Kenyans In America: The Marks of Diaspora Tragedy?


Un-hospitable hosts:A Recent immigrant to the United States explained how difficult life has become. Like many Kenyans in America, his arrival was legal. He followed all the necessary legal provisions to obtain a lottery based Green Card. The excitement of finally being able to migrate from the human traffic in Nairobi streets to seeing nothing but cars in US suburbs was a welcome experience for a while.

Unlike many Mexicans and South American immigrants, Kenyans cannot walk, or swim to the United States of Amazements. People, who call themselves Kenyan, migrated legally. Many arrived via the F-1 visa program. Many more came on the B-1 B-2 Visa. But there are others whose arrival was sponsored and work related. These came through the J-1 Visa: A great visa for religious related migration. No matter which visa, every Kenyan went to the airport somewhere outside the United States and landed legally in America. They found summer, fall, winter, or spring.

The first few weeks are extremely gratifying. The thought of opportunities fly around the individuals like wireless waves waiting to be acquired. But like the gentleman I spoke to a while ago, nobody told him about the difference between free WIFI and the other kinds where one has to Key in some pass word. He enjoyed the state of being in America for a while then the host family begun to get weary of the extra weight. Kenyans are a hospitable bunch: a great part of the human race. But in America, the need for pass – words towards the actuated dream turn many into un-hospitable hosts. You see, bills have to be paid.

In the excitement of being in a place where dreams of success and becoming (Hegel) are actuated, or thought to become reality, many things happen. For those who migrate via F-1, going through the first semesters of college (paid) for by parents is sweet. Then they get caught up in the dreams of others. It is what happened to my friend’s daughter. She came to a great university. She was so excited about school and packed her transcript with a grade point average of 3.50 and above. Then some characters from Kenya befriended her. Before she could finish her second year of college, they picked her brains, laterally. Before she could awake from their dream, she was heading to California: Hollywood magic? Years latter, she is illegal and stuck in prison alone somewhere for DUI and other crimes against the system! Imagine that!

Another man of the cloth got lucky, or should I say blessed? He got sponsorship to arrive in this great republic with a J-1 visa. This gave him the chance to arrive and work in a paid medical system. His wife enjoyed the J-2 privileges, and his children got a chance many Mexican’s die to get: They walk through the desert to arrive in the United States: They dwell illegally hoping that they could get the legal standing many Kenyans arrive with. Again The Kenyan invited some characters from Seattle. I do not know but it seems Seattle has the largest population of “prophets” of doom? They advice Kenyans on how not to stay legal and actuate the potential with a legalized system, but on how to go under-cover into the abyss of illegality!

For those who arrive with a B-1, B-2 visa, the matters are even worse. That however is not my friend’s dilemma, his is the wonder of where the dream is and all the opportunities and privileges of the Lottery green card. He finds himself staring at a rat on hamster wheel. The wheel keeps spinning making him dizzy with jobs that head nowhere. His migration and legality has become a dream, true only in his dreams. Instead of him dreaming of being in college or seminary, he has gone back to dreams of drawing water with donkeys in limuru! These are the dreams he was trying to erase when he boarded that plane at JKIA.

The worse however is for those who landed and became illegal. The call from home that a mother is sick, that a father just passed away, and that a sister is getting married knowing you cannot leave is tragic. Yet this all could have been helped if only they had invested on a work-shop like the one being offered by Reach Family Services/TTP. This will help you understand the intricate web of American system. Knowing who, where, what and how to succeed after immigrating to the United States is priceless. This summer, take a look at this opportunity. Whether you are legal or illegal, the benefit of knowledge is better than years wasted wondering.

No one succeeds alone: I got a hands up from a conference in Michigan after arriving here back then. Spent some money to attend the weekend. The guy speaking told us, “no matter what you do in this country, . . . . ” call 407 924 2303 to get more information on this summer’s weekend event. Invest and you will never be in the state of un-rest! Better yet, give your children the actuated Americana!

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD) HTBluff Associates. An EMG Consortium #HTBluff . Diaspora Messenger Columnist

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