Why Uganda men & women abroad are hard

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Dear Ugandans,
You wonder why many Ugandans still come home to try their luck with ”Ms” or ”Mr” right? You also wonder why Ugandan men and women abroad are hard?

You should know that the divorce rate among immigrants in the West is now at par and in some cases higher than the divorce rate among the locally born.  And this applies to all immigrants irrespective of region of origin or religion.

Why is this the case and this goes to you question? Expectations. People have it upside down about life in the West. Take it from me that it is tough and can be hell for immigrants.

Furthermore, immigrants not just Ugandans do not adjust well to the liberal nature of the West, which is strong on women equality.  Again, most immigrants not just Ugandans are still traditional and want to command women to obey them as if they were still living in Kampala, Nairobi or Abuja.

Since the laws favour women in general, most women simply can take the abuse? Why take abuse when in most cases the women are the bread winners because the system treats them favourably over men. Mark you even in household where the women is the bread winner/working steadily some men still expect the women to come home, tired, and cook for the man who spent his entire days drinking beer or watching porno movies on TV?  Which women in the West can take that kajanja when they know that the law is on their side?

It is also the motherhood thing as employers treat women-as mother God bless them-sympathetically? Why? Because they are responsible.  Men simply do not know how to hand the role reversal well. Actually men are depressed.  Studies shows that immigrants are among the fastest growing group among mental illness patients. Why? Poor social capital and yes, racism.

Another problem and this again goes to some people’s observation that Ugandan men come home to look for that ms or mister right. Big mistake most of the times? Why? Expectations? Those from Kyeyo misrepresent their true situation most of the time so when they person finally arrives in the West and finds a different set up, it is trouble.

But here is another reason and I have had two good friends who came back home to look for ms right and threw big weddings.  Their problem is that they went for higher standards in terms of class. Class matters mark you. I asked my friends about their backgrounds, specifically what their parents did back home? And they told me their parents were peasants but they were courting daughters of elite men. One went for the daughter of a lawyer while another went for a doctor’s daughter. My buddies were well educated men.

They won over the women even after I had cautioned them that they were making a mistake to go above their class-I know people will attack me for saying this but it matters. To cut the long story short, the young women they had married and brought over left them in less than a year. Why? The women cited socialization that even though my buddies were well read men and gainfully employed, their socialization was still different.  So those UAH folks still looking for ms or mr right but especially ms right do not ignore class or to put in bluntly “mwana wani” simply because you have been on kyeyo abroad. Wrong. Do not punch above your class.

But the biggest problem is the hybridity-modernity/west vs tradition. This has been the killer especially for conservative immigrant men who ironically still espouse the public private sphere idealogy.

And Mr Abbey Semuwemba is right that it is better to go for similar minded kyeyo who know the true picture and understand -I hope-the misery in the West.

But you folks in Uganda will soon grapple with this problem if not already. I noticed when I visit that the women have the good jobs with NGOs while the men are grassing. And my friends in the NGO sector complained that there are no marriageable men anymore in Uganda, lol. What they really mean is that there are no men of their class. Bingo.

Now the good, your folks in Uganda who are employed in decent jobs have it both ways. Your quality of life is certainly way better than for most of the folks in the Diaspora. Hard to believe but true so value your jobs and stay in Uganda. But be faithful, okay.

Have you noticed another trend?  Ugandans (most immigrants actually) now take their children born in the West to study in Uganda or their motherland. Why? Because and sadly, children of immigrants are not generally doing well in school and could need up less educated than their parents. Smart parents are taking them back where schools can still discipline them.

W.B.KYIJOMANYI

DP ELDER IN USA

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