We all know at least one of them and we love them even as we shake our heads at their naivety, at how easily impressed they are, how much they believe leaving the country will solve all their problems and some and more at how little effort they put in despite their dreams of luxury.
But then I discussed this with a girlfriend of mine, and we came to an agreement that this whole bushfallingthing is a trap. Those here know how it really is. They know the job was not easy to come by. They needed training for even the menial of jobs and it cost, and in some instances they still needed connections. Those here know a typical Cameroonian with the laissez- faire/ Augmentez les pris/ chop broke pot attitude would not cope here. But they encourage those back at home to aspire after bushfalling anyways because they know the trick.
Here’s the trick: something almost magical happens when that typical Cameroonian arrives here and sees just how hard it is, sees that “making jest” gets you nowhere. When it sinks in that there is no neighbor to beg for salt if you lose your job or to ask to babysit your child if you are careless and get pregnant unplanned, yes, when this sinks in the magic happens. What magic you ask? The magic of maturity, of self-responsibility, discovery of purpose, birth of ambition and generally growing up.
There are people abroad who live on 1 pound a day. There are people who beg even for the place they sleep, there are people who have their dignity impinged upon every day because they aren’t legal residents and the person housing them knows it. But yet they are here and they survive. They strive to flourish.