Afehyia Pa ooo…loosely translated means, we have met the year well. Time to reflect once again and plan for the year in front.
When I look back at the year, I can’t complain. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster, there were the lows (coming back to the cold weather without a job for some months), the highs (getting a job), the lows (dealing with people I don’t really care for) and the highs (accepting those people I don’t really care for). Throughout it all, God has been good and even on those dark gloomy days, at least I have managed to pay the bills.
When I first got back from Ghana, even my parent’s God bless them, didn’t have much faith in me. I don’t know how many times I told them “I didn’t get sacked, I walked away”, it felt a bit like they looked at me like I messed up. It got to one point where my dad although not in so many words, told me to get a cleaning job “get anything just to tide you over”. However, as I always tell myself, God doesn’t come down from the sky and point at you saying “it’s you!”, but he puts people in your path to give you a helping hand when you are down. Thankfully, after dropping countless CV’s at Agencies (I didn’t bother going direct to companies, an agent is more hungry to get their commission), one sent me for a Supply Manager position which I got.
The first few months were tough though. First of all, apart from one lady in the warehouse and the warehouse manager, I was/am the only black face in the main office. I decided to stay back and observe my surroundings rather than go in like a bull in a China shop, and managed to become very alien to my Caucasian counterparts. On top of that, one of the ladies I was tasked to manage and mentor, she had gone for the position and it felt a bit like she was on a quest to make me look bad and prove that she should have been the better choice. Unfortunately for me, she has also been in the company for 10 years (straight from school) so whatever opinion she had about me was shared by the rest of the office.
I know one or two of my managers are reading this saying “Karma”, and it probably is, but one thing I will say is this country, being a manager just means you have a fancy title. You don’t get respect automatically, and you have to earn it in sweat. Whereas in Ghana, there are probably no laws to protect you from any kind of employment issues (well none that probably work). With the laws here, if you look at someone sideways you may find yourself at a tribunal. Also, being a minority, you need to work twice as hard to prove that you are not a “stereotype”, and that you actually have a brain.
The job itself, not really a problem, it’s what I have been doing for the past 6 years, but the people (I always seem to have issue with the people), it took a while to get used to. But, I don’t know if it is the new Church I have been going to (yes, Efia has been consulting with a higher power), or the Christmas spirit, but things seem to be turning around.
Can I say I have made lifelong friends here, probably not. Do I trust anyone, not as far as I can throw them, but I can work with them and I can joke with them and it looks like I might even pass the probationary period so I can’t complain.
So looking to the year ahead, I am not getting any younger but still on that quest for a life partner, a child (before my eggs shrivel up) and I still want to return to Ghana at some point (it’s too cold here). For Ghana, I look at the last 6 years as an internship, I am older and wiser and know that when I return I am going to have to go back as an expat or starting my own business, but that’s as far as I have got on that, I am not going to stress on it too much right now.
In the meantime, I want to wish you one and all Afeyhai Pa, all the best for 2016 and thank you for all your support.
Until the next time x