What are they dying for?

What are they dying for?

Why have we come to the west? Why did we stay? What are we doing here? Why do more young Africans struggling to come here and die trying to cross the Mediterranean?

Is the dream still worth dying for?

I gave up my TV some ten years ago. But nowadays, you don’t need a TV to know what is going on around the world. News is everywhere.

A boat carrying over 300 African immigrants reached Italian coast . . . That is no news, happens all the time. . .   Inside the boat were hope, but also death and tragedy, half of the migrants died on the way. . .

 What are the young Africans, still dying for?

Some were brought here very young; they grew up, went to school and became productive members of the society. Others came here in the prime of their life; they were in their late teens, some in their twenties. They gave up everything they have ever known and came. Others even gave up their high paying job in Africa and came to the developed world.

What are they doing here? What are we doing here?

There is this guy I used to know. His name is John.

John is from Nigeria, highly educated man. John went to the US in his twenties, in the prime of his life. He was an Engineer, lived and held high paying jobs in the US, made lot of money.

Talking to him some time, you have a feeling that John wish he contributed with all his talent and abilities into building his home country, Nigeria.  But now, John is an old man, but still very intelligent (even more so), talent and abilities do not disappear with age, but John skills are no longer needed in this society. So John wish he had returned to Africa while he was still able to help build his native land.

Of course, John has tried to move back to Nigeria, in the early 80s, but he couldn’t live there, the country was too unstable politically, so he went back to the US and contributed to the host country through his talent, training and abilities. John once had a wonderful family but is now divorced. His kids are now grown and don’t need him anymore. So, John often finds himself alone these days.

He said he won’t mind returning to Africa, and maybe teach in university, pass on all the experiences and knowledge he has acquired throughout his years living and working in the US.

Not every immigrant is as lucky as John.  The 300 + that were saved by the Italian marine will definitely not be as lucky as John. So, what kind of job is waiting for them? What type of life is waiting for them on the other side of the Mediterranean?

I look at the image, I can’t help but think of slavery, except this time the passengers are volunteers. Empty souls.

I ask myself, what create the desire so strong that people are willing to risk their life in order to make it to this side of the world? We see it in many places around the world. South America, Africa, Haiti, etc. . . 

What are they dying for?

I took my friend to the airport this week; he was flying to Harare (Zimbabwe).  He will be gone for a little over a month.  Christmas and New Year coming.

In my friend’s luggage few presents for friends and family, some money in his pocket for the few weeks that he will be staying in Harare.  He is on vacation; once there, he will have to go see this family member . . .  this cousin . . .  this friend . . .  and on it goes.  And of course he needs money for all that.

I personally don’t go see anybody when I go there, but that is just me. I don’t buy any gift for anybody. But my Zimbabwean friend has to. He hasn't been back in his native country in over five years. So in the desire to be nice to people back home and enjoy himself a bit, he will eventually end up creating and nourishing the idea that somehow life is easier and better in this side of the world. And truth be told, life can somehow be easier and better in this part of the world; depending on how one looks at it.

But is it still worth dying for? I keep asking myself!

For those of you, like my Zimbabwean friend, who will be traveling home this holiday season, please keep in mind that people are dying in order to reach this part of the world, partly because of the dream that you help create.  

Happy holiday to all