28-year-old Deijha Gordon has left her family in Brooklyn, New York to start a food truck business in Ghana.
The decision to come to Ghana for the first time and subsequently decide to relocate to the West African country is borne out of a sense of duty to help, Deijha tells ABC News.
Growing up, Deijha says she was shown all the ‘negatives, starving children, dirty roads, huts’ about the continent and so she decided to come and see for herself what the real story of Africa was. To her surprise, the situation in Ghana was nothing compared to what had been reported on various television stations in the states.
She tells ABC News‘ Adwoa Tenkoramaa her impression about the continent changed the moment she arrived at the Kotoka International Airport. She indicates she felt a sense of ‘belonging’ and a feeling that she’s been ‘here before’.
Deijha, until her decision to relocate to Ghana worked an 8 to 5 job at the United States postal service for eight years. The income she earned was good enough to help her live a decent life and cater for her travels, education and even sometimes offer help to others.
Now, she is the owner of a Food company “Deijha Vu’s Jerk Hut at East Legon, where she sells all varieties of food including Rasta Pasta, Rice & Peas (what many in Ghana call Waakye), and her rather special spicy chicken with doughnut.
Explaining the reason behind the choice of her truck’s name, the 28-year-old indicated that it is derived from the french cliche “déjà vu” which means “a feeling of having already experienced the present situation,” coupled with her birth name ‘Deijha’.
“So Deijah Vu’s, apart from my name being Deijha, the meaning of Deja Vu is a sense of feeling like I am already here, that is the feeling I got when I first set foot on this continent so when I got off the plane, I was kind of nervous simply because of what they show us in the state and so there were so many things running through my mind but as I got off the plane and stepped out into the atmosphere, I felt okay and I was happy that I made the decision,” she said.
According to Ms Gordon, her decision to begin a food truck business instead of any other business was birthed from a dream she had in which she saw herself as the owner of a huge restaurant.
Deijha decided to start small hence with advice from her grandparents, she opted to start with a food truck, which she says is very successful in the US.
The truck is currently stationed at a co-working space for start-ups on budget known as Base Camp Initiatives at one of Accra’s residential areas, East Legon.
“I don’t regret coming here. I feel like it’s the best decision I’ve made so far. I’ve met so many great people; I have had so many great opportunities, coming here allowed me to go to South Africa and I made a lot of friends and I have no doubt that Deijha Vu’s will be very successful. So many people have been hitting me up about it and they are anticipating the grand opening and I’m just excited about it,” she added.
She has employed three permanent staff and a number of temporal staff to help with her food business. She’s urging colleagues in the diaspora to turn to Africa where they “truly belong.”
2019 in Ghana was designated as the Year of Return which saw about one million visitors coming into the country to commemorate 500 years of African resilience.
Though Deijha says the idea to stay did not come as a result of the year of return, she described the initiative as very ‘brilliant’ and one which aided many diasporans to return to their roots.