And then comes the green, blinding, alive, strong. The vegetation intimidates, here it is the mistress and sovereign. Even Africans, its accomplices and companions for centuries, are afraid of it. They speaks about it with fear. An inhabitant who once was walking on the soil of these wild forests, now he feels like a stranger in his American shoes.
What my eyes can see, what for a moment I have considered a real utopia, is only a big lie, staged by the white man; what to my naive eyes seemed to be primitive and secular, are nothing else but old, abandoned, cocoa and coffee plantations, which the French and Portuguese man had imported from Brazil. Destroying, changing and imposing an artificial fauna.
The artificial sensation comes out when an eye, careless and involuntary in tracing its route among mud houses, spots a building with a different architecture. A cottage, with arches and pillars, balconies and terraces. Forgotten, left to memories. All crystallized as a sanctuary. The locals do not use it, they do not live in it, but they observe it, perhaps hoping that the same white man, who had once enslaved them, returns and will not abandon them any more.
Yes, this is Africa, wild however artificial;
Africa with farmhouses that become shrines, asphalted Africa, where there only very little of asphalt was left. Yes, this is Africa, which has everything, and that doesn’t wish to wake up yet from that white dream. Where once there used to be coffee and cocoa, now there is cobalt and rubbish. Yes, this is Africa, it is the Africa that smiles, which calls you “Obroni”, that does not get tired and that doesn’t drink.
That same Africa that still awaits the arrival of the messiah, this time hopefully a black one.
What my eyes can see, that is contrary to what my heart feels, is not a despair and misery, but rather, a resistance. The act of strength of excellence, caused by climatic conditions, drought, famine, diseases, but above all, abandonment. Where my heart dies, that theirs resist. Prosperous, he develops, he annihilates every darkness. Where I feel ashamed, for carrying twice as much medicines that their clinic has, they experience an euphoric joy of being together again with human beings who become part of their family.
Only at this moment they can celebrate because the family has grown bigger.