Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Diaspora streets not paved with gold

12 Jun 2021 at 06:50hrs | Views
Living abroad is one of the most eye-opening experiences that you can have for yourself.

It allows you to be challenged in new settings and work through problems you wouldn't encounter at home, so you can develop and grow as a person.

 It teaches you humility and to see life in a whole different dimension.

Seriously, if you're given the chance to do it; do it. Any problems you might encounter while abroad are not worse than the regret and forever "what ifs" you'll have if you don't go for it.

For many people, though, they wonder how they can possibly live abroad when they don't even have enough money to visit another country.

Going away from your comfort zone puts you in a fighting posture and you will take anything life puts in your path.

Many people in diaspora have been lucky in that they have had the amazing opportunity to live in more than a dozen countries, working a variety of different jobs ranging from care work to highest offices in the foreign land.

Some who had never seen the sea at home became dive masters and life savers.

Many Zimbabweans have found ways to live while spending almost nothing such as working in hostels in exchange for accommodation.

Some have gone abroad for the purpose of studying.

Studying abroad helps you to learn new languages, appreciate other cultures, overcome challenges of living in another country and gain a greater understanding of the world.

These are all things that modern businesses look for when hiring, and such traits will only become more important in the future.

For many in diaspora it has been a very long journey.

Going abroad has been long regarded as key to success.

Thousands of Zimbabweans have destroyed their livelihoods in a bid to secure a ticket and fly away to the Diaspora.

Many people sold their houses to buy tickets to go to the UK, some resigned from good jobs to come and become caregivers.

Comforted by cheaper prices of food in the UK and the ‘buy-one-get-one-free' schemes; they consider themselves rich.

Many are motivated by the stomach and that defines them.

Many people have placed themselves in a precarious position after abandoning their country for the ‘greener' pastures.

The grass looks greener out there, but is it?

Does one become rich by abandoning his/her country?

The Diaspora carries the badge of wealth, but actually commands none.

Society tends to equate the possession of money with a happy, successful life.

The pursuit of riches, by going abroad, is seen as the best course to achieve success.

As the saying goes: "Money does not buy happiness," and going abroad does not guarantee riches.

So if going abroad doesn't necessarily translate into success, what does?

For different people, success means different things, for some, it may mean amassing a lot of money while for others, it means doing what you love, or leaving the world a better place.

There are countless ways to define success.

It all depends on the individual. But the truth is that, being outside the country is not at all the get-rich-quick ticket.

Before packing your bags to go abroad, it is worthwhile to examine and try to determine what success is for you; set your goals accordingly and; then decide on strategies to achieve the success you want.

It's a lot like the process you go through to develop your financial plan.

Both involve some trial and error to figure out what works for you.

"Going abroad is only a smokescreen and not a sign of being rich," commented Dr Herbert Kawadza of Manchester, UK.

A person who has stripped down life to the bare necessities in order to devote more time to a beloved activity like farming or mining should be considered just as successful as the one toiling abroad and is probably far less stressed.

People can still make it, even though they are in Zimbabwe. No rich Zimbabwean is abroad.

Our people are being attracted by cheaply priced UK food and have abandoned their roots.

After all, there's no point in being rich if you're not fulfilled; and if you're not fulfilled, how can you say you are truly successful?

Being abroad, you are always reminded that you are a foreigner, self-confidence is eroded.

Being rich without self-pride is poverty of the worst kind. You can look at success as either a destination or a process.

Maintaining a fixed definition of success can lead to stagnation and even depression.

It is not surprising that the UK has a large number of Zimbabweans who are stressed and mentally disturbed.

"They are in a make-do world where they think they are better off than colleagues left in Zimbabwe," said Welcome Bhebhe from Luton.

You could measure these successes by achieving temporary, tangible goals like being a care home manager away from the motherland.

Alternately, you could set goals where ultimate success takes your entire lifetime, like a happy marriage, spiritual discovery or perfecting your golf swing.

Some Zimbabweans abroad are a very unhappy lot and try to pretend to be making it in life.

There is nothing richer than being home.

There are some frustrated Zimbabweans who have not found the easy rich pickings they expected to be everywhere in the land of the Queen.

Many Zimbabweans who are abroad are now looking for a get away ticket which will land them back home.

There is a very clear difference between being rich and being successful.

Michael Mudzamiri of Derby UK said no matter how much rich you are, still eat a certain portion and not more.

Anything more will be wasting food. Life is not seen through the lenses of richness. Life is what you make out of it.

So being abroad is not an added star. You can still be in Zimbabwe, yet very successful and happy.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.