Ghanaian immigrants recount early struggles in America

Every African immigrant to America has a tale of their struggles in the first few months and even years in the USA. In this report, two Ghanaian immigrants recount what they had to do the get by after arriving from Africa.

The desire to emigrate from the country in search of greener pastures lead people to settle for ‘anything’ that provides a lifeline for their survival.

Very often, these people move in search of better-paying jobs, improved leaving conditions and in some cases education among others.

In order to survive in some of these places considered greener pastures, some Ghanaians accept to do jobs which ordinarily they won’t do in their home country.

In a live interview on Kofi TV, two Ghanaians, Nana Ama Nyamewaa and colleague of hers shared some painful experiences they had to endure in their stay in the United States of America.

Even though they have now established themselves by setting up an IT firm, after almost 25 years, they admit the beginning of life in the US for them wasn’t easy.

Nana Ama recounted, “I came here 25 years ago and started with CNA but it was difficult to get papers so I had to use someone’s own for my movements and activities. I also worked in a nursing home for some time. Then I also did live-in by taking care of an old woman… With that, I had no social life. I had only Sundays as my off days so I was able to squeeze some time and go to Church but from Monday to Saturday I was by her all day just like you are in prison. It is not easy but because I needed the money there was little option available…I have also been a ‘watchwoman’ (security personnel), wore the uniform and moved around with it, I have cleaned churches and even driven uber. At a point, I was an uber driver here.”

Of all the stress she went through, Nana Ama Nyamewaa explained that though they aren’t anything to write home about, the conditions that came with doing live-in was the best.

She said that did not require you to move around a lot in the cold weather and so you had the benefit of warmth when temperatures are low.

“Even though the living felt like a prison because I didn’t feel the harsh weather conditions at the time I was content. The old lady will insult and push me about but it was better because you are in a house and at one place” she added.

Her colleague asserted that he was privileged not to do some of the menial jobs Nana Ama did but was also into painting and cleaning on contracts.

He emphasised that it was a demanding task but noted that that era is passed as they now run their IT firm.

Sharing his thoughts on what he observed was the most convenient job sector that Ghanaians could venture into and make money, he suggested cyber-security.

He stated that “Cybersecurity or computer path is the ideal area. If you choose that path, especially cyber-security, it is the easiest way to make good money. We have a track record of training people and within two months the person is making 6-figures. So you just imagine that such a person all through his life abroad in the US will be making $35, 000, $45, 000 a year and you consider that the person’s life has turned around in two months after taking a class in it then I can confidently say it is better than most of the other jobs out there.”

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