LOUD WHISPERS: Cold, Alone And Forgotten

Years ago, when I was still living in London, I was on an underground train one day with an old black lady.  Let me call her Julia. I had at least eight train stops and Julia talked to herself all the way through. She was close enough for me to realise that she was speaking Swahili, which meant she was from one of the East African countries. Julia was very unkept and her coat looked like it had not been washed in a long time. Quite clearly something was amiss with her. I thought about how or why this woman ended up destitute and bereft of most of her sanity so far away from home. It could be a mental health issue, drugs, alcohol, abandonment, loneliness, or a combination of those things. I worked in the African community in London for many years, running advocacy, capacity-building, mobilisation and frontline service programs. From personal and professional experience, I know what life is like for Africans struggling to survive in a foreign country. I also know how easy it is for them to fall through the cracks.

Most Africans in the Diaspora fall into three broad categories. Group A includes those who have dual citizenship  or those able to live in their host country legally. Members of this group are professionals, with a good education, great jobs and careers, and would be regarded as model citizens. It is the members of this group who rise to positions of influence in their countries of residence and serve as community leaders, advocates and mentors for other kinsmen and women.

Full Article in Loud Whispers cover final

 

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: Cold, Alone And Forgotten

  1. Olakunle Olajide January 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    A touching article on Africans in diaspora. I don’t even know where some of my uncles and aunts abroad are, all i know is that they travelled overseas. You just penned down the reality ma’am. Some Africans enjoy the life over there while some endure the hardship and most peeps would prefer the hardship over there to their various hosts hardship believing that it is better but thank you for shedding more light and may the soul of Marcus and other late Africans in diaspora rest in peace.

    Reply
  2. Leggy January 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I hope Africans at home will learn from this great piece. The situation overseas might not be really palatable for living. Thank you ma.

    Reply
  3. Timi Cloe January 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

    At some point through the article I felt really sad, and I almost cried. That was a great and touching article.
    My prayer is just that his fear reign in our hearts – so we don’t become so desperate for money – risking our lives for what’s not really worth it.
    Of course, there are so many opportunities overseas, but if we look into the dark sides of these crafts – They are bizarre….
    I really hope the government can do something about this – making fleeing ✈ overseas less attractive.

    The dangers are just too much… They remain vulnerable in foreign lands – as long as they don’t get stay permit.
    May God have mercy….

    God bless you Ma for sharing this with us.

    Reply
  4. Fredrick Fiarad January 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    So saddening……
    I really hope a lot learn from this. The other side isn’t any greener than here. There are lots of things we can utilize here – it can’t be easily done over there… No place like where you truly belong.

    God bless Abovewhispers…

    Reply
  5. Dipupo January 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Marcus case is such a sad situation but it’s even sadder to realize that there are many Marcus and Julia in Nigeria. They are the men who sleep under the bridge in Lagos, that woman with twin girls sleeping on the road in ojota, or these young Hausa men who sleep wherever they can on the street of Lagos. For whatever this country has to do to take care of all her citizens, it must start with a database for all Nigerian. How can a mother who cares not or doesn’t know the number of her children care for them all?

    Reply
  6. Femi Diipo January 18, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    It shouldn’t be overreaching to ask one’s country to care for all her citizens even in diaspora, or to ask churches to give plenty back to the community from which tithes and offerings are generated. But sadly we come from a country that has lost its way a long time ago and religion commercialized more than ever before. This country hasn’t even cared for those living in it, it almost hopeless to think it’ll do better with those in diaspora. #changeisyettocome

    Reply
  7. Femi January 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    It shouldn’t be overreaching to ask one’s country to care for all her citizens even in diaspora, or to ask churches to give plenty back to the community from which tithes and offerings are generated. But sadly we come from a country that has lost its way a long time ago and religion commercialized more than ever before. This country hasn’t even cared for those living in it, it almost hopeless to think it’ll do better with those in diaspora. #changeisyettocome

    Reply
  8. Bamisebi Toluwalope January 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks ma for shedding more light to the hardship, pain, suffering that people ar going through over there.
    I actually felt sad while reading this article. Some of my relatives are also there running up and down in order to also survive. They can’t even travel back home for fear of not being able to travel back……
    About two years ago my lost uncle was found and was brought back to Nigeria. He told us of how he was in prison, how he got married to a white in other to get his stay and many other sad stuffs that happened to him over there.
    Marcus situation is just that sad, may he’s gentle soul rest in perfect peace ijn…

    Reply
  9. Tbams January 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    There are many Nigerians over their wandering about, looking for means to survive. Some even go in and out of prison for crimes they keep committing. May God have mercy on us and help us to see good in each and every country we find ourselves. Amen.
    RIP Marcus

    Reply

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