The Expat Files: Kari Mugo

 

Name: Kari Mugo

Where you can find Kari : Twitter & Instagram.

Nationality: Kenyan

Current Host Country: South Africa

Previous Locations: United States

Years Abroad:  12 

Years in Current Location:  4 Months

Occupation: Writer

 

I moved to my current country because: I fell in love with Cape Town’s beauty in 2016 when I first visited a friend who lived here. Since then, I have been dreaming about moving to Cape Town. At first, I was considering moving here for work, but in 2020, I decided to apply to the Creative Writing masters program at the University of Cape Town. The pandemic really had me thinking and gave me time to focus my resources and attention. I decided that storytelling, more than anything, is what I needed to be doing, so I was super stoked when I was accepted into UCT. I moved here in early March to start my program and I continue to work remotely for a non-profit in Nairobi.

The three things you need to make it here is: I don’t know how to answer this beyond saying ‘money’!

The Best thing about living in my host country has been:
The beauty. The Western Cape has stunning topography. You can go from mountain to beach to vineyard all in one afternoon.

 

 

 

 

My favorite experience living here has been…Hanging out with the penguins at Boulder’s Colony. They’re ridiculously cute.

If you’re considering living here:  Speaking for Cape Town strictly, you need to leave behind the notion that the city is typical for the continent. The tension in its racial politics is very visible and still determines who lives and works where, and who gets to enjoy the best things the city has to offer. In many places I walk into, it’s still surprising to find myself as one of only a few Black folks. If you have dealt with the traumatisation of being a Black body in the USA, this can be tough.

The biggest lesson I learned as an expat is...
Places are complicated, resist oversimplifying them or brushing them over with broad strokes. This will allow you to actually "see " a place, instead of your projection of it.

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