Essay Sample on Navigating an Identity Crisis: Being an African Native in a Foreign Country

Published: 2023-03-02
Essay Sample on Navigating an Identity Crisis: Being an African Native in a Foreign Country
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Intercultural communication
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 899 words
8 min read

Being an African native comes with its perks and drawbacks in a foreign country. Being not the only black person in America, you are torn between identifying as a black American or an African who lives in America. You find yourself having an identity crisis. In my day to day life, I encounter different experiences, different from other people because of the color of my skin, my past experiences, and my perspective in life. I would not say it has been a bad experience, but I would say that it has been a fascinating yet challenging one. I have been forced to learn the culture, language as well as to adjust to the food. All these have not been in any form new since, in my home country Kenya we tend to have a lot of ethnic groups with different food, culture, and language, and living in such a diverse culture; it's been forced on us to adjust accordingly. And so, growing up in such an environment has helped me adapt quickly to a new environment.

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Not everything gloom and doom, there were times when I felt a sense of pride. During the New-York Marathon, it's often my country-men and women who often dominate it. When they do, everyone wants me to tell them how we are so good at long distance races. Only a few weeks ago did Eluid Kipchoge break the world marathon record of running a whole marathon distance below two hours (Gregory, 2019). This, has helped me improve my adjustment in the office since there is a common topic to discussion, between me and my co-workers. However, there are times when I could wish the world to swallow me whole, especially when there were attacks in our capital city Nairobi (Crouse, 2019). This news has been hyped here in the west and made to seem as if it's the order of the day to get terrorist attacks. I usually take this time to educate my co-workers on what's happening and which specific businesses attacked most often.

At work, I can sometimes find it challenging to adjusting to the culture because of my upbringing. I could take time in gelling with others, especially when they are cracking jokes since I don't have context. Although English is a national language in my home country, most of us don't use it frequently until you either join High-school or a College. This infrequent use causes some knowledge gap in understanding complex words, especially at work, when getting trained on a specific task. No matter your skill level is at work, this could be a challenge when getting a promotion, a senior position requires one to have confidence and excellent communication skills. I can be hard to acquire because of one; because of the partial language barrier two; opposition from co-workers who feel as if I might taking their space as a foreigner.

When implementing a work-force training program at my workplace, I would prefer a model that doesn't force people to tolerate with each other since that would only create hidden resentment that might be pop out later (Dalto, 2018). The first thing I would do is create a time, especially after working hours, where people can have roundtable meetings to discuss where they come from and who they are. The sessions will involve a moderator, an average of around seven people who work from the same department or closely related departments, meets twice a week, and all they talk about is their lives, challenges during their childhood, and everything in between.

This exercise aims to establish empathy among co-workers. It will be people from different cultures and races sharing what challenges they encounter daily due to their distinct identities, which generates a very wholesome understanding of other people, as well as appreciating what privileges others get just because of who they are (Kesee, 2017). This method seems to be more effective than just issuing statements and warnings against people who discriminate against others because some don't know when their actions are discriminatory towards each other. This method should be allowed to work first; then, if someone violates this the code of conduct, the right legal action can be taken. Such a technique will better create unity among co-workers because when people know each other on a personal level, it will be tough for them to either discriminate or offend each other. The organization will increase teamwork, cohesion as well as avoid legal issues that come with lawsuits that involve discrimination.

As I conclude, I think it's much better to create an environment that helps people coexist with each other out of their own volition as opposed to an enforced policy. There are many more benefits when people are at peace with each other rather than when they have resentment against each other.



Crouse, L. (2019, November 3). Kenyan Runners Dominate in N.Y.C. Marathon. Retrieved from

Dalto, J. (2018, October 19). Workforce Development Training--Six Steps to Success: Convergence Training. Retrieved from

Gregory, S. (2019, October 22). Eliud Kipchoge Talks Breaking The Two Hour Marathon Barrier. Retrieved from

Kesee, C. (2017, November 21). Cultural Diversity Training in the Workplace. Retrieved from

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