March 31, 2017

Riou

Africa is a part of the land that, to me, can say that the colonizers decided to destroy. They only want the riches from the earth – to take what belongs to the earth. But whoever lives there is not worth anything. Human life in the eyes of the colonists is worthless. Look at Belgium, for example. It is the largest diamond market in the world. Do you know the size of Belgium? My country, Congo, is 62 times the size of Belgium. So where do they get these diamonds that they are selling? I do not know of any European companies that are doing good things that we can applaud in my land. I’m not seeing anything. Not even the United States, they are doing nothing. It’s a thing like colonization. We say that we left the colonization period, but we did not actually leave? No. They arrange another type of system to put people under imperial control, but it is not freedom. Congo, there is the conflict that has lasted for 16 years. Where are the international organizations? Where is the UN? What are they doing? It’s almost the same as the Syrian Civil War, but the world knows about the war in Syria. Syria has 200 or 300 thousand dead but there are at least 6 million dead in Congo. Six million! Where are these organizations that have to solve international problems?

These organizations have a responsibility that, until now, are not fulfilling their duty. 16 years. 16 years of a conflict that is unending. In Nigeria, there are terrorists. These are not of the same size as the Islamic state, but who is trying to solve the problem before they come as big as the Islamic State? No one is talking about it. In Côte d’Ivoire – Do they have peace? No. There is no peace in any corner of Africa. Maybe Northern Africa, but still they have terrorists coming out of Libya. How do you explain this? The UN, UNESCO, where are they? What are they doing? Why do some have the right to be helped and some do not? This is very complicated for us Congolese to understand. So what do we do? We try to explain to those who are interested in knowing what is happening there.

When we arrived in Brazil, people have a very different image of Africa. The media is really manipulated. Public opinion is manipulated in a way that people don’t know anything. The part of Africa that people know is poverty. The part of Africa that the world knows is its poverty – they’re a very poor people. But I know I’m not poor. Who is born poor? That’s really prejudice. Here in Brazil it’s worse for me. No one knows anything about Africa. Are you hearing about the things that are happening in Congo? Or in Uganda? People know if they see movies like Hotel Rwanda. But the film is fictitious. They create a story; it can be a bit of a truth, but mostly a lie just to entertain people. But what is truth, right? If you go there you will know the truth. It’s simple, actually – consideration for human life. Humanity. Because if we consider human life, we will at least appreciate it. It will at least change some of attitudes towards Africa. It’s quite simple: if I have consideration for you, I will not do things that can disrupt your life. Only that.

The image people have of Africa is that it’s dangerous. But there is no safer place for me than Africa. And we thought it will be better to create an NGO and try to show the real Africa for who wants to know. I will not force anyone; if you want to know something about Africa, we’re here to help you. People can come who don’t know this African culture that people but want to learn. I volunteer to help. As it is also complicated for a Brazilian to converse with an African who speaks, for example, French, we at África do Coração have a free French course. English, too. You’ll have to pay elsewhere, but getting here it’s free. There are things we are receiving here for free, so we try to give something we have for free in return.

The image people have of Africa is that it’s dangerous. But there is no safer place for me than Africa. And we thought it will be better to create an NGO and try to show the real Africa for who wants to know. I will not force anyone; if you want to know something about Africa, we’re here to help you. People can come who don’t know this African culture that people but want to learn. I volunteer to help. As it is also complicated for a Brazilian to converse with an African who speaks, for example, French, we at África do Coração have a free French course. English, too. You’ll have to pay elsewhere, but getting here it’s free. There are things we are receiving here for free, so we try to give something we have for free in return.

 

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