[i] I greet you Mr. [name]. My name is [name]. We are here today because of our project “Specially Unknown”. It’s about telling the story of people who aren’t really known as well as their intentions. We are with you today. We’ll sweeten you.

[r] I salute you. Thank you for being with me today. My name is [name]. I come from Guinea. More precisely, from Conakry. I am currently in Germany.

[i] Ok, Mr [name]. We [are] with you today because of your story. I want us to rewind your skills a little. A look back since you can remember. Since you were little. Is there anything you can tell us?

[r] Yes. My childhood. When I was little and since I can remember. In the beginning I was with my parents. My parents, I mean my mother and my father. We lived together. My father was a merchant. He went out early and came back late at night. Some days we didn’t see each other because I’m already sleeping when he comes back. But I was at home with my mother. She was always at home. I was lucky to be able to go to school. I did a lot of things. But I also had difficulties in my childhood because I’m light [in the sense of: light-skinned].

[i] Okay. You were talking about trouble. Can you explain [that] to us exactly?

[r] Yes. I mean with difficulties […] almost all of us are dark. Most of them are dark. It’s the case with me that I have a different skin color. My skin color is white. My mother took me to school. She waited until I went inside. When I finish school at 12 noon and come out, she’s always there waiting. She waits for me and we return together. Because people made fun of me. Because I am bright. They rejected me. They made fun of me by saying that I was an albino. When I was little, I looked very much like them. My hair wasn’t that black. If you look closely at my hair, you will notice that it is not really black. Do you understand? I didn’t have a problem with the neighborhood in that neighborhood. The guys in the neighborhood didn’t turn me down. But when I met strangers, they didn’t look at me. Or when I met a pregnant woman, she spits on the left side so she won’t have a child like me, because they say that I am an albino. There were also situations that were difficult for me. When I sometimes met strangers, they would turn on the flashlights and give them to me. Then you said it was a sacrifice. The reason why they give it to me is they say that albinos are lucky. Do you understand? And it’s said that the probability is very high that what we say really happens. That was difficult for me.

[i] Your mother always accompanied you. Were you the only one the mother accompanied? Or were the other teenagers not accompanied by their mother? Or was she accompanying you because she was afraid something would happen to you?

[r] The other children are not accompanied. I was the only one because they called me “the albino”. She also accompanied me so that nothing would happen to me on the way. She told me something, she told me that the government is not good. I have to be really careful. I should always tell her when I want to go outside. Either we go together or we stay at home. That’s how it was.

[i] Did your mother or father tell you why they do this? Or did they not talk about it?

[r] They explained [that] a bit to me. They said that you shouldn’t walk around much, because there are people who take children when you’re albino, even though both parents are black. Then you’re taken to an unknown place. And you’ll never see your parents again. That’s why she accompanied me everywhere. We did everything together.

[i] Have you ever thought about what people would do to you if they took me with them? Have you ever thought about something like that?

[r] When I was very young, I didn’t think about it because I felt protected because I was always with my mother. After school, after we ate, we stayed a little bit at home and played football with the guys from the neighborhood in front of the house from time to time. The evening after I take a shower, we stay a bit and [I] go to sleep. That’s how it was.

[i] You didn’t have a problem with people you know, you had a problem with strangers. Or what was it like?

[r] I had problems with strangers. I didn’t have a problem with the neighborhood. I had the problem with people who lived far away. They didn’t want to look at me when we met on the way.

[i] Did you think so, or was it suggested to you?

[r] That’s what I was told. That’s what happened to me. It was clear. Everywhere I am, you say: “Albino! Albino! The albino is there”.

[i] The children then discriminated against you.

[r] The children made fun of me. Yes, exactly. They made fun of me so much that at some point I didn’t want to go out anymore. I was just at home.

[i] What about the neighborhood when you arrive at home or are with the neighbors? If you compare both situations, outside and in the neighborhood. What’s the difference?

[r] The neighbors who are near us are like a family. If something happens to me, the neighbours stand up for me. The same applies to the neighbours. If you have problems, my parents stand up for them. If we children also had problems with each other, everyone tried to solve the problem. The guilty person is told to apologize to the other person. Thank God I got a good education. I was lucky enough to go to school and I was taught religion. Thank God.

[i] Did you have any friends in school?

[r] In school, the kids didn’t like me. Except my neighbours. Only with my neighbours do I spend the 15-minute break at 10 o’clock. I didn’t go to the others because they made fun of me. I was the outsider.

[i] They formed a group against you.

[r] Exactly. So it was.

[i] Did you hear anything that was done to people who had the same skin color as you and how you were frightened? And [what] made you be careful.

[r] I haven’t heard anything about it. Only what happened to me. I left my home country and my parents because I have a light skin color. Do you understand?

[i] Because they said “albino.

[r] Because they called me albino. Do you understand? Although I am not an albino, they say it to me. When I was there, I had black spots on my hand and my hair was a little light. Two pick-ups of soldiers wearing red caps caught me in front of the apartment entrance. I was outside the front door when they came. I took myself to the military camp and held myself there. They said they would sacrifice me on the third Friday. I was kidnapped on 02 October. They said they would sacrifice me on the third Friday of October. Do you understand? I was lucky, in the night from the 15th to the 16th, if I am not mistaken, I escaped. I went from prison to the forest called “Demoudoula”. I stayed there until early in the morning. I made my way home. Shortly before our house I saw two Landcruisers used by the soldiers. When I saw that, I went back to the forest “Demoudoula”. I stayed there until night fell. I then went to the place where the trucks are stationed. There I hid on the loading area between the goods. There I hid until I arrived in Mali.

[i] As you said, you were being held and you were going to be sacrificed. Have you heard from your parents?

[r] I saw my parents the last time they arrested me. Since then […] Last year I heard about my mother. May her soul rest. She is deceased.

[i] And your father?

[r] I haven’t heard from my father.

[i] When they were little, was there something that gave you pleasure or was very difficult for you?

[r] What made me happy was being with my parents. In the morning they prepared breakfast for me. Then I went to school. After school we spent some time together. We played in front of the house. In the evening we were taught Islam. At night I was told stories until I fell asleep. That was the daily routine. The rejection because of my light skin was the most difficult for me. In addition, I can never see my mother again. May God forgive her [me?].


[i] What was the most difficult? The rejection of the adults, the younger, or the peers?

[r] The rejection […] When I started to remember things […] The boys rejected me and I couldn’t say anything about it. And the pregnant women rejected me. They didn’t want to look at me and spit on the left so they wouldn’t get an albino. That was the hardest part.

[i] Okay. When asked […] Exactly what professions did your parents have?

[r] My father was a merchant. My mother was a housewife. We were together in the house.

[i] What was your father dealing with?

[r] Medication and […]

[i] Did he have a shop or a table?

[r] I don’t know exactly. He went out early and came back late at night.

[i] What did you do from morning till evening? From standing up to going to bed, can you tell us that?

[r] I can tell it again. I already [told] that. In the morning I took a shower, had breakfast, and was escorted to school. I [stayed] at school until 12 noon. After 12 o’clock I was picked up and brought home. We ate until 13 o’clock. I rested a bit and played a little football with the neighbours. Around 17 or 18 o’clock everyone went back home. You learned a little. At night they tell me stories until I fall asleep. So it was.

[i] Was there a game you would have liked to play but didn’t dare to play?

[r] I would have liked to have played basketball. But the venue was far away, and I didn’t dare. When we played, it was either marble or football. Maybe I didn’t go to play basketball because of the rejection. Because it wasn’t in the neighborhood. It was far away.

[i] When you talk about the love or upbringing you got from your parents, what can you say about it?

[r] I can say loud and clear that I got a good upbringing. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke. I don’t do anything that can endanger me. I also have a religion. I am grateful to my parents for that. I also know that older people should be respected.

[i] What role did religion play for you?

[r] In terms of religion […] In our country, women and men are not equal. Men are allowed to do some things. For example, women are not allowed to ride bicycles, wear trousers, or go out at night. Women were not allowed to do such things where I grew up.

[i] How did you feel about that, this difference?

[r] I don’t have much to say about that. I think it’s very good.

[i] Where did you live? Can you tell us something about it? What’s the name of the capital, the district, and so on?

[r] I was in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. In the municipality of Ratoma. To be precise, in Cosa. I lived in Cosa.

[i] Cosa is a well-known place. What can you tell someone about Cosa who doesn’t know the place?

[r] For someone who doesn’t know Cosa and wants to know something about Cosa, it’s simple: we have a new stage near Cosa. “Cosa” is near “Petit Simbaya”. The [the?] city of Nongo is there. [?] It’s also not far from Kaloum. Where everyone meets and where the government buildings are. It’s in the city center.

[i] What was the company like in Guinea or in the city where you lived?

[r] The company in Guinea […]

[i] The company, the government, the politics […] how the people lived together.

[r] The people had no problem with each other. People helped each other. If someone has a problem, the neighbours come and give this moral support. People didn’t have much money, but they loved each other. The problem is the government. The government played the different ethnic groups off against each other. That is why there are ethnic conflicts at the moment. The Fula on one side, the Malinke on another and the Sosso on another. Because of politics.

[i] Have these conflicts been noticed among you?

[r] Yes, now it’s clear and tangible. It can be felt clearly and distinctly. The Fula work with each other, the Soso with each other, and the Malinke with each other. […]

[i] When you were little, did you have a dream job?

[r] Yes, when I was little I wanted to become an accountant. At school I was very good at math. I was very good at arithmetic. That’s why I wanted to be. I [still] want to learn accounting later.

[i] Did you have someone as a role model who did that?

[r] Yes, there was a small office at school. When my mother and I wanted to borrow the books, we went to the accountant who collected the money and entered us in the register. That’s why I wanted to become an accountant. His work was counting and registering [persons in] the register.

[i] When you were little, was there something you would have liked to play but didn’t have the possibility?

[r] There were a lot of things I would have liked [to have] done, but I didn’t have the opportunity. I would have liked to play basketball. I didn’t have a chance because of the rejection. I didn’t look like the others. That was my problem. That’s why I couldn’t do it.

[i] You were talking about ethnic conflicts earlier. Did you have friends who weren’t Fula?

[r] All my friends were Fulas. I didn’t have one from another ethnic group. In my part of town almost only Fulas lived together. We were outnumbered.

[i] Would you have liked to meet others?

[r] I wasn’t interested because people didn’t like me.

[i] Are there any friends you think of when you were little?

[r] There are many. Most of all [I think of] my mother. I think a lot about my mother. I think about the other one from time to time. I tell myself that we can’t [never?] do what we did back then anymore. Because I don’t think we’ll see each other again.

[i] What was the reason why you left the homeland? Can you tell us?

[r] Yes, I’ve already explained. The reason I left Guinea is because the soldiers kidnapped me and wanted to sacrifice me. They were going to sacrifice a Fula albino. So that the president can stay in power. They kidnapped me and took me to the military camp. That night, on the 2nd, I stayed there. In the morning you brought me bread and a cup of water. I can remember what was on the water. It was “Cristal” I was told to drink. A guard came and told me that she would sacrifice me on the third Friday. Then I started to cry. On the second day you took me from my cell to a living room. The guard called someone and said Malinke. He said that he has the bright Fula. On Malinke he said that he has the Fula boy, the white one. He could be very good for the offering. In the night someone came wearing a sacko. He was with an old man who had a hat with hair and shells on his clothes. He walked around me for three minutes and had a tail in his hand. He told the man with the sacko that I was very suitable for the sacrifice. If I am sacrificed, after the father, the son will come to power. As in the kingdom. From there I was taken back to the cell.

[i] In prison?

[r] Yes, in prison. I started crying out loud and slamming the door. They gave me an injection into my Beim. I can’t really move my foot yet.

[i] Still?

[r] Yes. I couldn’t walk for three days. So it was until the night of 15 or 16. The guards were very drunk that day. They drank a lot of alcohol and puked everywhere. They took me out of the cell and showed me the tap. I fetched water and cleaned the whole room. One was lying on the chair at the reception and the other in front of the door. When I was done, I put the bucket in front of the door and said that I was done. He then kicked me and asked me who was going to throw up the vomit for me. I took the bucket and went towards the kitchen. There was a ditch. I threw up the vomit. When I noticed that the guard didn’t look at me, I jumped into the pit to get out behind the fence. Then I ran to the forest “Demoudoula”. In the morning, when I wanted to go home, I saw the Landcruiser. I turned around and left. So I landed in Mali.

[i] Thanks to the alcohol they drank, you were able to escape.

[r] Exactly.

[i] That’s what you experienced in Guinea. Can’t you complain to the government if something like this happens to someone?

[r] You can’t complain anywhere. The government has the power. The government is always right.

[i] You told us about the fear you were afraid of. Was there another reason why you left the country?

[r] What also motivated me to leave the country was […] First of all I would have been sacrificed if I had stayed there. Second, nothing will happen to me if I manage to leave the country. But I managed to leave the country and arrive in Mali. It was worse in Mali. They don’t like light. I could not stay in Mali and drove on. So I drove on to Libya. In Libya I also experienced things. My first day: They asked me if I speak Arabic, which I denied. They also asked me which religion I belong to. When I answered, they thought it was good. There an old man brought me to his home. He has a field. He took me there and I did all the work. We also went together to the prison in “Zaouia” once.

[i] Is that in Libya?

[r] Yes, it is in Libya. The prison in the capital Tripoli is called Zaouia. He has bought the freedom of 15 people and brought them to the field. He told the people that he had bought them out and that they had to do forced labor for him. We went to the field together and I cooked for the workers. I cooked for the workers because I was small. So we stayed many days. One day I went shopping and the Arabs beat me and took my money. I returned to the field and told the old man. The old man then told me that he would help me to go to a place where I would neither be beaten nor abused. I told him that I agree. One day he took me to the beach with his pick-up. There were two rubber dinghies.

[i] Zodiac?

[r] Yes, two rubber dinghies. […] Many people were sitting in rows. When I saw that, I said I didn’t want to go anymore. He told me that when you arrive here at the beach, you ride with them or you die. They put me under pressure until I got on. Both boats were let into the water. One boat was buried in the sea and everyone drowned. We drove on until we were rescued. We were thrown life jackets, which we wore. In the boat we had corpses away from the overcrowding. The people were also sick. We were then taken in on the ship.

[i] I want to go back a bit. What exactly happened when you went shopping?

[r] When I went shopping,

[i] When you went shopping.

[r] An Arab came to the market and parked. He told me to come. I came. He asked me if I knew their language, and I denied it. He slapped me and told me to give him the money. I gave him everything I had. Also the money for the ingredients. Then I went back to the field. In the evening I told the old man.

[i] Was the man stronger or older than you?

[r] He was stronger and also had a weapon.

[i] And the people standing next to him […]

[r] Nobody was interested in it. They insult the Africans. They don’t like black people.

[i] When you arrived at the beach and were ready to board, can you tell me again? Did you think it would have been better to stay at home or return?

[r] Yes, I thought of that and said that I didn’t want to go. And there were a lot of people sitting in the two rubber dinghies. The trousers are cut [short?] and the shoes are taken off so that the boats are not pierced. Everything that is heavy is thrown away. If the trousers have metal pieces, the trousers are taken off and the boat is driven on [without trousers]. If you survive, thank God. Otherwise it is so.

[i] They said that if you don’t want to ride any more […]

[r] One drives or dies.

[i] Why do you do that?

[r] They’re all armed. They don’t want people who don’t drive to betray them later.

[i] It is then like a one-way street. There is no going back.

[r] Yes, when you get to the beach, you don’t go back. Everybody gets in. Either you arrive or you die.

[i] What were you thinking about at that moment?

[r] When I think about it, I just cry. I can see people drowning.

[i] Do you suffer from this thought?

[r] Yes, I always think about it. I’m currently doing therapy for it. Thoughts often come. And what happened in the ocean.

[i] Then they went by boat.

[r] A boat burst in the sea.

[i] Was it the dinghy you were in?

[r] No, not that one, but the other one. Two boats were let into the water. One of them burst. Nothing happened to our boat. But we had bodies on board. The fuel in connection with the salt water hurt the people and they died. The fuel from the engine behind in connection with the salt water hurt the people. So we drove until we reached the ship.

[i] The boat that burst was it in front of you or next to you?

[r] The boat was in front of us. And they had a compass

[i] A compass.

[r] We followed until the boat burst. We left around 20 o’clock.

[i] In the evening.

[r] Yes. We drove about 12 o’clock until we saw the helicopter. In any case it was bright and the sun was shining. They threw life jackets at us. Everyone was wearing the vests and they gradually brought us into the ship.

[i] They then saved them. What country were you taken to?

[r] To Italy.

[i] How many were they in the boat?

[r] I don’t know. There were a lot of people. When we arrived on the ship, there were already other people on board. On the dinghy we were about 130, it was very narrow. Some sat at the edge and others in the boat.

[i] Were there also women?

[r] Women, men, children, teenagers. Everyone was there.

[i] They arrived then.

[r] I arrived in Italy and I was taken to Milan. I stayed a few days but life was not nice there. Life there […] I was sick for a while. I had pimples [rash?]. I asked for medication and […] in the home I got an ointment. I wasn’t in the hospital. I wasn’t lucky enough to go to a hospital. We weren’t told anything about school either. We sat and waited. In the morning, afternoon and evening we ate. If you miss the food, you don’t eat. That’s why I went away from there.

[i] Were you the only one or were there others who wanted to leave?

[r] There were many who said they wouldn’t stay there. I went to the station and got on the train. That’s how I went to France. In France I couldn’t keep up after seeing the blacks and life. I told someone that I was new and looking for accommodation. He replied that the people out there live. He showed me a train and told me to get on and go to the terminus. I told him, okay, no problem. I got on and drove all the way to Bochum. Whenever I met a black man, I asked and said that I was looking for a place to stay. Do you understand? He asked me if I had come today and was hungry. I said yes. He bought food for me and brought me to the club. I introduced myself and asked if I could stay. I introduced myself and told him why I left my homeland. I have told everything. I am still there.

[i] From Guinea you went to Mali.

[r] France. From Mali to Libya.

[i] From Mali to Libya.

[r] Lybia, Italy, France and here.

[i] Here in Germany. When you arrived in Germany, what was your impression?

[r] It was my paradise on earth. It was very cold. There was also a lot of traffic.

[i] Lots of traffic, you mean people?

[r] People are in a hurry and only running like crazy people. I thought this is where I ended up. When I got out, I met someone and asked. He told me he would help me [find] something to eat, and [he] would show me the place where I should introduce myself. We went together and he bought food for me. We ate along the way, and he showed me where to go. I went and introduced myself. I told them that I had just come and so on. They asked me why I left my homeland. I told them everything. They asked me if I wanted to eat. I said yes and they gave me something to eat. I got soap and toothpaste. I took a shower and got a place to sleep.

[i] In what language did you communicate? Did you speak another language?

[r] I know French.

[i] Have you spoken in French?

[r] You have ordered a person who can speak my language. The person has translated. They had told me that they could only speak English and German. I also could only speak French and my language.

[i] We still stick to the impressions. With us you said that you were among people who were mostly very dark and [where] you could tell the difference. What is it like here?

[r] Everyone here takes care of their problems. People are in a hurry and just running. It’s very different here and at home. The houses, the streets and the people are different. The social life is also very different.

[i] The organization is different then.

[r] It’s different. It’s the opposite of what you have in Africa. In Guinea, to be precise. The neighborhood […] Here everyone is locked up in their home. Everyone takes care of his or her concerns. You go out in the morning. Here people go to the others, greet them and keep up to date. Here everyone is for himself.

[i] How far are you at the moment? When you arrived, what were your goals?

[r] When I arrived […]

[i] What hurdles should you overcome?

[r] First, I should register with the municipality. Then I went to the hospital and later I got vaccinations. Here everything is planned in advance.

[i] Everything is planned.

[r] Exactly. Everything is planned.

[i] Have you moved since then?

[r] At the beginning I was at the Bodelschwinghplatz.

[i] Bodelschwinghplatz.

[r] Yes. I stayed a bit there. After that I moved to the Aarstrasse. In the Aarstraße I was in a residential group [flat-sharing community]. After the Aarstraße I moved to the Dorstener Straße. In Dorstener Strasse I was in a training apartment [?]. At the moment I am on the Reisstrasse. I have an apartment. There are two of us and everyone has his bedroom. Together we use the hallway, the living room, the toilets and the kitchen. Sometimes we don’t see each other in ten days, although we both live there.

[i] Okay. After you arrive, what about the language or the food? Did the food taste good or not? What about the language?

[r] First, when you arrive in these countries, you realize that the habits are different. I couldn’t eat the food at the beginning. It wasn’t tasty. It wasn’t enough for me, it wasn’t tasty. The blends didn’t suit me. I knew it differently. Thank God, we were shown how to do it. Sometimes they cooked for us what we wanted. We were asked whether we wanted to cook ourselves. On some days we cooked ourselves and on other days they cooked their dishes. We then eat together. They are used to it now and eat everything. The language was a bit difficult because it’s not Latin. [No Romance language] For us who come from countries where French is spoken. But you get used to it.

[i] What about the authorities, the work?

[r] It’s a process. When you arrive, you go to school if you’re lucky. After graduation you look for an education. After training, you look for a job. It’s a process. Here you are not beaten, you are not forced to do anything. Here you have agreements. There are goals and regulations. You should go to school, finish your education and find work. After that you should become independent to be able to help other people. One should not always be dependent on help.

[i] What is the most difficult thing for the people who leave their homeland and come here? What was the most difficult thing for you in terms of adaptation?

[r] The road and the tunnels were the most difficult. I wasn’t used to it. Second, the language. The language is difficult because it is not Latin. Over time you get used to it. But it is also cold. But it’s no problem with the cold, because there are clothes here that you can put on accordingly. There is also food. The most difficult it was to recognize the streets again.

[i] Oh, to recognize the street again.

[r] Yes. This is not easy for me.

[i] Still?

[r] That was once. It was difficult to walk alone. Now I can go anywhere alone with my phone without a problem.

[i] Okay. What’s your everyday life like? What do you do from morning till evening?

[r] In the morning during school time I go to school. After school I take a rest and go to the library at the town hall. I do some research there. Sometimes we go to play basketball. It’s a hobby team.

[i] It’s not a real team.

[r] Exactly. People who like to play meet and play together. If you don’t go to school, you have the internship in the hospitals. You go to the hospital early and stay there until 3pm or 4pm. You come back tired.

[i] Which school do you attend at the moment?

[r] It’s a school where you have three months school and two months internship.

[i] With an internship. Do you have a plan for your future?

[r] I’ve been here for two years. I’ve had a few testimonies and internships where I’ve gained a lot of experience. I am currently attending the B2 course so I can work in hospitals.

[i] Is it a language course?

[r] No, I am in the health sector. I attend the B2 course. After graduation, I can work in hospital without any problems.

[i] It is not a degree but a certificate.

[r] Yes, a certificate.

[i] A certificate for the language or?

[r] No, it is not a language certificate.

[i] You said B2, didn’t you?

[r] Yes, B2. I already have A1, A2, A3 and B1. Now I am attending B2 in health.

[i] All right. It is then subject-related.

[r] Yes. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’ll finish this and start with […] [_?]. With my training.

[i] What do you want to become?

[r] I want to become a nurse.

[i] Old people’s nurse?

[r] Yes, you understood.

[i] It’s also called Nursing.

[r] I want to work in the hospital. This is my first choice. I have a second choice as a truck driver.

[i] If I can remember that, you wanted to be an accountant. Has that changed since you got here?

[r] Since I’ve arrived, I’ve found that you need to quickly find an apprenticeship in order to stay. Do you understand? To become an accountant, you have to go to university. You can’t learn accounting that easily. If you finish your training after three years, you will be richer in experience and better with the language. I could then go to university and study what I want.

[i] Okay. That was your plan for the future. Have you had trouble here since you arrived? With the people, the bureaucracy, the city. Or have you experienced things that made you happy?

[r] Yes, there are a lot of things here that made me happy. I got help. I was lucky to be able to go to school. I have an apartment. A lot of things. But there are also difficulties. Sometimes you meet people in the train who reject you. They insult you as a black person and sometimes they get up immediately when you sit next to them. Do you understand?

[i] What is it like for you? Is it like a déja vue? How do you see what you have experienced in your homeland and here?

[r] It is not the same. There are people here who don’t like people sitting next to them, you know? When you sit next to them, they get up. You think it happened because you might be a “Black” [Black]. Even if it isn’t, sometimes you think so.

[i] Patience. What do you think? Here you have to be patient for some things.

[r] You have to be patient. You wait. I’ve been here for two years and I’m still waiting for the trial. Everything here goes according to procedures and letters. It’s not like here.

[i] Did you do anything here in the city to get to know the local culture or history?

[r] To maintain the culture here, I try to fast in the month of Ramadan and pray on Fridays when I have time. On holidays, I try to go to the mosque to pray and meet people. After praying, everyone goes back home.

That was our culture. I meant cultural activities from the city, like trips to the museum or […] something to discover here.

[r] I understood. We had a lot of activities with the guardian.

[i] The people who help.

[r] Yes, we were in the museum here in Bochum and they told us something about coal. What it was like and how people won the coal. How people used to work. We also went on trips to ice rinks. Like skis.

[i] On snow?

[r] No, on ice.

[i] Yes, on ice, ice skating.

[r] Yes. I also went to church.

[i] Okay.

[r] I have German friends. I was out with a friend on December 24th. I was with him and he introduced me to his mother, his wife, his parents-in-law and his whole family. We all ate together in his living room and later [they?] said goodbye.

[i] They talked about the holidays that were recently. Like Christmas. How is that compared to Christmas in your home country? How is it celebrated? The night from December 23rd to December 24th, for example.

[r] It’s the night from December 24th to December 25th.

[i] Is it the same or […] ?

[r] It is not the same. I did not know such a celebration on the 24th. One has only heard of the 24th. But it had no meaning for me. We only know Ramadan or […] But this year I celebrated on December 24th and it was wonderful. On the 24th he picked me up and we went to his house. We ate together and exchanged gifts. Everyone was happy. Then they said goodbye.

[i] You talked about how you maintain our culture here. What do your contacts here look like? Do you only have German friends or what is it like?

[r] I have some German friends. I don’t have much contact with my compatriots. We welcome each other when we meet. But I don’t have contact with people with whom you visit each other. My friend invites me from time to time and we talk about projects, motivation and what I should do. I prefer that to talking to people about disco and the like.

[i] Okay, punctuality is important here in Germany.

[r] Yes, that’s how it is here. It’s difficult but you have to stick to it. Time is time. If you don’t stick to it here, you pay money. They are agreements. If you can’t come, you should let them know earlier and say that you can’t make it. You can then change the date. It is not like Guinea. It is different. If you promise, you keep it.

[i] They are here in Bochum. Is it like that?

[r] Yes, I am in Bochum.

[i] When you say Bochum, what are you thinking about?

[r] My life is happening here in Bochum. My address is here. It’s my first city in Germany. When I took the train, I got off here in Bochum. This is where I live. In Bochum-Hamme. It takes ten minutes from here to the main station. You can go there by train, tram and bus. It is not difficult to go shopping.

[i] All right. People talk about identity or home.

[r] Yes.

[i] What do you mean by home? Where do you come from?

[r] I come from Guinea. I am in Germany because I am not safe in my home country. I am here in Germany and very grateful for it. But I am from Guinea.

[i] We talked about a lot of things. About the city. Bochum belongs to North Rhine-Westphalia.

[r] Yes.

[i] North Rhine-Westphalia is known for its hospitality. If you hear something like that, what can you say about it?

[r] I’d say it’s true. If you’re lucky and arrive properly in Bochum […] In Bochum you like people who like to go to school. Simply put, you should follow the rules if you want to stay. That’s how it is in Bochum.

[i] I don’t have much to add. What is your closing word? But before that, I’d like to talk about our church. How do you see our church here?

[r] I don’t know the structure of the Haali-Pular church.

[i] I’m talking about the Guinean church. I’m talking about the people of Guinea.

[r] Okay. I have seen no structure and also leomem association of the Guinean community. On behalf of Guinea. But there are ethnic associations. There is Haali-Pular in Dortmund. But it doesn’t make sense. [?] [Meaning?]

[i] What can be done so that the Guinean community can be more active? What can we do or how can we help you to improve integration?

[r] There are many things. The compatriots should meet first. They should meet to put a project on paper. You can then present the project and ask for permission and support. You should give it a name. Create a structure.

[i] Like an association? Don’t you know any association here?

[r] In Bochum I don’t know any association with people from Guinea.

[i] Okay. Now your word at the end. You can close now.

[r] I thank you for coming here. I hope I have answered the questions. I am very grateful to Germany. I used to be afraid but now, thank God, it’s better. I am not rejected here as I was then. It is something good.

[i] I have another question. When you talk about immigration […].

[r] It’s difficult. You can’t see your family again. For example, I can’t see my mother anymore because she’s deceased. When you arrive, you can’t leave. It’s difficult. Immigration is not easy. You arrive at a place where you don’t know anyone. No father, no mother, no siblings, nothing. You are on your own.

[i] I am not talking about coming or not coming. What advice can you give to the people who come here?

[r] When you get here, you should make an effort and tell yourself that you will make it. Do you understand? If you say to yourself, “I’ll make it,” you’ll make it. That’s all. You shouldn’t think much, otherwise you’ll just torture yourself. You can’t do what you want. It is a sum of procedures. They are gradually introduced until you are free at some point.

[i] Okay, thank you.

[r] I thank you too.

[i] Thank you.

[r] Thank you too.