Greener Pastures

On-going project which looks at world migration - the different causes of it, the good and the perils of it.

Austin Okorie is a Nigerian, from the Igbo tribe of eastern Nigeria. He was born in the ‘80s and lived all his years in the country until he was 28years old. Early on in his adolescent age, he went to apprentice with a wealthy family member, a rich Uncle who traded in ‘red made’ clothing and lived in the northern part of Nigeria, Borno State. The infamous ‘Boko haram’ insurgency in the state and the neighboring northern regions put an abrupt end to his Master’s business causing them to flee for their lives back to his hometown Imo State, Eastern Nigeria. Life became so depressing.

In 2012, he moved to Kigali Rwanda on an old friend's advice. Spent the next two years learning about life in his new city. Opened a boutique in 2014. He says, “Kigali is a peaceful city. Thank God I’m alive. I almost died in Nigeria. I now speak the Rwandan dialect, learnt it in 2years. Business is thriving but there’s the homesickness you never really get rid of”.

Being a foreigner in a place has its lows. For Austin, there is the envy he suffers from fellow business owners around him, also the pain of leaving all your family behind to begin a new life. He finds comfort in listening to Nigerian music, hanging out at night bars and watching football, he misses home every day.
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