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Any need to travel abroad?
Reading Time: 4 minutes

You wake up every morning, take care of your body and do the house chores. If you have a job, you head out to face the laborious time, the insensitive Boss, the extended hours and the meagre income. An income, too meagre to face the harsh blows from utility bills, rent, tax, family requests, emergencies, and miscellaneous; an income too meagre, for savings and investment. If you have no job, you realized how infinitesimal you are. You turn on your phone or the TV and you are inundated with shameful news of the state of your country and insensitive government policies. You realize for the first time the acidic truth – either there is no hope for this country, or it will take donkey years for hope to come. You feel helpless to change the country. Time, you do not have. So, what do you do? You want to travel abroad. Hold on to that thought. Let us examine the facts.

The Reality

Sadly, the environment is not enabling. The educational system in Africa as a whole is slowly degrading and suffering from what we call a ‘double crisis’. First of all, Africa’s educational system is being affected by the quantity crisis, borne out of the fact that there are simply not enough universities and tertiary institutions to take and support the continents’ growing number of students. According to Quartz Africa, there are merely 740 universities supporting 660 million students in the 10 most populous African countries resulting in a ratio of 1 university to about 890 thousand students. No wonder most African university apart from the University of Cape Town, ranks poorly in the world university rankings.

Secondly, Africa’s educational framework is constantly being degraded by quality crisis, resulting from the overall poor quality and standard of the African education system. This is caused by the use of obsolete teaching methods and curricular, inadequate learning facilities and ultimately, poor funding.  Hence, increasing the level of mismatch between the skills sort by employers and skills possessed by youths. Also, resulting to the alarming rate of unemployment, which is currently 60% of Africa’s youth population. This puts the African Youth at a disadvantage, making it difficult for them to compete with their foreign counterparts.

Over the years, all these have led to a rapid increase in the trend of African Youths going abroad to seek greener pastures. With minds filled with wonderful tales from countrymen, betrayal from indigenous government, hearts filled with hopes and aspiration and spirit, filled with determination and resolve, most African youth are bent on going abroad.

Many European countries, such as Italy, Spain, France and Germany, along with many other countries such as Canada (whose visa is currently on high demand creating the present ‘Canada craze’), due to a constant increase in their average age population, a decline in birthrates and a significant drop in their labour force, welcome immigrants into their country under their own terms, but apparently, not warmly. In the beginning, African youths are filled with the excitement that their problems have gotten to their final bus-stop. They couldn’t be more wrong. First of all, Africans are hit with the huge existing cultural difference. While still trying to adjust, most find out that their educational and work credentials are not recognized, forcing them to go back to school or settle for menial jobs. With time they begin to notice the existing segregation where they are identified and differentiated by the colour of their skin and constantly seem to run into bad luck. Truth be told, some foreign countries are more receptive than others, and racism depends on the individual you meet.

Even the Duchess of Sussex, Megan, who is married to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and 6th in line of succession to the British throne, due to her mixed parentage is not spared these acts of racism. Hence, her recent decision in the heat of the crisis. Also, thousands of youths who neither have a visa nor the finance, opt for life-threatening channels. They try crossing the ocean or the desert resulting in the death of a large number. Some Africans who quit the fairest paying jobs and positions in their respective countries to chase the dream of a sweet life abroad complain at the end that they have been fed with nothing but lies. But some maintains that the situation is far better than what they face in Africa. But one general truth among both stories is that at the end, they yearn to return home. Some return permanently, some return for vacations, some cannot due to lack of finance and the shame of being a failure.

The resolve

The truth is that anywhere in the world, success is achieved by hard-work, smart-work as well as persistence. Some environment, no doubt, are more enabling than others. A survivor naturally will choose a better enabling environment. But with foreign environment comes the ultimate reality of racial prejudice or at least identity/cultural crisis. This reality sometimes occurs even amongst similar identity/culture ie. Brexit, Xenophobia, Ghana-must-go, America vs Mexicans, etc.

Can we really say that the African economy will not get better anytime soon? I guess it depends on the African country. South Africa keeps improving, so too is Seychelles. Ghana is on the right map. Nigeria has not been able to get the basics right and realistic views agree that Nigeria is not getting better anytime soon.

But there are really no greener pastures. The grass is green only where you water it. African youths need to start focusing on and watering their roots. Those who persistently put on the smart and hard work now, may become better for it, as others will have to invest on a premium later. Africa is a continent with extraordinary challenges, and it is not enough to wait for the government to deal with them. Whenever you see a problem, try to solve a part of it. Solving it makes your country better and puts food on your table if you are smart about it.

Stick your hard-work, smart-work and persistence at home or abroad? The choice is yours.

19 Responses

  1. Thank you Nenye. Nice thoughts there, keep it up! Let’s hope our country gets a good leader that will give our youths reason to be proud citizens.

  2. Nice write up Chinenye Chukwudebelu .

    My opinion:The African continent has failed in all ramifications and for some people they don’t want to keep believing in the everyday lies of its government, that is why they leave to a better society, while to some they still have hope that Africa is just passing through it transitional phase, that things will eventually get better someday. Well for me if leaving the continent will make u achieve your long term goals and dreams please leave , if staying back will make you still achieve those goals stay back. But whether you leave or staying back let’s keep one thing in mind, Africa is ours the faster we realise that and start acting in accordance for a better Africa, the better for all of us and our children unborn.

    Thanks for the write up, keep writing, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. Nice write up.
    Several issues were raised and left hanging (No solutions were adviced). Some other issues and solutions were implied…

    A direct approach would have been better for me

    Thanks again. I was particularly happy about some statistics.

  4. Beautiful and ideal write up..
    However I think the greatest challenge of African race is bad governance. Surprised you didnt mention it.
    On the education aspect, Africans, Nigerians in particular are naturally intelligent being able to cope with the deplorable and abysmal state of Education system in African, Nigeria to be precise, hence the wonderful performance if found in the midst of the foreign counterparts.
    On the issue of watering the garden , some people , the government who have access to these gardens neither water it nor make it conducive for the common man to so do.
    Start up a petty business, u will watch it die a natural death due to lack of basic amenities(electrical power precisely).
    In schools, just like in the government, the men of 1940s and 1950s are still the ones in charge, exchanging grades for sex, the Asuu going on strike and frustrating the students in a stupid effort to get to the government whose children are not in Nigeria. Much as it is not the best to run out of our home countries, if running out will provide us the resources and skills to come back and invest in our country, then I think its a nice idea. At the point of necessity , we choose the lesser evil

    • The article clearly shows the menace of bad government and leadership. Surprised you didn’t notice. I am very delighted with your view and the last statement ‘choosing a lesser evil” Indeed, it is a personal choice.

    • So, so apt. What’s your brand? I feel like buying you a drink 🍻

    • Yes, there much more to learn abroad irrespective of how rigid their system can be. I believe they have a better structure

  5. We all know the hard reality on ground being a youth in Nigeria and the numerous challenges we face every passing day.

    You mentioned countries like Seychelles, South Africa, and Ghana. Currently, Ghana is having her year of return, a situation engineered by the government where Ghanaians living abroad are encouraged to return home to the former Gold Coast to live and invest. Soon Ghana will be the Next Big Thing in tourism. When you have a government that is willing to support her youths, the youths will always excel.

    A closer look at The Henley & Partners Passport Index 2020, you will realise the full force of the failed Nigerian State. How can the most populous black country in the world and arguably the biggest economy in Africa be languishing in the 96th position with access to just 46 countries which none is in the category of a first world country.

    People leave the country for a whole lots of genuine reasons. The youths who know their worth are leaving in droves, it’s rather sad as it leads to brain drain, but when the system at home seem claustrophobic, there is no viable option left.

    You rightly mentioned hard work and other good traits one needs to survive.

    Can I be honest with you? I choose to be in a system, a country that rewards hard work over tribe, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, bigotry, impunity. Et cetera. If racism, discrimination and any form of discrimination is the price I have to pay to have my dreams come true, so be it. My unborn children deserve better.

    My advice to bright Nigerian youths, get your passport, your transcripts, learn a relevant skill and emigrate. It’s beautiful to be patriotic, but it’s rather more beautiful to be patriotic from saner climes.

    It can be frustrating, really.

    African Youths, any need to travel Abroad? *Yes!*

    • A view, well represented. Nice one Chukwudi. Even in an unfair environment, some African youths are actually doing very well in their country including Nigeria. Yet, some do well when they leave the shores. Finally, the conclusion of the article is the ultimate reality.

      • Yep. She drew a pragmatic conclusion.
        I’ll leave if I have the tiniest of opportunities.

  6. This is an eye opening write-up. Nenye has done justice to proferring solutions to our numerous problems rather than running away in the face of extreme difficulties because the pasture on the other side isn’t always greener than speculated. Kudos!

  7. I love your conclusion. Cause if you had said we shouldn’t go abroad, I will bluntly refuse! Lol

  8. Speak on Chinenye!!! Wonderful insight and opinion. I love the writeup. I will go to Canada and maybe come back when I have made a little more money and gain International experience.

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Emmanuel Okonkwo
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Emmanuel Okonkwo is a professional content/creative/copywriter; a critic and a lawyer. He is a published writer internationally and locally; the founder and editor of De Critic. He holds a bachelor degree in Philosophy & Communications; a diploma degree in Copywriting & Marketing; and others. Crazy right? He has written for some of the world best marketing agencies, influencers, blogs and magazines. He is unique, rational, fun, radical and balanced.

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Chinenye Chukwudebelu is a professional copywriter/content writer that enjoys writing about brand's products/services and lifestyles. She is also an investment banker and a data analysis enthusiast. She has a great voice and she is shy.

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