Posted by Ifedayo Oshin on Monday, February 3, 2014 Under: Feature Articles

A young Nigerian college English teacher arrived South Africa over a year ago, in search of greener pastures. Let’s call him Buddie. Back in Nigeria, Buddie could afford an average lifestyle that included a two bedroom flat, decent wardrobe of clothes and good three square meals a day. But, as a man of great ambitions, he aspired for something greater. And so began the hunger to travel abroad. With help of some friends, he came to South Africa in search of greater things. Two year and five months after, he still live in a parlor space shared with four other foreigners in a dingy flat somewhere in Durban. Worse still, he can barely afford two meals a day. Teaching jobs are not forthcoming because there are millions of South Africans qualified as an English teacher. He does not meet the South African standard. Waiters job are not available. Why? He is too old for the job. Nobody will employ him as a security guard because he does not have the required training and certificate. They even ask him for a South African ID. He cannot walk freely on the street, because he has no residence permit. He can’t return back to Nigeria because he has no money for flight ticket.

There are so many Nigerians like Buddie out there on the streets of Johannesburg and other parts of the country. Men and women whose stories are similar in many ways to that of Buddie.

To avoid ending up like Buddie, I think it is very important to discover why you are in or coming to South Africa. What are you here to do? A lot of people come to South Africa thinking that they will just get here and take a shovel and dig out gold on the street. If you don’t really know what you are here to do and you are just here to speculate. Then you are in the wrong place. South Africa, like any other country has its own challenge with unemployment. Therefore, its citizens will always be the first priorities before any foreign national, except you come with an exceptional skill which is not readily available within its citizens.

For a foreigner to be successful in the South African economy that is driven by creativity, you will have to bring unique value to the system. You must be able to create something that will benefit South Africa and you. Nobody resists or rejects quality. You must have some outstanding to offer. South Africa will not work for you, if you do not first work for it. According to Mr. Femi Ayesehinde, producer at Good Morning Africa;

“You will have to think out of the box and set high standards. So, if you are a pushful and creative person with positive direction, I think South Africa is a good place to be. But first of all, know what it is you are here for and when you get here don’t get distracted”.

Always remember: the grasses are not greener on the other side!!!

In : Feature Articles 

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