Thursday, 9 July 2009

Diaspora dollars down the drain

Reading this article earlier today on why diaspora dollars elude local real estate, brought back some memories.

I have a Ghanaian friend who is now retired, who used to send money to his brother, each month. My friend had not been back to Kumasi, in over twenty years. He was working to build properties back home, and assumed his brother was taking care of business. The plan was, he would leave the UK when he retired, and live comfortably at home. He went home, just before retirement, to check on the state of his properties. Sadly, there were no properties, no bricks, nothing, nada, niente! When he told me what happened, I cried. This guy worked day and night to send money home. I am surprised that he can still talk to his brother.What his brother has done, is wicked.

I have uncles in Kenya who have done the same thing to members of my family, and am at a loss for words. The same uncles who know where to go when they are in a bind, and need money for their children's school fees, or to pay for some emergency.

Life sucks, if you can't trust your family.

My mother is always going on about blood being thicker than water. I don't think so.


Darius Stone said...


Herein lies the classic manifestation of gullibility. Family has nothing to do with what happened. It's just human instinct for survival.

The bottom line is that if you're not there lifting the bricks yourself, the chances of having that real estate palace you've been sending money for every month lies somewhere between nil and zilch.

I know of folks who have been shafted by their own blood - but I guess the question you should ask on reflection is - What did they expect?

Maslows hierarchy 101 - No one is going to build you a house when they are struggling to put food on the table themselves. It's a no brainer.

Tamtam said...


LOL. I guess I am gullible then. I suppose I was brought up to believe that my siblings could not shaft me. If they did,then it was wicked, and a huge sin. Can you hear the Catholic stuff?

Yes, Maslow's hierarchy of needs. However, what about the people who can't put food on the table, and don't shaft their families?

Do they have a different gene, despite their basic needs not being met?

Darius Stone said...

LOL! I'm picturing someone at the confession box seeking redemption for fleecing a loved one...

Thing is this though - I think its unreasonable to expect someone in a tight situation, family or not, to have sound judgement where an opportunity to stray from the straight and narrow is wide open.

I don't have the answer to why some don't stray - I guess you can apply that variance to any aspect of life, but I tend to think that unless some level of the needs of the recipeient at home is met (however that is done), its hard to avoid falling into temptation and heading for the confession box soon after.

My sense would be that its wiser to use a proportion of the funds being sent home to help satisfy Maslows hanjams on the other side - and don't ask me how...LOL! I don't know. Just thinking that spreading the love makes it less tempting - but it also has its own risks of dependancy and the complaicency that comes with it.