"Dedicate the bad face to the powerful who occupy my house!"
Letter from an African immigrant; letter circulated in 2019 and which we publish again, considering the news
The open letter from an African woman to the Senator former Minister of the Interior 2018-19 is direct and without mediation. "If I could have chosen, I would have gladly done without your hospitality".
“I saw his face on the news yesterday. Painted the colors of anger. His voice, then, had the bitter taste of gall. He said that for us who are here in your land, the fun is over. He accused us of living in luxury, stealing bread from the people of his country. Once again I felt the atrocious pangs of fear…
Who I am? I won't tell you my name. Names matter little to her. Anything. I'm one of those you contemptuously call "illegals". I come from a country, Nigeria, where very few get along and they are all your friends. I say it right away. I am not a victim of Boko Haram terrorism.
In my region, the Niger Delta have not arrived. I am an economic refugee, as you say, one of those people who have no right to come to Italy and Europe. Do you know the Niger Delta? I don"t think so.
And yet, every time she gets in her car she can do it thanks to us. Some of the petrol it uses comes from there. I lived on the outskirts of Port Harcourt, the capital of Niger Delta State. One of the oil capitals of the world. I lived with my mother and brothers in a shack and in the evening we used candles to get some light. We like the vast majority of those who live there.
It"s hard to live where I come from.
A hell if you are a girl. And I was a girl.
Everything is paid. All.
If you don't have money
you don't go to school and
you can't take care of yourself.
Hospitals and public schools are not functioning.
And even there, by the way, if you want
to pretend to study or take care of yourself,
you have to pay.
And how do you pay if there is no work?
Hunger, misery, despair and no future,
they are our daily companions.
I can already see her frown.
He's ready to say it's none of his business, right? Instead, it's his business.
My country, the region where I live, should be very rich
since we are among the largest oil producers in the world.
But no. That oil enriches a few families of corrupt politicians, fills your banks with the fruit of their looting, keeps your economies and your companies alive.
My country has been prey to multiple coups.
Oddly enough, personalities obedient to the wishes of the big oil companies of his world, even of his own country, have always gone to power.
Thus, you were able to pay a very low price for the amount you took away. And what you took away was our life. You did it with arrogance and ferocity. Your civilization and your human rights have polluted and destroyed life in the Niger Delta and hanged our best men.
Do you remember Ken Saro Wiwa? He was a young poet who demanded justice for us. You dangled him from a gallows… Your companies, fighting each other, have fueled the most extreme corruption. You bought ministers and civil servants to get a slice of our wealth.
Eni, Agip, certainly know those. They are accused of having poured scary sums into this dirty game. With that money we could have had schools and hospitals. At home, in the evening, I wouldn't need a candle…
I would have stayed there, at home, on my land.
I would have done without the pleasure of crossing a desert. To be robbed by soldiers of every frontier and by traffickers. Of being raped many times during the journey. I would have gladly done without the Libyan prisons, the nights spent standing up because there was no place to sleep, the dirty water and dry bread they gave you, the continuous rapes they forced me to, the heartrending screams of those being tortured .
I could have done without your hospitality. In your country, many girls like me have only prostitution as their destiny. You know that. And you do nothing against our slavery, rather you use it to appease your bestiality. I managed to escape this horror, but I was a slave in your fields. I have collected your tomatoes, your apples, your oranges in exchange for a few coins and many humiliations. Once again, you got the kicks. On our skin. About our lives.
About our poor dreams of a slightly better life. I see I never mentioned his name. I apologize, but it scares me. The one for the injustice of those who know how to put on a hard face against the weak, but always know how to smile at the powerful. Do you want us to go home?
Speak to your powerful, to those of the other countries who effectively occupy my house in a poisonous and never declared war. If you have a little dignity and courage, face them badly."