Diaspora – Home fiasco : Who owes who?
By Ivy Nyasha Vimbai Chibanda
Everyone gets excited when a relative of theirs leaves the country, in search of greener pastures. We all know why we are happy, it’s not necessarily because they will have a better life out there but mostly it’s because once in a while we will need some goodies from the diaspora and of course money!
For some reason, the moment one enters a plane and leaves for a foreign country, we feel they owe us something which I have come to believe is not necessarily right. Yes, there are greener pastures out there but how green are the pastures? Have we ever thought that sometimes we earn more than the person in the Diaspora but still, we expect them to fund our living expenses back home yet we are also working.
Relationships have been strained because of expectations, expectations which sometimes we forget that the person we expect to feed us also has a stomach to feed, a family to take to school and accommodation expenses as well. I understand, in the African society, the moment you land a job you owe everyone a ‘drink’ somehow. Unfortunately, you can’t give out a ‘drink’ to Sekuru from babamunini before your mother is fed, charity begins at home.
In as much as we have expectations, I think there should come a point where we understand that entering a plane does not mean one immediately becomes a millionaire. Some of our relatives and friends in the Diaspora are not living the good life we think they are, they may be equally struggling as much as we are (that’s if we are struggling). Just because they upload a picture in a seemingly fancy restaurant, dressed in a beautiful dress or stunning suit also doesn’t mean they are well up. We all know how we sometimes lie or how we choose to post about the good parts about our lives and exclude the rest.
Dear family and friends, when someone sends you something from the Diaspora, brand new or second hand, appreciate the little that they have sacrificed for you. Before we complain about quality, let’s ask ourselves about what we have given in return. Are we only in the receiving end or is the love being reciprocated. Some of us are good at placing orders upon hearing that they are returning home but we can’t even send a greeting, just to check on them. Let’s be humane, and understand that in as much as someone may be in the other part of the world, we all have responsibilities and when the hand can give it shall give.
Ivy writes in her own capacity. You can follow Ivy Chibanda on her blog Ms. Resolute