Photo Credit: Salum Ndezi

Finding A Foreigner Language

Practice is the art of science.
DR of the Congo, Middle Africa

Story by Salum Ndezi. Edited by Melaina Dyck
Published on March 14, 2021. Reading time: 4 minutes

This story is also available in de es fr it kr



I was in trouble. I had no more money to pay for school fees in Rwanda and I was going to have to leave to return to my hometown in the Democratic Republic of Congo in fifteen days.

Before my journey, I went to the university to use the WI-FI. When I was in the library, a boy came and asked me for the WI-FI password. I gave it to him and then he sat close to me. Within few minutes, my father called. I lowered my voice because I was in the library and we talked in Swahili. After the call, the boy to whom I gave the password said “Jambo kaka,” a greeting in Swahili.


He and I were both immigrants. Our friendship started from there. 

“I heard you speaking Swahili on the phone. I’m from Burundi,” he said. We went out of the library and had a long dialogue. I was so excited to find someone who could speak Swahili properly because I could express myself freely in my mother tongue. He and I were both immigrants. Our friendship started from there. From that day forward, we visited each other’s apartment regularly. Later on, he told me that he works as a French teacher at a primary school. When I heard that, I was very interested since I learned French in secondary school and that qualified me to be a primary school teacher. I never knew that French was taught at the primary level in Rwanda, because in 2009 Rwanda changed its language from French to English and it became an Anglophone country. I knew only that French was taught as a subject at secondary level. My new friend gave me the details about the job.

I went from feeling excited to feeling doubtful. “Yes, I’m a teacher, but I have never taught apart from the one-month of internship I did when I was getting my diploma in secondary school. I don’t have any experience as a teacher. But I must try. It’s ok if I fail,” I said in my heart. When I reached my ghetto, I spent the whole night preparing my CV to apply to different schools in the area. The following day, I went to those schools and applied for a job as a teacher of French. I was afraid after applying for the jobs because in Africa, before you apply for any job anywhere, you must have one of these three people: a family member or friend who works at the place where you apply or a person who has a good relationship with the boss.


It’s ok if I fail,” I said in my heart. 

But, all of that did not discourage me. I prayed to God. Five days later, I got the job!

I was extremely happy. Imagine as an immigrant applying only once for a job and getting it with no experience or without knowing someone. This is not something normal. It is a miracle. My pains changed to pleasure in a second. I started a new life of independence. I started planning for my days to come. I able to pay rent, food, and other expenses and help my parents and family, too.  I hang out with my fellow immigrant friend on the weekends. I am very happy teaching French. Teaching helps to increase my French skills because I practice it every day.  As is said in French, “La pratique est l’art des sciences.”[1]


Click to read more about Salum's journey through constantly changing life

[1] “Practice is the art of science.”

 


How does this story make you feel?

Follow us on Social Media

Talk about this Story

Please enable cookies to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Stay up to date with new stories on Correspondents of the World by subscribing to our monthly newsletter:

* indicates required

Salum Ndezi

Salum Ndezi

I’m Salumu, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is the second widest country of Africa with more than four hundred tribes and more than four hundred fifty dialects. Kiswahili, Lingala, Tshiluba and Kikongo are the four national languages and French is an official one. It is a very rich country with its natural resources. But the biggest problems are the political instability, insecurity, war most in the eastern part of the country, and tribalism. And these bring us other big problems of poverty and hunger. Citizens cannot benefit from the resources of their own country. I observed and found out that people’s mentality must be changed, from all classes of people. And my only way to contribute to changing people’s mentality is through writing and sharing my ideas with everyone. Together we can make Congo, Africa and the whole world a better place.

Topic: Migration




Get involved

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Share Your Story

Community Worldwide

Correspondents of the World is not just this website, but also a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

EXPLORE TOPIC Migration

Global Issues Through Local Eyes

We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.

Our Correspondents

At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all.

Share Your Story

Our Editors

We acknowledge that the stories we collect will necessarily be biased. But so is news. Believing in the power of the narrative, our growing team of awesome editors helps correspondents to make sure that their story is strictly about their personal experience - and let that speak for itself.

Become an Editor

Vision

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

View Our Full Vision & Mission Statement

Topics

We believe in quality over quantity. To give ourselves a focus, we started out to collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with six different global topics. However, these topics were selected to increase the likelihood that the stories of different correspondents will cover the same issues and therefore illuminate these issues from different perspectives - and not to exclude any stories. If you have a personal story relating to a global issue that's not covered by our topics, please still reach out to us! We definitely have some blind spots and are happy to revise our focus and introduce new topics at any point in time. 

Environment

Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.

Gender and Sexuality

Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.

Migration

Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.

Liberation

We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.

Education

Say hello to our newest focus topic: Education!

Corona Virus

2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.

Growing Fast

Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.

64

Correspondents

74

Stories

39

Countries

185

Translations

Contact

Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!

Message Us

Message on WhatsApp

Call Us

Joost: +31 6 30273938