Life is Hard in Uganda, Maybe I Should Go Abroad?

In the crowded streets of Kampala, life can be tough. “Bwofuna Visa genda” (As soon as you get a Visa, Depart the country) becomes the day’s anthem. Every corner you turn, you hear people talking about leaving Uganda in search of a better life abroad. It’s like a song that everyone knows the words to, a dream that seems to shine brighter than anything else. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re….  just hold on a minute, before you book that one-way ticket, let’s chat.

There’s no denying it, Life in Uganda is no walk in the park. For many jobs are scarce, which explains the low wages for the few lucky enough to be employed. Coz yo! finding a stable and well-paying job can feel like searching for a lost sock in a messy house, yet putting food on the table every night can be a constant worry. Renting a decent house swallows up your ka salary and reliable electricity? Ooh, that’s a whole different story. Every day, families struggle with the tough decision of whether to keep their children in school. Some families, faced with the hard truth of their situation, have had to give up on their children’s education. Now, those same children work alongside their parents in Kikuubo. The cost of living continues to rise, while wages remain stagnant. It’s a harsh reality that many face day in and day out.

For the working people of Kampala, getting sick can be a big “setback” here, even a minor illness can drain your finances in no time. And if you’re thinking of working online while you recover, think again. The costly internet in Uganda moves slower than a snail on a Sunday stroll.

Let’s face it, life in Uganda isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a daily hustle, a constant negotiation with reality. But here’s the thing: is life abroad really a guaranteed paradise? Sure, the grass might look greener on the other side, but it probably needs watering over there too.

Think about it. You might escape the power cuts in Kampala, but what about the sky-high rent in some foreign city? You could find yourself working twice as hard just to keep a roof over your head. Do you have what it takes for that kind of hustle? Even if the pay is good, is that kind of constant hustle what you really want?

Sure, healthcare might seem better abroad, but navigating a whole new system can be a nightmare in itself. Remember, with great opportunities come great responsibilities. Pursuing foreign dreams often means starting from scratch, and building a new life far from the comfort of loved ones and familiar faces. It can be isolating and even depressing.

And what about those foreigners, leaving their own countries to settle here? Are they just on vibes, or are they running from something too?

Yes, life in Uganda can be challenging, and it’s natural to dream of a better life abroad. But the good news is, the problems we face aren’t unbeatable. When we come together as Ugandans, with what we have, where we are, and whatever we can, we can create a brighter future for ourselves and our children. And while going abroad might be an option for some, it’s not the only path to success. After all, we all can’t go abroad.

So next time you hear ‘Bwofuna Visa Genda,’ remember, that Uganda has a different story to tell. A story written by all of us, together. Let’s roll up our sleeves, chase our dreams, and build the Uganda we know it can be. There’s no place like home, and home is where we fight for our dreams, side by side

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Picture of Isaac Odwako O.
Isaac Odwako O.
Okumu Isaac Odwako, professionally known as Isaac Nymy, is a Ugandan internet entrepreneur and digital designer. He is the founder and CEO of Nymy Media and the founder of Nymy Net.
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