Mar 19, 2012, 1:02 PM
These were able-bodied young men and women at the prime of their productivity.
From the coast of Lagos right up to the coast of Morocco, there are thousands and thousands of African youths at various stages of migrating to Europe.
According to news reports, about 90 others on board survived after either swimming 15 meters (50 feet) to shore unaided or after rescuers reached those who decided to stay in the boat.
The practice of embarking on perilous, mostly sea voyages, has in recent years been an all too common phenomenon that has taken its toll on life and limb of African youths, who are resolved to reach the European mainland by all means.
How sorrowful, considering the price of the misadventure.
It is costing many a hope-starved African youth a great deal of money, which they and their families have to raise through a variety of difficult means.
The huge amounts involved in such dangerous journeys would have helped many youths to establish small businesses, if not a big one that would benefit not only them but the country at large.
Most African youths attribute their extreme decision to the inability of their respective countries to provide jobs or, when they could provide them, fail to guarantee the kind of remuneration at least reasonably comparable with that which can be earned in Europe.
In so many cases in The Gambia now, we see people working very hard for very little money which does not even cover the rising cost of basic commodities.
Be that as it may, the thing that our youths should understand about the dream of Europe is that all that glitters is not gold.
In so many cases, when people have succeeded in making it there, they find themselves in such unexpected situations that they have to lead lives of terrible poverty, and suffer shocking discrimination.
Africa has a lot of potential, and one should therefore be steadfast.
The search for greener pastures should not be pursued as a matter of life and death.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
Henry David Thoreau