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The perception of a better life

14 Sep

Last time we explored very briefly, some of the reasons behind the fact that almost half of Kenya’s migrants have chosen to settle in the UK. What images and perceptions have acted as pull factors in attracting us to the UK?

• Colonial ties

An important consideration in this regard for most of us has been the fact that English is our official second language and so we can definitely cope in an English environment as opposed being in Germany or France where we have to take on a new language.

Second point to consider is that our traditional culture is mainly British influenced to the extent that even our language is loaded with a lot of English terms.

• Landscape and culture

High Buildings, White streets and the Tower Bridge of course. These are some of the images that immediately come to mind when we think of the UK.

• Welfare benefits

Might not seem like an important one but the fact of the matter is, there is an effective benefit system as long as you are legal. Most people have the mentality of  ” I’ll get there, scrub the floors and just work” . Truth is this, as simple as this plan is, it actually does not always work out that way, but the silver lining is  if you really need the assistance the government is ready to help.

In a nutshell we all came here in pursuit of a better life not only for ourselves but also for our families back home in Kenya to whom we send money. If we are to be honest this life we pursued so enthusiastically is in so many ways not exactly what we expected. In some ways we possibly feel we have been too ambitious in our goals upon arrival. In many ways, we have also been blown away by the vast opportunity to em-better the lives of our loved ones back in Kenya.


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