It’s the question on everybody’s lips. It annoys me, but people are wondering. Some come straight out and say it while others whisper behind my back, but everybody is wondering, from here in Ghana to those that I have left behind in the UK. Some are proud of me for making this bold step, I wasn’t born here but something has made me make that leap. Others are waiting for me to go back with my tail between my legs begging them at heathrow to take away that black book and place me back in my place of origin.
I say it annoys me, but well, I had a reason for leaving, so it is inevitable that others will wonder why also. The reason I left to make it to this developing land is because I wanted to be a success. I want it all, the career, the family, the home. I wanted to do it in a land where the majority of people look just like me. Yes, I could have done it where I was, I was a step away from being a qualified lawyer, but however successful or rich I became at that career I would be forever known as the successful black lawyer. And getting to that success would be a battle. I would either have doors slammed in my face so as not to rock the boat, as I’m not as eloquent as my obroni counterparts, or my look may not fit in with the image of the company. Or I may get the job, but then I would forever wonder if it was to fill the quota of being a black woman and the powers that be getting a 2 for 1 deal.
So I came back. To what I thought was the promise land. Ghana is getting a good reputation, it is a rapidly developing nation with economic (?) and political stability. It is ripe for foreign investment, and there is money to be made if you are smart about it. Which is why it pains me that my own people, those that look like me, see me more as a threat than a cure to the reliance of foreigners to making this nation a great one. So I am here, a foreigner in my own land. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it here compared tp the alternative. I’m a single female ok so today I don’t have a penny to my name until payday (ways to make some extra cash from anyone other than spam emails are most welcome), but I have a house. I may not have a fitted wardrobe, and a table for a kitchen worktop, but I don’t have a landlord knocking on my door asking for the rent due. I have enough to pay my mortgage and put food in my stomach, I have achieved more in 3 going on 4 years than I did in the 31 years, 2 degrees and a Masters that I did in my place of birth.
Today, I found out what the plan that my bosses had for me. How did I find out, I asked. I then went to my bosse and said this is what I have found out, is it true, and it was confirmed. My boss, the one from Chile and not man child boss, said to me, this is the plan, but he knows the way Africans are, basically blabbermouths, and I should keep my shit to myself until it has been confirmed (not in so many words but you get the drift). I agreed, I didn’t respond, not because I am dumb but to play the game. The only real difference between me and him is that he was given a leg up, and I went the long route. He nearly collapsed a whole country’s office and I have a couple of promotions before I could ever be in such a position. Yet I’m an African and he is three shades paler than me, so he has the right to tell me what I already know. I’ve heard as they say.
My Ghanaian counterparts, they quiver at the sight of the obroni, the saviour that has come to save them from their wretched existence. They keep their opinions to themselves and look at the person who looks just like them but had the chance to live in the new world in confusion. Why has she decided to come from a rich country to a poor one. I tell you why, my Uncle was once a top man in the previous government, his wife is a very reputable business woman, they have built 5 houses 2 in Accra, 1 in Kumasi and 2 in the Western Region of which the latter they are renting out to multinational expats. They have 5 children, all university educated and in successful careers. I have 2 uncles who are successful lawyers, they sent their children abroad to be educated and are now in the family firm. I know MPs, lawyers, Marketing directors, supply chain managers, business moguls, all who have made their money, not from going outside to the US or Europe to make their money but on these so called poor peoples land.
So I play the waiting game. I want to make a success. I want to start a family, I want a successful career, and I want to be known as that great lady who is kind and who made it and helped others to do same and not that great black lady.
So there you have it folks. Hope that answers your question.