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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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    Why Do Blacks Work Too Much And Don’t Like Taking Vacations?


    If you work abroad, you will notice one thing among most of your white colleagues – they don’t joke with their vacations and annual leaves. You will rarely see them take up extra shifts nor work on Bank holidays (public holidays). But not most of your black colleagues. We use vacations and annual leaves to book more locum work, work extra shifts and book Bank holidays six months in advance? All for what? More money?

    For many persons who grew up in the middle class, the concept of ‘vacation’ was kind of alien. At best, it was a quarterly trip to the village for a week. Or traveling to your uncle’s or auntie’s home in another city during school holidays. One may argue that this experience, no matter how limited in scope, still captures the spirit of ‘vacation’ – you vacated your present abode for somewhere else, even though this other place may not be entirely new.

    What changed as we became adults? What brought upon this crazy need to work and work, even during vacations? Is it to afford the living expenses abroad, or to meet up with demands of ‘black tax’ back home? The answer may be buried in a myriad of reasons. However, it is not out-of-place to see a black colleague, sponsoring two siblings in universities abroad and shouldering the hefty bills by working so many extra shifts during their off-periods. While such heroism is admirable, it is inherently sad as we watch this brilliant candle burn from both ends. This burden may often take its toll – illness, burn-out, personal family problems. Sadly, this heroic individual is left to face these demons. Alone.

    We need to normalize taking vacations. When I see the pictures of black colleagues on vacation, my heart leaps for joy. Because I know the positive boost this required rest adds to their mental health. Most come back with a bounce, a different glow, a sharper wit and mind, ready to take up any demands of the workplace.

    Vacations are necessary, even if you are drowning in responsibilities. You are not irreplaceable. If you die, the show will go on. Those relatives will ‘somehow’ manage to survive and thrive. People will still drag jollof rice at your burial and life will move on very fast without you.

    Find time to take care of yourself. Beta anụ, beta anụ, bụ na arụ nama (Cut meat, cut meat na for cow body). Come to terms with the fact that you cannot please everyone and learn to be kind to yourself. Do take a break from time to time. The world will adjust. Make your responsibilities align with your priorities.

    You are the golden goose. We cannot afford to have anything happen to you. We need you safe and sound. So, rest IJN. 😁🙏❤️

    ©Kelvin Alaneme, 2022.

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