able to not take my anger so seriously. I wonder if I will ever be able to do my bit to end suffering like this for people the world over.
I just know I never want to ever see anyone, friends, strangers, anyone, ever feel this way or experience loss on account of these attention seeking miscreants.
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.
I found this piece I wrote for a campus magazine close to three years ago. As far as I know it never got published. I can’t remember the exact reason why, but think the person in charge of submissions never got to read it. I’ve been looking over my old writing and this put a smile on face and brightened up this rather bleak Boston springwinter afternoon. It hasn’t been polished so I beseech forgiveness from the grammar gods. Hope it inspires me to write a bit more. Enjoy
The sound I will always associate with South Africa is an unusual one. It’s not the sweet bellow of the Vuvuzela or creative chants and jeers of the millions of fans. It’s the sound of a mariachi band. It was the first real sound I heard in the Rainbow nation and probably created one of my greatest facial expressions; a wonderful mix of shock, confusion and apprehension with a tiny dash of joy. It was insane that a sound so out of place seemed somehow to fit in. Everyone in the airport beamed, children were filled with joy were unable to restrain themselves and ran all over the place. Latin Americans were relaxed by the familiarity and South Africans looked on, in some way understanding and appreciating the alien sound and the enthusiasm it brought forth. Soon enough the African drums came in and then the beautiful vuvuzelas began to croon. I’d only been in the country for 10minutes and I already crashed my first party.
The world cup is the biggest party on the planet connecting billions of people the world over in song, drama, triumph and of course football(real FOOTball) every four years. The chance to participate is a footballers dream, and for an enthusiast like me, the only reason to live. I was looking forward to the 2010 edition since the end of the previous tournament in Germany in 2006. Ghana beat all the odds and my criticism at our first world cup to beat the Czech Republic and the United States, then rated as the 3rd and 5th best teams in the world respectively to qualify to the elimination round as the only African team to do so. According to a U.S. sports analyst, Ghana wasn’t “gonna” win; oops. The Black Stars (nickname for the National Team) exited the next round due to a 3-0 whopping from then defending champions Brazil, but the score doesn’t properly display the closeness of the game. A brave display from a young and inexperienced side was praised from all corners. Ghana wept tears of sadness mixed with greater amounts of joy and pride. I remember not talking for the rest of the day and reflecting. The next day I told my best friend the decision I came up with; that I would be with the black stars at the next world cup. He was thankfully wise enough to kill my dreams of ever playing professionally there and then, but then reassured me by reminding me that at least the next mundial(world cup) was going to be in south Africa. If I could save enough money in the next four years I could have at least enough money to fly down and watch the games in bars or right outside stadia. Of course I had to dream bigger, why go all the way there only to half ass it? Why not actually buy game tickets?
I saved up, borrowed money, sold my soul to the devil, bought it back and sold it again to be able to go, and in my first 10minutes in the country it was already worth it sans 22 sweaty dudes chasing some balls (pause). Problem though was how to get to the actual games, meaning I had to figure out proper modes of transport, travel times, accommodation and so on. Luckily my first game was only 40mins away in Pretoria and trains shuttled ticket holders to the stadium there every half hour till the game started. Two hours before the game however, the trains stopped running. T.I.A indeed, this is Africa where nothing works like it’s supposed to and I was in danger of missing my first world cup game because of it. There was no way I was missing the Black Stars play at the first world cup on African soil. Along with a number of stranded ticket holders, we rented a bus to take us to the stadium and we luckily made it ahead of time to the game.
Before a ball was kicked the trip was again vindicated. Corny as it sounds, I would pay billions just to recreate the joy and passion in people. People of all colors were wearing all colors. Ghanaians and Serbians were chilling, partying and laughing next to each other. The sounds were amazing, everybody was happy and bubbly and with all the local support Pretoria might as well have been Accra. That and the fact there were more Ghanaians than I had seen in ages made the stadium home; it was all Red everything, all Gold everything, all Green everything. The Black Stars capped of a great day with a great win. They were the first African team to secure a win a game on the first world cup on African soil. As far as I was concerned, we had won the world cup; I had never been happier.
Travelling to the four remaining games revealed the challenges of travelling in a foreign country with a foreign tongue all by yourself (might as well have been a different language with those accents). I spent a frosty night with only a tiny blanket in a classroom. I was delayed on a 15hr bus ride for about 7 more hours because of snowed out roads. I was on the road most of the 6weeks I was in the country and at times it seemed more trouble than it was worth. I lost more patience than I ever had and lost all enthusiasm for the games when Ghana was cruelly shown the exit in the quarter finals.
Football got me enthused again. I saw a game, I saw a play, I saw quality only reserved for the best of teams and I saw beauty only football can showcase. I pushed back the pain of Ghana’s loss and sought the allure of the Beautiful Game. There were the semi finals and finals to look forward to; 3 games of assured quality left. And they indeed were magnificent. I take joy in being one of the few I know to actually witness the magic of the world cup. I’m proud of the show South Africa put on for the world; while it might still be in Africa and certain problems persist, the impossible can still be achieved. I’m grateful for my stronger appreciation of all things football and I’m grateful that I still have bits of my soul left to sell for the next world cup in Brazil.