Why We Are Fed Up And Moving To Ghana
This group of people are called the diaspora. The meaning of the word “diaspora” according to the Collins dictionary is “People who come from a particular nation, or whose ancestors came from it, but who now live in many different parts of the world.” The diaspora is a returning community of people.
So what has caused this huge surge of people moving to Ghana?
Having spoken to many people just like myself who have now made the move, we all have a very similar story to tell.
When my family and I decided to move back to Ghana almost 4 years ago now, we had no idea that this was rapidly becoming “a thing”. We were literally just doing what we felt was the right thing for our family at the time.
Fed up of working like dogs for very little quality of life we had had enough. My husband was leaving home at 5am to get to work and returning home at 7pm at night, 5 sometimes 6 days a week. I was juggling the school run and home life alone. I was miserable, he was miserable. This was not living and I could not understand for the life of me how other people around us happily did this every- single -day. Deep in our hearts we knew there was something more that had to be explored. There had to be more to our lives than working for a company and doing the school run.
My husband wanted to move to Ghana a few years earlier than we did move but I wasn’t ready as I felt we were too early into our child bearing season. I certainly didn’t even consider giving birth to children in Ghana especially after all the horror stories people would tell about Ghana. After baby number 3 was born we decided to go for it, take the plunge, pack up and move to Ghana.
As the whole diaspora awakening was in its infancy back then people called us crazy and thought we wouldn’t be able to handle it. They felt we were somehow denying our children by moving to Ghana. They were waiting for us to fail.
When we touched down in Ghana we had no idea what we were doing but quickly realised that we weren’t the only ones making such a bold move in moving to Ghana. We started meeting people who had already made the move almost daily. It was astonishing as it never crossed my mind for even a second that other people were feeling the same way that we were.
After having had a few conversations it was clear to see that we all had something in common. We were all fed up of mundane life and craved a life of fulfilment. We wanted to be creative, use the skills that we had learnt, grow, mature, build business and succeed at life in general.
There is a clear glass ceiling involved in other counties that black people simply cannot penetrate. We can’t have the freedom of expression in the fields that we want too. As much as it would please me to say that this is not true, it is. We know that there is a space within the African market that is just for us that we can fill, so we want to be able to do just that.
My husband is into construction. He can talk all day long about building houses and the best types of floor plan etc but the chances of him being able to start his own construction company within the UK is slim to almost non existent. Finance would be his first obstacle. Whereas in Ghana there is opportunity to do just that. If we take the skills that we have learnt from abroad and add in the currency exchange rate you have an awesome formula for cake making, so to speak.
Another thing that I have observed from the diaspora is that many people have started off in one career path and come to Ghana only to pursue their true passion here and many are succeeding in it. Suddenly life has meaning. People are being successful and making money in the areas that they love, their true calling. Life is no longer about simply existing day to day but rather life has just begun.
Meet Sharna Darko
I am of Jamaican heritage, born and raised in the UK. I moved to Ghana after a 7 year stint in South Africa. My husband is Ghanaian so when he received a job offer that would bring him home, we jumped at the chance!
I’m a serial entrepreneur, and currently have an online business, Eight Lifestyle
Although Ghana has its challenges I absolutely love it here, and feel extremely at home.
Meet Kwame & Frankie
Frankie and Kwame were both raised in the UK but have Ghanaian roots.
For Kwame moving to Ghana almost 4 years ago allowed him to see the huge potential in construction that Ghana has to offer.
“Before moving to Ghana my body was in the UK but my heart was always in Ghana.”
Kwame already had extensive building experience from the UK so he and his business partner Frankie teamed up to start a construction company, Sovereign Homes Ghana aimed at building affordable UK quailty homes within Ghana.
Meet Maame Adjei
Moving to Ghana was a very impulsive decision but one I was confident about. I had come to Ghana for a short two week vacation and by the time I was leaving I was clear that I was going to move back permanently.
I went back to the States and in 3 months I resigned from my position and shipped all my belongings to Accra.
I moved because I felt that things had become stagnant in all aspects of my life in the States. Ghana just seemed to be a place I could really figure out my passions, pursue them and live a more well rounded life.
I moved to Ghana because I felt freer here and I saw opportunity.
Since Ghana is an emerging economy, the place is ripe for ideas and growth across industries. You have to be resilient though. Living and working here is not for the faint at heart.
I believe there is a misconception about the African continent and I started my company Ford Communications to support correcting the narrative and develop the hospitality industry, through customer service training. I simply want to bridge the gap so I use PR, digital marketing and media to do that. That’s my work and I love doing it.
It’s great to sit down and talk about how great Ghana is or can be but you have to also understand that there are also frustrations that come along with living here. Moving to Ghana is certainly not the “get out of jail free card”. There are sacrifices that you have to be willing to make to move here. Electricity outages were a huge problem in Ghana a few years ago with the previous government. We would have 24 hours of no electricity then 12 hours on again and then 24 off again. It was a very difficult time for everyone. I know a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to handle that and that’s ok. Moving to Ghana is not for everyone. It can be hard especially if you don’t have a good support network.
Water shortages sometimes occur, Internet can be unreliable, the roads sometimes have potholes or are untarred. Processes here can sometimes take a long time. These things are frustrating BUT the diaspora still see the advantages of living in Africa to far outweigh the negatives. Many of us see these things as small obstacles to overcome for the greater good in achieving what we want.
We are willing to sacrifice to see established the things that we want achieved. If moving to Africa is in your heart you owe it to yourself to explore the option. My one piece of advice to you is, come with an open mind and be willing to learn. You don’t have all the answers and there are no quick fixes here. Learn the customs and work with them. If you can do this, your transition will be so much more smoother. Rome was not built in a day and neither is Ghana. Take time, chill small and finally live life the way it should be.