For 16years, I had no idea I had been homeless. Granted, I had clothes and a roof over my head, never missed a meal or slept rough but my heart, my heart had never been at ease… until I rediscovered home.
Returning home 16 years after departing, you find that although living a luxurious life compared to most at home, the price you pay for those luxuries has been everything that reminds you of who you’re supposed to be.
As small a gesture as it may be perceive to be, you find so much pleasure in simply being described as ‘a man’ instead of ‘a black man.’
Home becomes synonymous to not being marginalised. You begin a journey to rediscover home. You write a lot about home. In fact you even learn how to write in your home language.
This is when it dawned on you, no matter how much you try to emulate home, that damn quote is really true, there is no place like home. So you decide it’s time to go home.
In the time it takes to plan your return home, your escape from the plantation, you find yourself in a limbo…
Somewhere between Black-British and a British-Sierra Leonean,
Somewhere between a Londoner and a Freetonian
Somewhere between Watalo jɔnkshon and Waterloo station
Buying kasada bred before you hop on the London Eye.
Steering through sounds of ‘Spare change mate’, ‘Bra, yu bɔbɔ de!’,
‘Tɔp ɔp, tɔp ɔp’ and ‘please mind the closing doors’
You question if it’s worth closing one of the doors in favour of the other. You’re walking brave in a body consumed by fear. You know you’ll get there, but the journey that scares you. You’ve watched a few fail, try and try again. You know every obstacle you conquer leads to bigger obstacles. But the thoughts of winning; the thoughts of making a difference; the thoughts of being part of the change; it’s greater than anything you’ve ever dreamt off. All of it makes you grateful. You knew it was never going to be easy, but you keep on keeping on… because you’re surrounded by people travelling the same path… paving the path for change in the journey to discover home.
From time to time, you’re reminded by others travelling the same path that