20 June, 2014

Tell a different story: beyond borders

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Category: European Action Day, Refugees' stories
Ruxandra Pandea
2 pm

Beyond borders

by Cheick Vakaba TOURE

 

My name is Cheick Toure, age 18 years old. I was born in the Ivory Coast and I have been living in France for two years. I come from a large family where the bound with my mum, Kadi Traore, and the respect of our beliefs are of upmost importance.

During my early childhood, I experienced some difficulties integrating in my home community. First, I am sun-kissed, which singles me out among our members. Then, my father got married with a Burkinabe Peul woman, my mum. Eventually, my grandfather, a carrier, used to live in polygamous household and married three women. This was also outstanding back at that time. Therefore many nationalities co-habited in my family.

I have always been labelled as the “Other” in my community because of my mixed origins. I felt so frustrated. Because I was born in the Ivory Coast, I considered myself as an Ivorian, but at the same time, they make me feel like less of a person.

Fortunately, as I grew older and I travelled further, I gained another opinion about being a Metis. As I arrived in Bamako, Mali, my grandma’s origin country, I have been warmly welcomed and considered a Malian.  From that moment on, I understood that what I considered as a “failure” was actually a wealth for everywhere and anywhere feels like home to me.

Deep inside of ourselves lays a wealth, an identity, whatever who we were, who we are and what we own.

 

Refugee Day


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