I said in Societal Friction. Intro, going back ‘home’ is never easy. Sometimes you completely reject the idea, other times you feel time has left you completely disconnected, and you want to belong again, to one thing at least. Because it seems all your life you have skimmed through societies, like skimming through pages, without being able to call any your own story, truly.
Most times, you feel both, rejection and hope, in a circular manner. Rejection, hope, rejection, hope. Even that, is unsure. I felt rejection but always hoped to go back home and feel that sense of belonging. The rejection was never too deep or categoric, I could go for holidays, enjoy myself, bond with my past and feel happy, but its only the idea of living there long term which I rejected. But I believed this would change, it was only temporary, and by the time I would mature, my rejection for the long term life there would change into anticipation.
Then I realised I was cheating myself…I was trying to think responsibly, with my mind and not my heart, with a sence of responsibility and respect rather than selfishness. But it wasnt selfishness guiding me, I was too hard on myself. It was detachment, and that was in no way planned nor chosen. It was a logical outcome of my living experiences.
I was cheating myself because in reality it was not anticipation to be a part of that society or to be closer to my ‘roots’. It was anticipation to make a difference in this world. Anticipation to be part of a struggle, but it wasnt a nationalistic struggle I came to admit to myself, it was one where my whole continent would be involved. I am not a nationalist, I now realise I have never been. But im an afro-centrist. And I have seen much more suffering than what I see in my country of birth, which already is enough suffering one may think. Niger has always been at the bottom of human development index ranking. So suffering, famine, poverty or drought, yes there is, I have seen it and felt like turning things around, one day. But when I say I have seen much more suffering, its WAR, I am speaking of war. Of a ‘same people’ killing one another, attempting to wipe out each other with no sense of humanity. That is the suffering that really made me passionate, because it seemed the whole continent was either at war or at the brink of it. So my consciousness transcended the nationalist notion. The struggle i dreamed to be part of was, is, continent-wide, and I was, I am passionate about it. I was, I am tired of Africa being the backward one, the fighting one, the dying one, the poor one. And I was, I am, tired of being around so many Westerners who only saw, who only see, us in that light. Who judged and who judge, us in that light, and whose expectations of us were, and are regressive.
I was cheating my self when I thought it would be disrespectful to my ‘roots’ and selfish not to go back. I know I was because I listened to ‘hope’ and went back. And while I was there its ‘rejection’ that spoke to me the loudest. Now that I’m gone, I dont want to go back, but ‘hope’ is still talking to me. And soon I might wander back, try to quiet ‘rejection’ down so that ‘hope’ can overtake.
Hope, rejection, hope, rejection…