Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am A Man From Senegal

Reflections about a global world by a man from Senegal who came to Mzansi (South) to move forward

I am a very tall man from the Senegal.
The Senegal got it's name from the river Senegal.

Most of the men are tall in Senegal and the women are real beautiful. It's a country of Western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. We, the Wolof, I am Wolof, and other West African poeples settled at the coast. Do you know we have a mighty history? The interiors formed part of the three great African medieval empires Mali, Ghana and Songhai. 
Then in the 15th century coastal trading posts were established by the Portuguese and the Dutch. 
The French joined them in the 17th century. And in 1895 we became a French Colony. 
The French were too strong, We all became French colonies. All the countries became French colonies.
All Senegalese children learn this at school. We were part of what they called French West Africa. It took 65 years for us to become an independant African state in 1960. 
But in fact it took many centuries.

I moved down South to make a living because there are more riches here. My city is Dakar and we are more than 12.000.000 who live there. Europe and America say the African make too many children.
On Sundays I sell things at the market. Everyting I sell comes from China and it is cheap. The Chinese seem to me as strong now as the French were then.
One day China will own Africa.

I can overlook the sea from where I work. It reminds me all the time of the coast in Senegal. But there it's warm. West African brothers are not welcome here anymore. The South Africans are not bad but they are getting poor now as well like the rest of Africa.

As a man from Senegal this complicates your life.
I hear people talking all the time about a global world. I think the problem starts when people are selling goods in other countries, are trading and doing commerce. It creates fear in the local people. Because if you are successful they always think you stole from them. Although that is not true. Because you are not doing the same thing as they are.

Sometimes I feel just like a shadow.
Will Africa move forward with a global world ?

But I still have not earned what I wanted to earn.
So it's no good going home now. May be another five years

So in this country I am the guy from Senegal

Between 2000 and March 2008 at least 67 people died in what was identified as xenophobic attacks on foreigners, mostly African foreigners. Foreigners like Kenyians, Somalians, Zimbabwens who are mainly involved in trade and commerce activities were accused of taking the business away from the locals. In May 2008 a series of riots left 62 people dead. The attacks were apparently motivated by xenophobia.

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