HAIR DRESSING EXPERIENCE 1: The search for greener pastures over the seas

It is the popular belief here in West Africa that any country “over the seas” is a land where is pastures are greener than green and the milk is whiter than white. This blog post is intended to burst your bubble.

About a year ago, I was braiding my hair at one of those pako kiosk salon. Whilst braiding my hair, the hair dresser was conversing with another hair dresser, who was visiting, about traveling to an overseas country and here’s a summary of what the other lady says;I heard there is a guy that can help me arrange a passport and visa for fifty thousand Naira, I will travel to the country for six months. My uncle’s family friend lives in that country, so I  will live with him and make braids for people for a living, I hear that hair dressers earn a lot abroad. I will not spend my money on clothes or food, I will just pick them from the trash. I heard that they wear their clothes for only two months, after which they throw it in the bin. After six months I will come back with all the money I made and the first thing I will do is build a new shop with air conditioning and then I will buy a range rover car and build a house. But the truth is that I cannot afford the ticket.

hmm! I believe, like my hair dresser’s friend so many people believe that the journey to greener pasture and from greener pastures to wealth works like this, but it does not. Let me show you everything I believe is wrong with what she said.

1. Fifty thousand Naira for a passport with a visa in it! sister and brother, it’s either it is a stolen or forged passport or you’re about to be trafficked to another country and you do not know it.To get a passport in Nigeria, you have to apply for one at the National immigration service nearest to you. On obtaining a passport, you can then apply for a visa at the country’s embassy.

2. Six months! On a visiting visa, most countries like the UK do not allow you stay more than 3 months at a stretch, so that plan to stay for six months may not be feasible depending on the country.

3. Working on a visiting Visa – in most countries, I gather this is illegal. That’s all I will say

4. They throw their clothes in the dustbin after wearing it for only 2 months – whoever told her that does not fear God. what kind of lie is that! When people in the diaspora want to dispose an item that they have worn for only 2 months that is still in wearable condition, they give it to charity not throw it in the bin. Life in the diaspora is already hard enough, with all the tax and bills they have to pay, the last thing the majority are, is wasteful.

5. Returning with the money she makes – I think there is a maximum amount of money a person is allowed to travel with. Now if she would be able to make enough money to build a house, buy a range rove and build a new shop(which I do not think is possible in a six month period), she cannot travel with all that cash at once. As such she will have to leave some with “her uncle’s family friend”. How can she be certain that he will make do on his promise to send her all her money as soon as she is back on her home soil.


Pako – wood

These are just some of the things I believe are wrong with that lady’s theory. if there is anything I have said that is not quite accurate or anything I have missed out, please comment below or send me an email to let me know.

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