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AtWork Kampala – Readings

April 10, 2015

Which African language do you speak?
Gloria Kiconco

My story with Africa started with rejection. I still ask myself why her? She is not really my mother, sister, or friend. We have very little in common and only blood has tethered me to this woman who, I often imagine, disregards my being. My mother tells me I was an easy birth and a quiet baby. I think, even then I did not want to be a bother and from then my story was a search for belonging. But you already know my story because it is that of so many Africans who migrated and lost themselves along the way. The difference is details. I was in the United States. I took off my language, my extended family, my ‘heritage’ and dressed in individualism so as to be accepted.  It was a labour twelve years in the making and just as I grew into this new me, I was called back ‘home’ to Uganda. What kind of home is it where you don’t recognize the greeting?

So, when I came back to Africa, she did not recognize me. She also remains a stranger to me. There is no rejection more painful than rejection of self. Cultural displacement is an undiagnosed autoimmune disease that turns the body against itself. Why was I the blood cell Africa did not recognize? The patch of skin she dismissed as a scar and never celebrated as a birthmark?

… Read the full text at doppoziero

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