I’ve noticed that in Ivory Coast I don’t think there’s yet been a single example of that staple of other West African blogospheres – the repatriate blog. You know the ones: the returning West African national excited about heading home after a western education and a few years of professional work, to accept the lower paid job, but with better lifestyle options and a return to roots. There’s usually plenty of wax cloth, praise for fresh fruit/veg and home recipes, and a fair bit of frustration as well.
It’s quite possible I’ve missed a blog along these lines, though if not, I wonder why we haven’t seen this. Speculatively, there are a few possibilities:
– Maybe Ivorians are not (yet) willingly returning home to take a job here, and enjoy either the lifestyle benefits or the chance to play a role in the AfricaRising story. The profiles in Tycoon magazine seem to suggest otherwise, with regular articles on those with a western masters, a few years at a blue-chip company, and then return. On my most recent trip, I was also told that the minor construction boom in places like Riviera Mputo is in part driven by expat Ivorians returning home, though perhaps these are slightly older folks than your stereotypical blogger.
– One answer might be that blogging was all the rage a few years back when Ivory Coast was in crisis and not a place many Ivorians in the West wanted to willingly return to.
– It may be that the repatriate blog is more of an anglophone phenomenon; perhaps there’s even something in the Ivorian psyche against the sort of transparent self-exposure in detailing the hopes, dreams and disillusions of the return home.