Why Diaspora Kenyans come back home broke

I don’t know whether you have seen the video of a Kenyan lady who is living in the streets after coming back home from the US.

Apparently, she was deported after being abroad from 21 years because she did not have the right documentation. I had so many questions on how this happened but anyway, this blog post is not about unearthing this specific case unanswered questions.

I want to talk about things that I have witnessed in my three years abroad that made me understand how someone could possibly go back home broke and have to start from scratch.

1. They live on credit

This is the biggest mistake one could make when they move abroad. Most of these phones most summer bunnies come to floss with are actually on loan. In most developed countries one can take a loan of up to sh 5 million without physically visiting a bank. Just by downloading an app. I’m not saying that everyone who takes a loan buys phones, new shoes and a laptop. Some people do invest wisely. However, if one does not and keeps taking loan after loan for leisure purposes…..choices and consequences go hand in hand. Ama namna gani my friends?

2. Feeders instead of builders

Then we have some of us with relatives back home who think that there is a money tree abroad. Although sometimes I feel that diasporans created this problem themselves. When you create an impression that you have more and are willing to share all the time then you had it coming. But there are ways to curb such behaviours. Instead of sending money all the time, why not set them up on an income-generating venture?

3. Procrastination

‘If you do not start investment plans on your first year in Sweden, you will never start!’ Those were wise words I was told by a drunk person a few months into my move here. He had lived here for 10 years with nothing to show but still shared very deep words that have inspired me since. I think most people keep postponing projects and before they know it, they desperately need to move back. My advice, start now with the little you have. The rest will fall into place as time goes by.

4. Peer Pressure

I have also learnt the hard way not to share any plans and only talk about them when they are underway. People can really discourage you wueh! Just do your thing and follow your heart. Always remember that at the end of the day you moved to your host country on your own. The rest is history!

5. They are detached

Nothing annoys me than an African who asks questions like: ‘So where did you drive? There are roads nowadays?’. I always encourage people to go back home and always keep up with the news because things are changing a lot in Kenya. It probably offers better opportunities than the current situation in the host country.

214 thoughts on “Why Diaspora Kenyans come back home broke

  1. Is this meant for class 8 drop out? Sounds like an something you’d say to someone looking to buy buy a chicken or a goat.

  2. I’m happy to see you back, Cate!!
    This post is – in part – very useful, also for Swedish-born people. Especially young people who do not find their way into the job market. “Do your thing and follow your heart” applies to everyone. So does your observation that “most people keep postponing projects”. I find your blog very inspiring to read although I’m Swedish born and never yet set my foot in Africa (though I get inspired by what I read here to go there some day).
    Best wishes
    David

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