Ever relocated from rural to urban? Here's the story of Marko

Today, we start on a long journey; follow Marko from a rural village into an urban town, city, and across international borders. 

Marko represents millions of people in rural Africa, relocating from familiar environments to urban centers. Available information indicates that cities of the world are growing, and by 2050 most of the global population will live in urban areas, and Africa and Asia will have the fastest growth.

In subsequent blog posts, I follow Marko, our immigrant, to establish the food choices he makes, and the effect on his health and overall well-being.

Marko is a young adult, a university graduate and certified public accountant; well-educated by the standards of his village and town. When I met with Marko, he had been gone from familiar surroundings for six years. At first encounter he appeared happy, a claim refuted by his medical team.

Marko was born and raised in rural Kenya. Acquisition of a good education did not take him far away from home, as there were educational institutions within a radius of 50 kilometers of his home. On completion of college education, Marko was employed at his local municipal offices.

The job offer saw Marko relocate to a town 20 kilometers away from his rural home. Food was no big issue, for whenever Marko visited nearby grocery stores or open markets, he found food items, similar to those cultivated on his parents’ farm, the foods he ate while back in the village.

Every fortnight, Marko traveled to his home in the village, on Friday evening and back on Sunday evening. He brought along bags of food items from the farm of his parents. The food items included maize flour, an assortment of indigenous vegetables, sweet potatoes, bananas and fresh and sour milk. Marko ate to his full, every breakfast, lunch and dinner.

@ Omosa EK

@ Omosa EK

While in town...

Marko’s residence in his local town was less than two kilometers from his place of work, so he chose to walk to and from the office. The comfort enjoyed by Marko, of living away from home but continuing to eat foods like those he ate growing up, must have contributed to his increased productivity at work. Marko got a job promotion, to the city!

Marko was as excited as his parents and siblings. To the village people, the promotion of one of their sons to the city was an indication that education and working hard pay. 

A promotion to the city meant more earnings with related perks: a car, a house in the suburbs, and the ability to purchase and consume good food. Marko made a promise to himself; he would continue to work hard at his new job, and live well, just like the few rich people he knew, including his local member of parliament. The colleagues of Marko left behind in the municipal office made individual silent promises; work hard and get a promotion to the city, just like Marko.

While in the city, Marko learned that his promotion was made possible because the previous treasurer had been blessed, migrated overseas.

Until next post, do you recognize our immigrant, in you or someone you know. What food choices is Marko likely to make while in the city?