I was just eighteen of age as I moved from kenya to Cyprus. As much as I can remember I was excited. Goodness!!.It was quiet a good feeling to be on a plane for the first time. With all the stories I heard from my late grandfather about the plane that he narrated I just couldn’t wait.
It was a moment of joy and couldn’t express better that kind of excitement . I couldn’t imagine being abroad and visiting my beloved country from time to time, just like I saw with the other people whom lived in Abroad as they came for their vacation back in Africa . They all looked happy, filthy rich and open minded. I was looking forward to that.
Atleast from my village anyone who came for a short vacation, which was about three weeks or so looked as though they had been swimming in the river of the cash flow. Little did i know that most of them worked day and night to achieve the kind of lifestyle they had acquired , neither did I knew most of them had grunt work.
My friends regarded me as a lucky girl. Come on!. Exactly after six months I had just cleared my high school level and was leaving to Abroad? To them it was a blessing and some kind of a miracle. Everyone wished they were me at that particular time.
What was really in a teenage girl ‘s mind? Fresh out of high school and there she was about to start her life in Abroad. A place she just heard of stories and great ones for that matter. She thought she had hit a jackpot.Yes! Millions of money and owning premises within a year or two. That was the kind of mentality most of people had those days. Everyone thought once you landed overseas, money problems was not to be an issue.
As I landed in Cyprus I was excited to reconnect with my relatives, but the most exciting thing was that I was finally Abroad. I felt as if though I was born again all at once. Little did I know the challenges that were ahead of me, how to cope, adapt and how to deal with racism.
Racism was at it’s level best in Cyprus. Calling of names and most of the cypriots thought probably you just came from the forest!! There were few of them would ask whether Africans lived in the bush. Bush! Really? I always thought to myself, why would one not bother and Google all the information they needed about Africa?. Was I really in a possibility to answer the most dumb questions? Hell No!. I would let someone else answer that.
Not all Cypriots were dumb nor Racist. But probably they acted! Who knows? What I came to learn at a very quick moment , they could Act in your presence but the moment you excused yourself, They would name call you as “Mavri ” As if though you dint have a name.
Mavri means black. I would rather be addressed as An African but don’t dare address me with my skin colour. That’s lack of Mannerism. Period!
There were moments I just had enough, Infact I never thought an year would end when I was still around. But by the encouragement I got from very few friends made me carry on day by day.
The challenges were real and there was no one by my side to help me out, all I could do was to handle them. There was no way out! I had to mature very fast to handle my Shit.
Met different people and some of them were great friends. By the time I was clicking my twentieth year, I had adapted and knew well how to handle racism, challenges in life that mostly affects the girlchild. The thought of going back to Africa kind of faded abit, although homesick was killing me from time to time.
I came to realize that someone being Abroad was not a bed of roses unlike way back I thought when I was in Africa and not only with me, whom had this kind of thoughts, So many people believed that as soon as you landed overseas then your life changes dramatically and money starts flowing like a river.
Friends always sent emails day in day out, Yeah, they wanted a connection. What was I to reply? I just remained calm and all I could say to them was once I get a chance I would get back to them. But how could I have helped? I was not so well up in the island. I struggled thick and thin and giving myself hopes that all the struggle’s would come to an end. But did they seem to end anytime sooner? Hell No!.
Although I never loosed hope I tried all I could, worked extra hard to maintain the cash flow I intended to make.
Getting a genuine job was a struggle and if one was lucky, on the other hand either the manager or the boss himself would start sexual harassment, If you don’t give in. Guess what? You were fired!! Just like that.
The times I was fired are uncountable, others I just had to quit, I couldn’t take the nonsense of Sex for a job offer.
I will never come to understand why the Greek Cypriots behave in such a manner, But the fact of the matter is that I love Cyprus as an island itself.
I am glad that i learnt the Greek language, the cypriots culture, food and so forth. I still love Cyprus.