Kenyan migration to UK is an issue nobody is talking about

As the world focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis, a situation that is forcing tens of thousands of migrants fleeing their country in the hopes of living free in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and elsewhere, there is another issue that nobody is talking about: the Kenyan migration.

For many decades, Kenyans have migrated to the UK, either for economic reasons or disagreements in the way the government had been treating citizens. Due to this, many people in the UK were actually born in Kenya or maintain Kenyan ancestry.

A majority of Kenyans living in the UK are actually South Asian Kenyans who were forced out throughout the 1960s and 1970s. These same individuals, who are referred to as “twice migrants,” primarily live in London and Leicester. Fast forward to today, and the recent surge in migrants are African Kenyans as many seek out prosperity in industrialized countries.

Kenya has become such a depressing place to live that those who have visited England on a student visa have oftentimes overstayed their welcome.

Take the case of John Muruiki, who was profiled by Standard Media late last year. Muruiki, 29, has been in London for close to a decade now, but illegally. His visa expired in 2007, and now he is cooped up in a one-bedroom apartment in London, where he just spends his time on his laptop browsing the Internet.

“I feel very depressed many times,” he told the newspaper, “but I do not want to return to Kenya because of the shame I will bring to my parents and humiliation from my neighbours.”

His depression and fears serve no match to the kind of life that awaits him in Nairobi. He constantly looks over his shoulder. If he wants to go out for bread, he rushes in out and as quickly as he can.

In order to pay for the expensive lifestyle in London, he takes part in a three-day job stuffing letters in envelopes, which earns him £250 a week. He also does various gigs, such as gardening, which earns him another £150. Surprisingly, he is able to save some of this money and then sends it to his father to provide the false impression that he is doing well.

Day in and day out, he fears a knock on his door from the immigration office, even though he has an honors degree. But he can’t get work in his field because of his immigration issues.

What Muruiki experiences is common for the thousands of Kenyans living in England illegally.

Many Kenyans, whether legal or illegal migrants, have flourished in England. They have adapted to the life of the UK and have gotten used to the nation’s customs and traditions. You may know some of these people: Richard Dawkins, Sir Tejinder Virdee and Michael Bear.

If you plan to come to Great Britain and you want to live in and work in one of the greatest places in the world then you will have to learn how to. If you’re unsure how to live in London then perhaps you should take Life in the UK Test to help you become a naturalized British citizen.

More than 100,000 Kenyans live in the UK, and they all contribute to society. You can too.