So What Must We Begin Doing NOW as an African Immigrant Community
We must make it a habit and/or a ritual to record any and all successes we have as African immigrants AND share them with our fellow African immigrants who may not be “up to our level”, no matter how small or large our successes.
Why is This Important?
Let me ask you a question: How many of you STRUGGLED when you first landed abroad?
You struggled to understand the weird words that were coming out of the foreigner’s mouth. You struggled to understand why they weren’t talking and acting like normal people would.
You struggled with public transport. You struggled getting your first job. You struggled on your first day of class. You struggled to understand all the paperwork and documentation necessary to make things happen.
Now, how many people came before you and went through just what you went through? How many do you think took as much if not more time to get to pretty much where you are?
Reducing a Learning Curve
What if JUST ONE of those people who came before you said:
OK! I am now relatively settled in this place. Boy that adjusting and acclimatization process was rough. I don’t want other folks to have it that hard, spending 3 years just to say “they got here”. I think I will put this down into a free manual and just share it with all the new arrivals when I pick them up at the airport or see them in the church or community gatherings.
Though the Above Idea is Just an Abstract Example…….
….it’s not a ridiculous impossibility. Just think about how much quicker the learning curve would be for the incoming immigrant had JUST ONE guide from JUST ONE immigrant.
Now imagine if 5 immigrants got together,exchanged notes and did the exact same thing. So where one person was weak, or wrong or went the long way, someone shows them the alternative better or shorter way. Where there were other holes in one view of the world, someone else covered them up. How much shorter would their learning curve be?
This Happened For Real
By far, one of my least popular, “but so useful I think it should do well” series is How to Immigrate to Australia within a week (most of the hyperlinks above are from that series). That guide actually got written after I helped a new person settle into the country.
The first day she arrived in the country, she already had a job. Within a fortnight she had:
a) A bank account that was transferring money to and from her country.
b) Accomodation and all the accomodation accesories bought and paid for.
c) An understanding of how to get around by public and private transport.
d) Knew the websites and places where one could find work.
Now, when I started job hunting, it took me close to 6 months to find my first job. She managed to get a job on HER FIRST DAY.
This simple habit can save people so much on time, money and emotional energy it’s not even funny.
Don’t We Already Do This?
Now to a large extent we as an African community already do this in a very informal person-to-person way. When my family and I first arrived, there was a family that showed us around and told us things like:
People will always want to touch your hair. They love natural African hair.
But what I am talking about is:
a) Sitting down putting it into a form that can be mass distributed and mass consumed.
b) Distributing it so that one man’s insights can reduce the learning curve of many, not just immigrants.
In short, how the lessons from one man can help elevate the consciousness and decision making of other children of the soil about to make a trans-ocean migration.
On the next article in this series I will talk about HOW we can go about doing this effectively.
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