The Search For Greener Pastures: The Case Of Ghanaians In Dubai

Feature Article The Search For Greener Pastures: The Case Of Ghanaians In Dubai
FEB 13, 2017 LISTEN

Whenever I walk on the streets of Accra specifically the route from Madina Market to Haatso and some parts of East legon, the only posters I see is “Work and Travel Abroad” in countries mainly being Dubai and that makes me wonder what Dubai has got to offer. Is it abundant jobs abundant enough to have satisfied the Dubai nationals and still abundant jobs ready for take by immigrants?

Is it too many accommodations for future generations and even more for immigrants? I bet to differ but this is generally driven by what people have perceived for a very long time that, moving away from ones country to another is a step towards riches and fulfilling ones desire in life.

Life is funny and at the same time intriguing to hear stories regarding people who travel abroad and later realize that, that was the biggest mistake they ever made. In making constructive personal plans, the youth takes into consideration the need to travel abroad to make ends meet. This idea appears to be quite phenomenal and common in the conversation of seven out of ten youth.

Why would anyone want to leave his country to settle in someone else’s country? The need to be wealthy and successful; is it about travelling and settling outside of your native land? I have always believed in the need for personal planning. When you sit down to carefully structure and plan your life, you shall see things going on successfully which would beat your imagination. It’s not about where you are, it’s about what you are able to become in where you are. My teacher always told us, to pass your Wassce, it’s not about your school but it’s about yourselves. Your input towards academia each passing day would determine your tomorrow.

It is how ever surprising that, even after tertiary education, some mates of mine still had interest and the desire to travel abroad and make life worth living out there. I don’t think the lion would ever want to get out of the jungle and pay a visit to the zoo where its movement is restricted. Everyone feels safe and comfortable in his natural habitation. The desire to travel abroad, is it psychological?

I wish I had perfect answers to such questions but I have always redirected such questions to one answer; worker comfortability and good standard of living. Unlike our country Ghana where one works eight hours a day for twenty two days excluding weekends and his salary is pegged or fixed at a certain amount or rate, in abroad, one is paid based on number of hours. This policy actually is what drives the desire to travel and work abroad and not the beauty of their cities, you wouldn’t travel all the way to London to watch the London Bridge! After wards what next?

People would love to make much more money looking at how the world economy is now. As a result, the need to travel to a country where earnings are determined by the employee and not the employer, so I decide to be rich or poor. I can decide to over work at one firm or engage myself and provide my services to multiple firms where I would be handsomely paid at the end of the month.

Then come to Ghana where a Dollar to the Cedi would be favorable to me and then get my money multiplied. Sounds like a nice idea to travel out there. But the reality is, life is made much more flexible in the United States for example than Ghana. Cars are bought or given and paid in installment which is quite flexible. A Ghanaian works hard, get enough money, buys the car from the USA, pays for import duties and even do little maintenance on the car before use.

The cost which exceeds the price you would have had it if you lived in the USA. This is an indication that, whether the person lived in abroad or his home country (Ghana), he could get better in life with planning. Good planners in Ghana are making their lives worth living so it isn’t always about being in the United States.

If it was a country flowing with milk and honey, we wouldn’t have beggars on the streets of New York or poor citizens either. Another thing is, you turn to be restricted in terms of your activities when you travel abroad. You become so much cautious of your activities in order not to commit yourself in the face of the law of that land as they may press lots of charges regarding illegal immigration documents, race etc.

But contrary to the comfortability of most developed countries which is the basis for people wanting to travel , travel and work takes a more different shade when the person finally gets to abroad specifically Dubai. When you mention Dubai, the first thing that comes in the minds of people is riches and great infrastructure. It’s a city that started from nothing to something (a city of great concrete and glass). Probably, employing and using immigrants to build its city whilst it’s local inhabitants enjoy the fruits of such labor.

Southern Asians and Africans who have traveled to Dubai to specifically work there have come to understand this expression “sweat, blood and tears”. With the posters on the streets of Accra, they promise of giving interested applicants jobs and place to lay their heads in Qatar, Dubai etc. Sadly, the situation changes when they get there. I read the story of a lady who got to Dubai and truly was offered a job as a maid servant to a Dubai national.

The level of maltreatment pushed the innocent Ghanaian lady to commit suicide by jumping from the window of a five storey building. She was given harsh treatments, could virtually go to bed without food, sexually abused by the husband, meagre salary paid, always beaten by her madam etc. it’s like, the agency that recruits have representatives here in Ghana who does the recruitment on their behalf, so at the end, the agency gets a greater part of the income as well as the representatives.

Since these representatives get some benefit from this business, they become reluctant in aiding the immigrants to come back to their country when they complain of the harsh treatment and their readiness to return home. In most of the cases, most of the young girls who travel there either become sex traders or they are sexually abused. There is no absolute peace of mind elsewhere than in your own country. Stay here, plan here, and make it here.

It is true to say “home sweet home” and this Akan adage that goes like “ se wosi ekyi eye d3 koraa, 3h) ara na wotafiri”. You can never express yourself and feel loved than in your own country. At least, you would have two or more friends and family members to run to when in dire need of something and emotional advice.

You may have heard about the beautiful stories in Dubai especially the most beautiful and luxuries Dubai heights, I don’t think anyone would stress himself of the last drop of his blood to get to Dubai just to be viewing Dubai heights or its ultra-modern and state of the art fountains. After you strive to get to Dubai, UK,USA, Spain, Canada etc, what next? You can make life better for yourself in Ghana by living a planned and focused life.

Writer: Emmanuel De-Graft Quarshie