Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas 2011

During the week before Christmas I was speaking to Tuskani, a 17 year old Nigerian boy who is in a refuge in the borgo with other African boys. They came to Sicily by boat from Libya a few months ago. He has the most dazzling smile and pronounces my name better than any Sicilian. But his whole face changed when I asked him about his family. He told me he had no family left. His mother was killed in Libya during the civil war there this year. She was a Christian, he said, so he goes to church sometimes, 'to keep his soul clean'.

Another time we were talking he said he preferred American hip hop to African Music - he didn't know Ismael Lo, Baaba Maal, Cesaria Evora, Miriam Makeba - the great singers and musicians of Africa. He shrugged and said they were from other African countries. But he wrote down their names and said he would look them up on Youtube. His fate? He will stay in the refuge till he is 18 and then probably be moved to another holding centre, similar to a prison, until the government decide whether or not to send him back to Libya.

He was the first to with me a happy Christmas on Christmas morning - in English, that splendid smile lighting up his face.

No comments:

Post a Comment