A 10 Step Survival and Success Guide for Kenyan Women in Europe

Africans

The absolute first step has to be your safety.

Stories of women being brought to Europe for the purpose of marriage then being introduced into prostitution are becoming more and more common. Your life is valuable no matter who say’s different  and you did not come all the way here to become someone’s slave or  prostitute and get a disease and die. Everyone should take an honest look into their personal situation and if you can’t afford to buy a meal, feel suicidal, have become alcoholic or are in the hands of someone who abuses you, you should go back home. Sure, it may be embarrassing to do so, but it’s better for your family to cope with your return rather than them having to plan your funeral for you. Your family needs to hear the honest truth regarding the reality and dangers women face in Europe rather than imagining you are living in paradise. Always keep your passport in your possession and know how to contact the police if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Invest in an education.

It always amuses me to meet girls whose dream is to get married by a rich guy and have their baby. Seriously, it’s good to dream like that but that should never be your first and only plan. I live in Sweden where there are so many opportunities to go to school. You should take advantage of them at all costs. It is so embarrassing to be mistaken for a prostitute because most prostitutes in neighbouring Denmark are African. As I said above, at that point when you risk your life daily, you should ask the authorities to fly you back home. Rely more on your brain and not your sexuality.

Have a plan.

Realize flying out of JKIA can be a very long journey over many years. Many unexpected things will happen that may need you to travel to Kenya immediately. You may want to return home in a few years or you may want to retire there. Living in one place for any of amount of time gives a false sense of permanency, but things can change in an instant, and you could find yourself in Kenya the next day. Do you have a plan that has contingencies for all the emergencies that will arise? Do you want to go home in 3 years? If so what is your plan to help you achieve this goal?

Be frugal and save your money. The one thing you will always need on your journey abroad is money. Always. You can’t afford to spend your money like every other person does. You are not the same as a native of any country in Europe. You have five times the expenses with the same or less income. You cannot spend your money like they do.

You will always need a cushion of money so you have to learn to live below your expenses and save your money. If  you can send it to Kenya, even better for you.

Have a positive attitude. Having a positive mindset will help you overcome obstacles better than having a negative, whiny and complaining mindset.

Invest in good friends. In life, you will never amount to be more than the five people you hang around. You need a good network of friends who support you, challenge you to reach higher goals and do not ‘hate’ on you. If you can’t find Kenyan friends who do this, make friends with people from different nationalities.

Stop drinking. I know no one will like me saying this, but alcohol is not your friend and will never be. You will become too dependent on it and it will ruin you financially. It doesn’t give you a warning that you are drinking too much. It just creeps up on you.

You need to be an excellent manager of your money and save, save, save so there’s really no budget for alcohol. Just breakup with it now.

Stop hating. I’m surprised by how certain Kenyans really want to celebrate a fellow Kenyans downfall. I have heard shocking stories of Kenyans actually making problems for you with authorities that can get you sent back home. A person’s destiny has already been decided by God and whether your attitude towards them does not influence them getting to their destiny.  Hating is really a waste of your time. If people were united, we’d have chamas and we’d build rental flats in Kenya, instead we’re busy hating on someone because of their looks, because they have a cute boyfriend or they are more educated than you. Grow up!

Contribute to changing Kenya. You don’t have to do this in very big ways; you can start by changing a few peoples’ lives in Kenya. Helping the needy is a good way to begin. There are deserving charities in Kenya that do genuine, amazing work. Being financially successful in Europe requires you to help other people.

As Nelson Mandela said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

 

The article is by Anita King; a Kenyan living in Sweden. She has a blog detailing all her adventures abroad, called www.asummerbunny.com. She likes cute kittens and all the Real Housewives on TV! 

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