Things we left behind

Zimbabwe, November 1993. I was crying when we left. I was two years old, My Mother had just died and the only other person that could take care of me lived in another country, and just like that. I was off to South Africa. People don’t sit in Refugee camps for fun; they don’t cross crocodile infested waters because they have nothing better to do with their time. The story of Immigration is the same all over the world. It is a story of sacrifices made in the hope of a better life. It is the story of broken families, endless longing, constant goodbye’s and not enough hellos’ to make it better.

If there is one thing that unites us all it is sacrifice. These are the hands that have built homes, and were forced to leave them. These are the hands that haven’t held their children, these are the hands that want to reach out and be held, and these are the hands that could pull you from the darkest nights into the light. I don’t believe that these African hands can be foreign in Africa. I don’t believe these hands are asking for anything more than to be loved and accepted. And at any given moment, these could be your hands. Serge, Mike, Joe, Tracy, Deepal, Muwanguzi, Soonan, Zubair,Hicham, Eljonai and Wallenj, Thank you for sharing your stories with  me. Your bravery inspires me. It will get better, I can’t tell you when-but we live in hope (I have enough for all of us).  I wish I could do more, but just know that these hands will always be willing to write your stories.  N.


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