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Coronavirus: How it turned the tables on Ghana’s diaspora


We made use of to say in this article in Ghana, 50 percent in jest, 50 percent in truth of the matter, that you can discover a Ghanaian in each region in the planet.

I have listened to of Ghanaians in Greenland, Iceland and Papua New Guinea. I confess, I haven’t read about a Ghanaian in the Faroe Islands, which is my plan of the most exotic and faraway place, but I wouldn’t be amazed if just one of us is there.

From the middle of the 1970s by to the close of the 1990s, situations had conspired to flip us into a travelling men and women.

Ghanaians abroad are happy to change out to assist the nation’s athletics teams when they travel

Over the earlier 20 many years we have continued to do it, not since the items that employed to travel us absent however exist, but simply just due to the fact it has develop into a pattern and our minds are tuned that way.

The center courses now try out to send their pregnant wives to provide babies in the United States. They beg, borrow and steal to deliver their small children to universities in the US and British isles and motivate the youngsters to continue to be on following finishing faculty.

Then there are the adventurers among us who have often taken off to go and consider their luck and request fortunes anywhere is mentioned to be the present-day land of gold.

‘Under the radar’ Ghanaians

No credible studies exist on just how quite a few Ghanaians there are in a variety of nations around the world close to the planet, hardly ever mind what they are carrying out there.

Some of them, of course, are flourishing exactly where they are, and building Ghana proud. But there are numerous of them who, it is commonly recognized, are dwelling “under the radar” and striving to “regularise” their paperwork and so do not advertise the reality they are Ghanaians.

They could possibly be trying to are living unnoticed, but we know they are there. By holding down two or 3 work opportunities, they deliver the odd $100 to help with a mother’s food payments.

It is a badge of honour to say you have a relation overseas and we bend about backwards to accommodate their needs when it will come to creating preparations for funerals and attendant ceremonies.

Those people among them who can vacation, that is these who have “regularised” their visa scenarios, usually prepare and make the 10-working day or two-week excursion to Ghana to capture up with close friends and relatives, usually over the Christmas interval.

When they are in this article, they behave as one does on vacations and splash funds all around no-one hears about them possessing a difficult life over there, and we see them as accomplishment tales. They are an inspiration for other young people to try out and escape from Ghana and go abroad.

Then coronavirus arrived.

The locations that younger persons had been ready to give an arm and a leg to go to were being no extended desirable, as China, Europe and The united states had been strike hard by the virus. The talk turned to bringing Ghanaians dwelling from overseas. Quickly Ghana grew to become an beautiful location.

The Ghanaians overseas were anxious and they confirmed it.

“Please really do not allow what is taking place in Europe and The us come about in our country” was the frequent refrain.

Factories in Ghana are mass developing facial area masks

As the crisis has continued, the notion of Ghanaians overseas becoming the lucky types has slowly and gradually been switching.

It was not just the report back again in Could that 33 Ghanaians had died from Covid-19 in New York that shook every person, it was the expanding desperation from Ghanaians overseas who preferred to come back again residence.

If we identified all through the lockdown that in Ghana’s significant metropolitan areas it was difficult for lots of persons to survive devoid of the day-to-day hustle, then we bought to realise that it was unachievable to endure at all abroad as a hustler in the time of coronavirus.

Folks could no longer live “under the radar” and undocumented migrants who, up right up until then experienced been welcome for executing work opportunities for half the ordinary wages, grew to become unwelcome and doable candidates for getting blamed as the resource of the sickness.

Landlords who used to lease rooms and apartments to people dwelling in the shadows now preferred to make certain they had a valid visa.

With organizations shutting down and all people wanting to minimize down on expenditure, numerous of our folks found they experienced come to be surplus to requirements.

Grass is not greener

We have been wanting on in dismay as the realities of the life of a lot of of people who are overseas have been uncovered.

It turns out that many of the youthful women of all ages who went overseas to be nannies and maids in Lebanon and other Arab nations lead intolerable lives that no-a single would take in Ghana.

It turns out that in spite of the skyscrapers and 10-lane highways, the sleeping preparations for lots of of our younger people today in China and some European nations are no distinctive from our area slums.

Coronavirus has made all of us search at items from a various perspective.

People today want to appear household but the borders are closed.The Ghanaians at home truly feel the virus was introduced into the nation by travellers from Europe and China, and are thus not enthusiastic about letting in even extra men and women.

There are some evacuation flights using spot, but with most airways not traveling, they are pricey. Similarly expensive are the protocols for moving into Ghana, which need that on arrival you go into a 14-day quarantine in a hotel monitored by the safety providers.

Abroad appears to be to have dropped its lustre.

For the minute, it appears the area to be is ideal in this article in Ghana.

A Journalist and previous Ghana govt minister Elizabeth Ohene writes about how the prospect of dwelling overseas has dropped its attraction in the time of coronavirus.

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