I have always believed going abroad was the only way i could make it in life and be recognized. I am sure a lot of Cameroonians would agree with me because it is the dream of many of them too. After-all, who doesn’t want to be a bushfaller – a person living abroad who is often thought of as having a lot of money. I even preferred to go to a war-torn country like Somalia or Iraq than to remain in Cameroon. To me, Cameroon was too difficult because of lack of jobs and opportunities. I even often referred to Cameroon as a “poverty place”.
My perception about my country has changed ever since i returned from abroad. Wherever i go now, i only see opportunities. They are just endless to me. Some Cameroonians tell me it is because i have stayed abroad. To them, the place is still a difficult place. They would prefer to be in any other country than to remain in their own. It is often said that if the borders of Cameroon are opened unrestrained, almost the whole of Cameroon would empty itself – the young and the old alike.
My experience abroad was difficult and challenging. I worked mostly odd jobs and always in the night when everybody else is sleeping since i was also going to school. I felt like i lived to work. There was always this pressure i felt to go out and look for money that i do not feel now. Not only was there pressure to work but my school and the immigration did not help matters with their incessant letters.
Ever since i returned and established myself in my country, i eat home based food as much i want. My family members are a stone throw away. I can aspire to be anything i want without any language or residency restrictions. I now feel the sky is my limit.
It used to surprise me when some of my friends said if they could get a job that paid about 500.000 francs cfa ( 763 euros), they would return. To me it was like crazy to even think about it. I remember while working in a company in Douala before i traveled, that one of our colleagues went for a short course in the USA. When he came back to Cameroon, we all blamed him why he could not stay there. Now that i have gone there and experienced things myself, i now know better.
I have now decided to settle down permanently in Cameroon. Although i still travel abroad for visits, and other reasons, home is where my base is. There is nowhere like home indeed.