The long awaited manifestation has come and gone, leaving the city with a probability that the future of pluralistic Verona may have already come. For some diplomatic reasons, the invited South African ambassador, Mrs. Thenjiwe Mtintso, could not make it to the event this evening.
It was planned that she would speak about the horrible incident of March 21 1960, when dozens of South Africans who were protesting against a discriminating law were massacred in the South African township of Sharpeville.
The ambassador however sent a representative to the Verona event as a sign of her support for the campaign against discrimination and a push for citizenship of the children of migrants in Italy, who are not recognised as Italians until they are 18 years of age before they can apply for their right to Italian citizenship.
Also present in the campaign were several government dignitaries both from within Verona and beyond, all apparently pleased with the event.
- “I never knew that this kind of beautiful variety
were possible in Verona,” a woman who attended the colourful event told me at the end of the show, and she had her reasons.
- Fred Kuwornu
However, something else was equally appealing about this evening event at teatro Stimate, near the Arena of Verona: the children, the protagonists and the reason behind the campaign were the colour of the day. Many in number and of
parents from diverse nationalities, they were mainly from Verona high schools and university. From the recitation of poetry, music and personal testimonies, they were able to hold the fully crowded theatre to a stand still until they
have passed their message of audacity: “we are the future”.
A most remarkable comment was from one of the presenters, Benjamina, a young woman of Ghanaian parents who advised a fellow young man of immigrant parents that granting residents to the children of migrants in Italy will never be at the platter of gold.
“We have to keep fighting until we get what we want”, she added, earning a lasting applause from the participating audience.
In another development, Fred Kuwornu, the producer of the documentary “18 Ius soli” told the crowd that his documentary has opened up the argument beyond whether or not to give citizenship to the children of migrants in Italy; it has equally began to provoke arguments into the very idea of citizenship: Who is a citizen in a society; what truly qualifies him/her and why are some others not qualify to be citizens in the same society?
To conclude that the above is a simple equation could be a grave miscalculation; the point however is whether our laws and principles are in effect promoting equality and justice or they are simply favouring some members of the society, thereby creating rooms for the discrimination and exploitation of the others. Think about it.
Ewanfoh Obehi Peter
Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating via our Paypal account or via bank transfer, Iban IT97M36000032000CA005648709.