Letters to My Mother

17 Aug

The first letter of my series of letters. The next one is coming soon.


Whenever I am in Europe or in the United States, I dream about going back to Africa and living in Africa. I long for my childhood, the vastness of the desert, the clear sky full of stars at night, the colours and the smells. When I am lying all alone in my bed, I sometimes feel as if my heart is being torn apart from all this homesickness.

But, Mama, when I come to Africa, I long for my European friends, for my son Aleeke and for my life in Europe. This is the way I feel right know. I am and always will be a nomad.

Mama, when I ask myself where I belong to, I can’t find an answer. I just see a big black hole, a big emptiness. I would love to unite these two worlds for myself but I don’t know how. I feel homeless and deracinated.

When I started my campaign against female genital mutilation, there were a lot of African women and men that reproached me for betraying our African traditions and our culture. That really hurt me. The last thing I want to do is to betray our culture. I don’t want to betray our home! I don’t want to be seen as a betrayer! I want Africa to be a safe place for all children, a place where girls won’t be genitally mutilated anymore and where girls won’t be traumatized anymore. They shouldn’t have to suffer what I had to suffer.

I cried a lot that night in Prague, Mama. I couldn’t fall asleep; I kept playing with the remote control and switched from one channel to the other, just to distract me from these grim thoughts.  At some point I sat down at my desk and tried to put my feelings into words but I could only scribble down some useless phrases. I stood at the window and watched the sea of lights of the city. I wished that the day would begin very soon and that the sun may rise. I just felt like the loneliest person on earth.



Please support my Desert Flower Foundation here.

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