The beauty of the world is travelling and learning

When and why did you leave your country?

Ninety per cent of Italians and Europeans think that everyone who leaves Africa is because we are starving, but my parents are ok financially. I left because I love to travel, from there I met friends and came to Italy, just like that. It’s been five years now, but I’ve seen many European countries. I went out but I no longer want to return to my home even though I was a Prince there, but I have no doubts about whether or not to return.  My father comes from a classical education, my mother is a merchant. People ask me “why here?!” and I reply that the beauty of the world is also this – to travel, to learn, I even didn’t think the racism I heard on TV was real, when I went out I experienced it and it is reality, staying at home and going out are different things.

Where did you start your journey?

Ivory Coast, san Pedro (my city)

Which countries did you travel through?

Burkina – Mali – Niger – Algeria – Libia – Italy

Why did you choose this country rather than another country?

When I arrived in Italy I wanted to go but I stayed for the love of the language. People didn’t believe me. The diploma in Italy is not compatible but in France it is, so they asked me “why didn’t you go to France?” I stayed for the love of the language even though I knew nothing, as soon as I entered Italy I fell in love with this sweet language.

What was your principal difficulty once you arrived in the host country?

The language

Do you have a job?

Yes, many

Do you have local friends

Yes someone, one of my operators is one of my best friends.

What do you like most in the host country?

I also like Italian cuisine, especially Sicilian, chicken slice, pasta alla norma very much.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I read a little, I like to read and cook, I did a cookery course on Italian dishes, in a project in san berillo.

What do you want to do in host city?

What I do: study, work, volunteer work, language lessons, Saturday and Sunday red cross, I do many things… I am a cultural and linguistic mediator. I help the disabled, collect food etc I do more than just mediate.

What do you think will help newcomers?

Some think they do not have a good future here but in reality they can have a good life, study and have documents but above all learn the language because without knowing it you cannot get ahead. Some as soon as they arrive go elsewhere and after they have nothing they come back here and have wasted their time. In the community I always say not to be in a hurry to go out, it’s true that we have no money but we have peace in life. I feel Italian, I have documents, I know the language and I am successful… what I can advise is: ‘don’t go now, at least learn!’ My friend after being in France for five years still has nothing and he doesn’t work, he has nothing.

What do you miss about your country?

My parents and that’s it. Thank God I have all the original food and that’s it. So just my parents, and thank God I had an Italian mother who loves me and didn’t make me think about my parents in Africa.

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