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I want to move to Africa! Are you sure about that?

Hindsight is always 20/20. We’re all human and sometimes we just don’t get it right. Well at least the first time around. However, there is more than one way to skin a cat, at least that’s what we’ve heard. As we now sit and look back over the past year searching for a home in Africa, we can actually say some things should’ve be done a bit differently before we took the leap to relocate to the continent. Here are the three takeaways we had with regards to our move and how we could have made it work a little better for our family.

  • We should've researched more than one location. We had Ghana tattooed on our mind and that's where we were going to move. Truth be told, we only made one visit prior to moving and maybe, just maybe we should have not only visited more than once, but we should’ve checked out other African countries before deciding to call Ghana home. Just in case Ghana didn’t work out, which it didn’t, we would've had a backup plan. A "plan b" if you will! As you know we did it backwards and decided to go on the Dora the explorer trip around Africa searching and praying we landed in a good spot to call home on the back end instead of upfront. The takeaway here is, you probably want to spend time looking into several different countries, doing some extended stays, and it should be a transition over a period of time.
  • We departed the shores of America with a pretty nice savings account. We figured, “Okay, once we get settled, we’ll set up a business locally. We’ll start making that money and we’ll be fine.” Again, sounds simple, but the reality was, we couldn’t sit still long enough to start a business. Plus, it wasn’t so simple to start a business in some countries. We needed some passive income and didn’t even realize it. We needed a cushion to cover our expenses until we could get up and operating on the continent. Believe it or not, Africa is not cheap. And there was no way we were about to spend every dime we had to get a business operating. The moral of the story here is, get you a hustle that you can do independent of location. Do some online multiple level marketing, an investment property, or sell bean pies on Esty. Just do something because you need cashflow on top of the money you have in the bank. Even if it’s just a few hundred dollars a month to start with, it will go a long way in easing the “we gonna go broke anxiety,” until you can start a business you want on the continent.

  • When we first left to go to Africa, our mindset was to seek out a missing part of our lives. We felt like there was a void! For us, it was a lack of community, and we didn't feel like the black community in America was going to help us fill that void. Why do many of us associate Africa with being accepted and these communities waiting to welcome us into the village? Maybe there is a hope of some type of validation. Well, we learned that seeking validation is a huge issue once we got there and started talking with people. Some welcomed us, some did not. Obviously, time is needed to cultivate relationships. But we went there and gained a whole new level of self-awareness about who we are as people. What it means to be a black American. Over this last year, we realized that we are our own tribe. We didn’t have to be in Africa to actually be African. Our African American heritage is priceless despite all the nightmares, blemishes, and disappointments that may come with it. We are pure magic as African Americans. We took that for granted before we left. You may want to think about your reasons for setting sail to the motherland. Is it for a sense of belonging? If so, just be aware, that type of reason could lead to some real hurt feelings. Have alligator skin and push forward because although we are descendants of Africans, you may not necessarily get that connection you are so desperately searching for.
We hope you take our thoughts into consideration when planning to head to the motherland. Truly get prepared, learn from those who have made the journey before you, and be resilient. 

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  1. This is probably the realest shit you ever wrote! As a repat who goes back and forth, the part about a transition over time is whats hard for many to comprehend. I hope your words dont fall on deaf ears. Salute to your family for goving it a run and making these realizations before becoming bitter because when better planning may have yielded a different outcome. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks sis for that! I'm glad some of us really get it!

  2. I loved this piece!!! True stuff brother!!!!

  3. Love your honest account of your experiences

  4. I wholeheartedly cosign everything you have written. I know that Africa is not for me to live, but I love to visit. I definitely have my tribe wherever I live. Kudos for you for doing it. Most people talk, but don't follow through with action.

  5. Great Article!
    By the way, how did you get your long stay visa to Ghana? There is not much information on their NY consulate web site.

  6. Great perspective shared, much gratitude! I don't know if I missed this in entry, but did you all settle on a "home" or are you still looking?

  7. People say it's a developing continent but I disagree. It's a continent of ancient existence that has probably developed as much as needed to suit the native community. It's believed to be the birthplace of the human race. Referring to it as developing make it sound like a new place that just popped up a few decades ago. Many countries in continents around the world with locals who descend from ancient civilizations are probably the same way. Never been, plan to visit, not expecting to relocate though. Living in North Philly seems to be my home. There is plenty of room and accessible opportunity for development here.

  8. Hi there - what countries specifically in Africa would you say are probably best for African Americans looking to repatriate? I know you said you visited several - if you had to list maybe 3-5, which ones would you choose?

  9. Good Day - I am so happy to have found your blog. I too, with my family, are considering moving to the Continent. Like many others, Ghana was my first thought. I don't even know where to start in this search to find a new home for my family but I know it's more than likely going to happen. I am a teacher by trade and hope to continue that work in some way in Ghana (or wherever I go). Where/how did you begin preparing for your move?