An African’s journey to adaptation
Growing up, I had a wonderful life. Two working stable parents who would do anything for their child. I had financial stability, lovely friends and families, as well as the love of everyone around me. It was nice as I was filled with lots of pride in my beginning and reality at the time. Then all hell broke loose when my father lost his job. I was a supportive daughter, as usual, talking about it won’t ease the burden but aggravate it even more. Then came the holidays came and I’m being told that I’m going on vacation. Filled with excitement, I pack my bags to prepare for this journey. I had never been to America before (lol). I didn’t tell anyone, mummy told me not to. “it’s supposed to be a surprise,” she says. I take pictures at the airport, kiss my dad on the cheek, and hug him tightly one last time. I encounter my journey to the US on an illusion I would be visiting my cousins for the holidays. I didn’t know what to expect nor what was the future. One thing was sure though, that was the last I saw my father and I wasn’t going back.
THE STRUGGLES OF ADAPTATION
Africans emigrate based on reasons involving government, economic as well as personal problems. It isn’t an easy transition as you’re dropping everything you have and start anew from scratch. It takes a while to get used to. Africans have to deal with the pressure of being in these new places and cultures and don’t go past being generalized and stereotyped based on what’s portrayed on the media about one’s country or the continent in general. I was not spared from all this. I had my fair share of change and it was a rough ride. I turned to art, theater and film as m safe space not to lose my sanity. It was my way to adjust and find common ground with non-Africans. Below is an infographic on what migration is like, why Africans emigrate. All these are both general Africans and mine put together.
In the end, my journey to this new land was not in vain. I got to learn a lot about myself like I never knew before. Yes, coming here was not at all what I had expected. Definitely different that had both it’s good and bad times. It all depends on what you make of it. Through coming here, I became an artist, filmmaker, and photographer. I became more confident in who I am and what I stand for. Every day I strive to be an impact on somebody’s life, to educate them about Africa, portray the food and culture. I exhibit African excellence wherever I go because I am proud of my heritage. I may not be there at the moment, but AFRICA forever and ever lives in my heart. My past self would have thought of this as a mistake and regret 4 years ago, but in the present, she’s happy with what she has done with the opportunity given to her. I can’t wait for what the future has for me, but is the future ready for me?