The book, published by Italian publishing company Edizioni dell’Arco, was presented in Milan the 21 of April 2009.
As you wrote in the first pages of the book that the whole idea behind it began with a bet with your friend Sara, who believed that there are no successful Africans in Italy, now that the book has finished what did she say?
You see, it’s not about what she said after the book but also during the book. You see, Sara is somehow like my little grandchild, a person that I am very close to and during the making of the book she was updated about it at all stages. She is very happy and flattered.
What I have seen is that she has informed many of her friends. Beside the Italians, her friends are also the children of mixed couples, or, like Sara, children of Somalis and Eritreans people. There was a very good response from them. Some contacted me to congratulate and basically they were saying: ‘ we are well aware, we know the things you say, this is not astonishing for us, but although we know this we could not use it as arguments ‘.
They were saying that in a book like this they find a tool they could use to make people understand that the conventional image of Africa is very far from true.
Many of these people, I call them kids but they are 18-20 years old, are aware of the fact that they can be, and I hope they will, the actors for change in Italy.
For example, the G2 network, which means “second generation network” (www.secondegenerazioni.it), involve many people and through this they get important results. I hope to continue my collaboration with them.
Another aspect I want to emphasise is the beautiful blend that is occurring between the second generation. While the parents have a tendency to remain within the national community, the Senegalese with Senegalese, Romanians with Romanians, Algerians with Algerians, Moroccans with Moroccans, etc., their children no longer feel the same way. They have a natural tendency not to see differences from a nationality and another.
When I think of them, I am optimist because although they come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, they put all this beside and they come together to solve their problems. That is why I am optimistic when I think about them. They really can be the main actors for change in Italy.
What are criteria behind the selection of the stories of successful Africans in Italy that are published on ‘Africa QUI’ ?
I tried to selected by country and by typology. For example in Italy there are many Africans who are doctors, so I wanted to avoid to gather too many stories of African doctors.
I also tried to prevent the Africans who already are popular. I wanted to avoid them not because their stories were not interesting but because it seemed appropriate to me to bring out the stories of people who are less known. This is also because every time there is some news about african lite
rature, Italian journalists always try to reach famous African writers based in Milan like Pap Khouma. So it seems that the only African writer in Italy is Pap Khouma. He is very talented but, thank God, he is not the only one.
To purchase the book: Ediarco.it
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