What a thrill it was when I first started using facebook to reconnect with many old friends, classmates and family; some of whom I have not heard from nor see for years. As the joy of reconnecting gradually worn out, we tried to mend the long years and build bridges to help cement the rediscovered friendship.
As such, there were a lot of catching ups to do. Many wanted to know where I was and what is happening in my life. It seems many automatically believed that it was a gone conclusion I must have joined the band wagon out of Cameroon and Africa at large for greener pastures in the Western worlds be it Europe or America.
It was quiet an interesting discussion I had with these dear friends… they, by virtue of our discussion where grouped in two. The first group were the honest ones who gave me a balanced and clear picture of what the euphoria to travel West especially in Africa is all about. When asked where I was and I saying ‘good ole Pays’ they said… ‘Mama if thing dem di waka you for pays stay you de oh… because this bush de so sometime dem ee di pinch over’ And I was like ‘but I thought that is where all the happiness is?’ and they were like ‘ wosai, make man no fool you if better day you stay you for pays’.
The second group are those who hold the impression that no matter what, nothing good can come out of Africa and as such…we are wasting our time staying in Africa. Their line of conversation is always like ‘What are you still doing in Africa? You need to come over here very fast you are wasting your time and life…’ I am always like ‘For real?’ Sometimes I will tell them ‘ I am still waiting for the Atlantic to get dry so that I can just trek and cross over; other times I tell them because I am the land lady.’
Granted Africa and Cameroon especially have their own woes and the impassivity of the powers that be leaves much to be desired and can be sometimes very frustrating. But still which country in the world today doesn’t have their own share of the world’s woes and headaches? I believe our problems will be solved by God and him alone but then until kingdom come, life goes on and despite the headaches, we can still make the most out of it to stay happy irrespective of where we find ourselves in.
I am happy I have friends and relations in ‘bush’ who gave me a balanced view of what life is all about in the West. That it is not all about the demi-paradise that hollywood and CNN try to portray but still it boggles the mind why some people continue to believe that one can never be genuinely happy in Africa unless they travel abroad for the so called greener pastures. I for one am perfectly happy staying in Cameroon despite the headaches. Does that make me less ambitious? I doubt it. My question remains after all this; why do so many people think happiness is an elusive concept to Africans in Africa?