Friday, October 25, 2013

African Immigrants

So, in my line of work, I've ended up working with co-workers who are African immigrants. This is really a new one on me. In retrospect, it's not all that amazing. I've heard of Somali refugees, and Eritreans, ... and there've been a couple of cabbies from the Sudan come to think of it.

But in my working experience, immigrant co-workers have been mainly Eastern European, South Asian, and Vietnamese, truth be told.

One dude was from the Congo. He grew up in Brussels, Belgium though, lived in Paris, London, New York City, and settled finally in Toronto. (For some strange reason, he'd lived in Toronto, moved to NYC, and then came back to Toronto.) I was thrown for a bit of a loop. I mentioned that I knew about Mobutu and Kabila. Later, it occurred to me, a dude I'd written an essay on, Patrice Lumumba. I asked him (since I've discovered that some people revered as heroes by the Left, aren't as esteemed by their countrymen) if he was still a hero. He said, yes, Patrice Lumumba is still very much a hero to the Congolese. (He'd stated earlier how Lumumba was killed by the CIA and the Belgians.)

The other dude was from Zimbabwe. He ran afoul of Mugabe 13 years ago, lived in South Africa for a short while, before choosing Canada. On that plane trip 13 years ago, he stopped at Heathrow airport. He left behind two boys, then aged 6 months and two years old. He hasn't held them in his arms since.

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