A Return to the Motherland: Congo
Members of the diaspora, only know too well what it means to be home nowhere and everywhere at the same time; being called a foreigner in your home country (the place you were born or raised in), while still being considered a foreigner in the place you live in only enhances that reality.
Even when a lot of mentalities and practices in your home country can be deemed questionable, there are often as many (if not more) admirable things to love about it. This often makes it difficult if not impossible to dissociate yourself from your motherland no matter how long you’ve been gone. In the end, I find that no matter what, my real home is where my family and culture resides; my real home is where I can relate; my real home is where I am willing to build something from the ground up over and over again without feeling like it’s a waste of time or energy.
That thought often makes one question if they shouldn’t just leave everything and go build something meaningful in that place where they left a piece of themselves…
An intelligent, ambitious and independent woman, with an amazing personality inside out. This young African enthusiast has decided to take the plunge and return to the motherland in her home country of Congo (Brazzaville).
I’ve asked her if she could share this interesting experience she’s had in the last year and she agreed (Thank you!). This might inspire some and get others to start thinking.
What triggered you to go back to Congo? What were your hopes and expectations?
My decision to go back to Congo was instinctive. I went back for a 2 week stay in December (for a job interview) then I came back in France.
By mid January I was leaving France after 10 years spent there. I had the feeling that my place was back in my country. I had no idea what to expect.
What did you do to prepare your return?
Nothing in particular. My decision was made in less than a week. I was hoping on that job interview to make a living. Thank God, it went just as planned.
How would you describe your first few months back? Were you excited? Did it live up to your expectations?
The first few months were tough! Although I was surrounded by family, I felt lost, I had no points of reference, no friends.
My days were all the same : waking up early ( I start work at 7:30am), struggle to get a taxi to go to work, spend 12 hours at the office, then struggle back to get a taxi home. In between, I had to find places where to eat at a good value with quality standards.
The weather was hot and wet so I was constantly sweating…
No need to say that I had second thoughts about my return.
Good thing is that people in Congo but in Africa in general are very religious, so I went to church more often; then I made new friends at work and I started enjoying life in Pointe-Noire.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to someone who is trying to go back to their African country of origin?
I believe every experience is unique, but my advice will be that before coming back, make sure to have a work opportunity that will allow you to live
properly.Congo, is lacking so much in infrastructures that it’s important to be financially and mentally prepared.I have to admit that putting God first in every decision taken was my best advice.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why?
To be honest, I’m not so sure about that. The lack of proper medical centers is a great issue; to add to that, there aren’t any entertainment options for the youth except for nightclubs and restaurants. Cultural activities are practically nonexistent.
One thing for which I’m grateful is the fact that my spiritual life has never felt so good!
Valencia and I have known each other for almost two decades now. She’s one of the most kind spirited and beautiful persons I’ve ever known. To me, the world needs more people like her. I thank her for sharing her story.If you have been through the same return home or are planning to do so and have more to share, please feel free to do so in our comments section!
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