About that jump – Episode 1
My name is Fadi (actually that’s my nickname), I live in Cameroon, in Yaoundé, the capital, but not the biggest city, which is Douala. I don’t particularly like my life here, too many obstacles of all kinds for a young woman (early 20’s) here. I am a Muslim, I like to be able to take refuge in a spiritual energy, it helps to endure the difficulties of everyday life.
My family is in the north of the country and I rarely go back. I have good friends, but we are all in precarious and difficult situations, especially when our families are not very well off financially. We have to get by, and like all young women, living alone, we are always on guard, stress is high, and tomorrow is always uncertain. I decided to shake off the yoke of dependency, I decided to take my life into my own hands, I decided that I had the right to build my autonomy.
I had the chance to meet a Canadian with whom I get along well, He helps me as much as he can, he’s become “my soul father”. We exchange a lot on Messenger. He has already been to Cameroon several times, and knows my country. He understands what I am going through, and that helps me. I decided to emigrate to Canada. I would like to work, study, and live there! In Cameroon, I have good friends, but I don’t feel that I am fulfilling my full potential. I am independent and I want to build my own life and future.
I finished my bachelor’s degree as a translator, trilingual FAM interpreter (French, English, Mandarin). Actually, my Mandarin still needs to be much more thorough! I’m doing well, I’m also working hard… the challenge is still to find the money for tuition. I want to study for a master’s degree, but the solution I’ve been offered is simple: “You get married, and we’ll find you a husband who can pay for your studies”!
I don’t want that, I am not a commodity to be sold! This finally made me decide, I’m going somewhere else, I’m going to live in a country that will allow me to offer a different life. I’ve talked a lot with my soul father, and I’ve decided to take a chance and go to Canada. After some research, I’m aiming for British Columbia, where I’ll be able to complete my master’s degree and where the demand for trilingual interpretors seems more promising. When I think about it, I feel all happy and excited…, but honestly, I’m also scared!
My Canadian soul father (I’ll call him papacan in this blog), told me that we’re going to share a bit of my adventure in this Universyn blog, to help those who, like me, made up their minds to take the leap and emigrate to this land of freedom (at least, that’s what so many people say, Canada). So, let’s get to know each other a little.
The reason for this leap is that for many years, things have not been going well for us in our home country. In my case, it started when I was 10 years old. It was the worst day of my life, when my mother was repudiated by my father. One night my father came home drunk and demanded that my mother go apologize to his family. Why did he do this? A typical Cameroonian occurrence!
My paternal grandfather was a village chief and when he died he left some property without a will. This had to be settled within three months of his death (Islamic laws) and my father’s sister refused to divide his brothers’ share. My mother filed a complaint against her so that my father would receive his fair share. My father did not accept this intrusion of my mother in his family affairs. When my mother refused to go and ask for forgiveness, he repudiated her. The next day, I was broken, she was gone.
My father’s family had never really accepted her, she was from a more modest background. A rented modest house in poor condition, leaking roofs… Her husband coming from a royal family was therefore entitled to a share of the inheritance… my mother wanted justice to be rendered, she did not get it. She put herself on the wrong side of the entire family. The relationship became even worse. My father faced the ultimatum of his family: “his family or his wife”. I adored my mother, a wonderful woman, I have two sisters, Nana and Inna, a brother Yaya, she had from a first marriage, the only one still alive, Laila.
The next day, Dad (he was quite hungover! He had to go to work, and had nothing to make us eat), so he sent us to join my mother.
I was the most affected, my sisters too small to understand, my brother indifferent. My father sent us back to our mother (who had returned to her family home). When we arrived, Mom was on the phone with Meryem (her adoptive mother, a minister’s wife). Meryem told her to send us away, because if dad wanted his children, he should not have repudiated her. So, mom kicked us out of her house. This was the second saddest day of my life!
I wasn’t done seeing anything yet… looking back, it is at this point that my “12,666 km jump” really started !
(Episode 2 coming soon)
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