[i] I am [name] I live in Bochum I take part in the project of the Museum Hannover from Bochum. Today I received [name] . He comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and he has come to participate in our project. First of all I thank you. Hello [name] .

[r] Hello

[i] Thank you for your participation in our project. We ask you to introduce yourself to the people you will follow in the future.

[r] Okay! My name is [name] , I live in Bochum, since 1993 , I stayed in Bochum all the time.

[i] Thank you very much. As I said at the beginning, I know you are from Congo. We’re asking you about the neighborhood where you grew up in Congo. You can tell us about the city and the district where you grew up.

[r] I was born in Kinshasa, I lived in the Kingasani district in the Kimbaseke commune. That’s how it is.

[i] Can you speak to us about your childhood? When were you born, where were you born, where did you go to school, . We know that you come from Kinshsa, but can you tell us in which part of town you were born, how you grew up?

[r] As I said before that I was born in Kingasani, I grew up in the same neighborhood, then what should I say … I was a little child, I went to school in Sankt Marc, then I went to Malako, where I got my high school diploma, so it was.

[i] You left your country a long time ago, but can you remember some of the joy that grew up with you?

[r] Yes, I have joy that have grown up with me

[i] Maybe some names, and how you played together when you were children.

[r] They are, I can call Jacques, Willy, Dennis, there’s a lot of yes.

[i] You went to school in Saint Mark, you got your high school diploma,

[r] Huu

[i] What thought (memory) do you have of your childhood, what else can you know?

[r] Ah, when I was a child, remember, uh, we had a Catholic priest who had loved me a lot, he had brought me to many places, he had given me many gifts, generally he was good, so it was.

[i] You said that you were loved by a Catholic priest. Can you tell us about your religion?

[r] Oh, I was born into a Catholic family, I was brought up with the Catholic faith, so it is.

[i] The family was Catholic, can you tell us about your family? Parents, brothers and sisters, how much were you born?

[r] We were born eight, four girls and four boys, so it is. I am the last of the family.

[i] Has the whole family stayed in your homeland? or are some family members abroad?


[r] Some have stayed at home

[i] Do you have contacts with your family or don’t you?

[r] Oh, I have contacts with my family members.

[i] What is this contact like?

[r] By phone

[i] Eh, since you left them, many years already, the distance between you and them is great, have you no longing for your family? Do you think of them, sorrow of your family, how does this distance with the family express itself? can you tell us something about it?

[r] To be far away from the family is very difficult because I think a lot about it, but the distance separates us, it is an obstacle between us, so it is

[i] You had left your country Congo , you hear about Congo , Congo kinshasa , what is the country, what kind of country is it? Since you lived there, can’t you tell us a little bit about the country?

[r] Congo Kinshasa is a beautiful country It used to be better but with time the situation slowly deteriorated, the standard of living got worse and worse With the change of regime life is always going down until now. hum

[i] What is the population of Congo Kinshasa? How special is the population of the capital Kinshasa? Many Africans talk about the inhabitants of Kinshasa. What are these inhabitants like?

[r] Kinshasa has 10 million inhabitants Kinshasa is a person who likes people, Kinshasa likes people, Kinshasa likes people, Kinshasa is very hospitable, it is good to people, so it is.

[i] Kinshsa, as you said, has 12 million has how much commune and what are some communes called? that you know?

[r] Kinshasa has 24 municipalities, I know almost all municipalities.

[i] Here we see many people who have left Congo, many have fled from Congo, because of the politics there In Congo you have seen many regimes, Which regimes did you know in Congo? What regimes have you known in Congo since the Europeans left?

[r] Ah, after history the country was first ruled by President Kasa-Vubu. As the parents had told us, the first president is called Kasa-Vubu, Mobutu I experienced myself, since Mobutu was president, we were already born, I experienced Mobutu, and still as he had destroyed the country, then he went away, eh Laurent Désire Kabila came after, he stayed in the country until he was killed, then his son took power, until today. that is how it is.

[i] But in the time of Mobutu many people fled the country. Many people who are here say that they fled in the time of Mobutu . How did Mobutu govern the country, how was his regime? President Mobutu’s regime Sese Seko . If you mention his name here even among Europeans, Mobutu Sese Seko, they remember him a lot Can you not talk about the regime What was this regime like?

[r] Mobutu regime was a bloody one He had security people everywhere They had followed a lot of news They had hoarded a lot of people on trifles. so it is

[i] Mobutu Sese Seko is widely known, how was it during his regime


When we were little we had found this good, for us children we had seen it well, he started well after that he destroyed the country. But he was a good president today I consider him a good president but in the end he destroyed the country and he didn’t govern well either.

[i] Did you leave the country in the time of Mobutu, or were you still there the whole time of his power up to Kabila the father and Kabila the son?

[r] I left the country during the reign of Mobutu. When he started his thing, we really felt it, it’s getting killed, we couldn’t stay in the country anymore, life is always impossible, there were a lot of problems, then wede we attacked, then we left the country. We fled abroad. That is why we are here today

[i] You came directly to Germany or you were the first in other countries. As we can see today how many young people have to walk through the desert and cross the sea.

[r] We have the country, we have been lucky, we have flown directly to Belgium. From Belgium we came to Germany. So it is.

[i] Until you fled alone or with your family?

[r] We were 2 family members here, let’s say I was with two brothers.

[i] When you came to Germany, when was that? When you came to Germany? In which city did you arrive?

[r] Oh, in Germany I arrived in Cologne, and I also applied for asylum in Cologne. From Cologne I was assigned to Bochum. Then I stayed until today.

[i] How were you received in Germany, in a frenetic country? In a foreign country, the reception was good, in the side of the authority. Your asylum application was well received? How was the reception, can you explain a bit? how you were received?

[r] To come from Africa to a foreign country is always difficult, . You have come in a foreign country, you do not know about the country, many things about the country you do not know, it is difficult. With time you become familiar with many things. Normally we were well received,

[i] The certainty that you were looking for, since you fled Congo, did you find this? Did you get your peace, did we no longer endanger the suffering?

[r] There was security. yes we had security

[i] The German authorities received you well, and the German population, how did they receive you? How did you find them?

[r] For the population it depends, from person to person, because we are not equal. Every person has his own way of life. Every person in the population had his opinion about us, some liked us, some did not like you, he had welcomed you, he could talk to you well, had talked to us well, who did not like you, you could notice yourself that I am not loved here. so it was. That’s how we live here.

[i] I know that Lingala or other languages were spoken in the Congo. The official language is French , here you have found another language , the German language . What did you do to get out of this situation because you didn’t know the language? Special at the beginning. Can you tell us how you did it in the beginning? so that you could deal with the authorities, shopping, other office work.

[r] For the language it was difficult We had just fought our way through, we had only fought our way through because it is not easy with the language at the beginning. That’s why we fought, that’s why we fought, that’s why we fought.

[i] Did you act alone, or did you need people to accompany you, or did you use signs so people could understand you?

[r] No, I bought my own things, and then if there was a bit of German for the purchase we already had, because we had got German course in the accommodation. We had already got basic knowledge of the German language in the accommodation.

[i] I know that it was rare here in the time where they had come in the year 92 food from Africa, what had they done to compensate something the gap of the missing of the native food to compensate.

[r] It was very hard because when we came there was very little African food, so we fought like this.

[i] Had you not thought about eating from home what had remained at home, it had bothered you to eat from here what you were not used to.

[r] When we were here, we had nostalgia from people who brought food from home from abroad. They had sold us the food. We could buy food and eat from these people.

[i] Had you also learned the language from here? if so, how many years?

[r] I learned the language from here for six months. It took me six months to learn the language, that’s how it is.

[i] Then you came here and applied for asylum. How did that go on? Can you tell us which procedure your asylum application had to follow? What was the German asylum procedure like at that time?

[r] The asylum procedure was difficult The asylum procedure was difficult. I applied for asylum, my application for asylum was rejected, I stayed a long time without doing anything, we waited a long time then I was summoned to court, I was for a trial before the court. My complaint was dismissed, I had to file another complaint within two weeks, I filed a complaint, then I waited, then my asylum situation changed. I was tolerated afterwards I lived with a toleration for a long time until I got a stay from the city.

[i] All the time you were here waiting for your asylum, were you alone or did you have a family? or are you married or do you have a small family, or a large family?

[r] I was first alone, then I had a girlfriend, we lived together,

[i] Are you with your family or are you alone?

[r] I am alone, one has returned to our homeland and one has died. I stayed here alone. I mean whether you have children or you are alone, I mean the small family, wife and children, your own I mean I am alone

[i] We hear again and again that in Germany the bureaucracy is very strong, when you got your stay and you had to go to different authorities, what difficulty did you encounter? In general, what difficulties there are with the authorities in Germany.

[r] Many foreigners complain about the strict bureaucracy.


Office stuff depends on who you’re dealing with. You will have difficulty with some clerks and be well received by others. . You’ll get complications, so you don’t understand what you wanted to say, you couldn’t do it. They just made your life hard.

[i] We also hear that many foreigners who are here, the Turks, the Lebanese, the Syrians, do you also have contacts with other foreigners? If yes, or no, what is the relationship with other foreigners like for you personally?

[r] I have contacts with other foreigners, like the Turks, I have contacts with them, we live well together, we have no problem with each other

[i] Apart from your diploma from your homeland, you have made other further education in your homeland

[r] No, in my homeland I have made no other preliminary education

[i] Since you have said that you have done the language, you have had the opportunity to do a further education

[r] I have not yet done further training here, I have not yet done further training,

[i] What is the labour market like here in Germany? Have you already been bagged here since you have been living here for many years? If you have worked, in which areas, can you talk a bit about your career?

[r] I have worked a lot. I have worked in the field of warehouse logistics In this field I have worked a lot

[i] Here in Germany, where you live, are you also interested in their culture, are you trying to dig deeper into the culture of the country?

[r] YES, yes, I follow the german culture, I know a few because I live here

[i] Let’s talk about your hobbies. When you come back from work, what do you do in your camps or on weekends, what kind of conversations do you have? when you have them? because we know that the camps are different from here and from your home.

[r] The recreational offers here are a bit difficult, but often we meet and with friends, we talk, we share experiences, since we are also not young anymore, we allow some things and we don’t anymore, we just look at some things like that.

[i] Is your contact with German good, as you already said, but we know that many people complain about racism in Germany Have you already experienced something like this, something to do directly with you?

[r] I have lived this once I have lived this once, we have met someone, he has attacked us brutally, that was once

[i] How was that concrete, can you briefly tell us? He attacked you. How was that?

[r] We were in a tram. When we got out, he spoke to us in the back, then we looked back and we asked him if he was talking to whom He answered that he was speaking to us, he said that we should return to our country. We told him that we are here, why do we have to go back to our country? He further says that we have to go back, here is not our Land. We discussed with him mutually, then other Germans came and they separated us. Other Germans could separate us.

[i] Was that only once?

[r] Yes, only once

[i] That is, can we say that you have had many positive experiences in Bochum?

[r] Yes,

[i] What does the city of Bochum look out for in your life?

[r] Bochum is my second city because I grew up here. This is my second city. Bochum is a beautiful city, but some people find Bochum to be a stringy city. They are confronted with many difficulties. I may be lucky because I am not yet confronted with problems what they got. The problems that lead to them complaining

[i] If someone is in Bochum, and he wants to talk, have fun, go out, where can he go?

[r] There is a lot of entertainment, there are cinemas, and many other places where you can have fun.

[i] They say that Kinshasa is an eventful city, many people come from other places to visit Kinsasha and enjoy themselves. For example, many tourists from Congo Brazzaville come to Kinshasa to enjoy themselves. You are from Kinshasa, now you live in Bochum, do you also get the atmosphere of kinshasa in Bochum? if so, how can you explain it?

[r] To be honest, I don’t get the mute of Kinshsa here, because Kinshasa is a moving city. Here people have their way of living and we also have our way of living. We are not equal.

[i] Did you get support in general in Bochum? or help?

[r] What help?

[i] Help for example do you need something, or do you need work or just something in Bochum has played a role in your life? When you came from your home country, you had some expectations You left your country, you went ii a foreign country so that you were helped by getting peace and continuing your lives

[r] I look for work myself, and then when you get the work, then I start. At the time I do not work, but I am looking for a job, when I get there I will work.

[i] Where you live, do you also have contacts with the neighbors? Is there understanding with the neighbours?

[r] Yes, we understand each other well with the neighbours, we have acts with each other, they are good

[i] In life you have dreams for the future, your future dreams here in Germany will come true or you are disappointed

[r] My futuristic dreams of my childhood have not yet come (he laughs). That hasn’t come yet. We live here, but there are also many problems

[i] When you fled, what did you imagine you would find here in Germany?

[r] When I came to Germany, I had my papers, which I gave to the Federal Office.

[i] Where you live here in Germany . Do you have your rest in the quarter where you live?


Where I live, it’s quiet, we live well, I like the neighborhood too, there’s no problem.

[i] Are we still talking about Congo , today in Congo the current situation is known to you?

[r] The LAge in Congo is always bad . It’s bad because information from Konge that we get is bad People live very badly It’s hard

[i] Soft sentiment you can use the European guide to the present realities of Congo If you want to pass on information from Congo. In your way, what will you say?

[r] I can so say that they should observe Congo well, , they should help Congo, , Congo is a big country, they should support the country that they should try to change their policy that they use in Congo. That will bring a good result. because the Congolese suffer from it. They don’t live in this country, they didn’t live there, we came from there and tell them that life is hard there, it’s hard, it’s very hard, it’s very hard, it’s very hard, imagine that you don’t get treatment in the hospital, you work and you don’t get a salary for up to 9 or 10 months, is that normal? Since we have been leaving the country for a long time, and then when you hear such news ut se hurt, so you should help Congo

[i] How to help? There are many types of support, can you determine for instance?

[r] When I ask for support, I want to say that politics should go well, it will bring something better.

[i] If you had been an European, and you had money, where would you start? to help Congo.

[r] As an African, or as a European, I will go to Congo to support Congolese, that’s how it is. When you fled, and you came here, you found here another life in Europe, I mean in the time when you came new, in 1993.

[i] If you have compared the life of Germany and Congo, the social life, what was the difference?

[r] Here people live normally, when you go to work, he gets a suitable salary. There the political life thing is not going well

[i] What is the difference between the situation now and the time you left the country? What do the people who are there say now? What is the situation today compared to the time you left there?

[r] In the comparison of the relationship of the life today with the time when I had left the LAnd, the life more and more difficult , In Congo the prices rise every day For example the price of bread is now 50 francs today costs the bread 200, 500 So you must understand the truth from there. So this is

[i] On what grounds do the people of Congo flee now? What problems do people flee because of? What can you tell us? Since the people always flee, we see that every day, we are here, we see how the people apply for asylum.

[r] People are fleeing. The problems are there. The problems are different, everybody has his problem. But on the political side it doesn’t work, . People finish their studies, but they don’t get work That’s not normal

[i] If today you talk to a politician from Congo here or there today, what will you say to him? especially for the situation of the country. What advice will you give him?

[r] Because of problems of Congo I will explain the situation of Congo, then I will recommend him to help the Congolese people. You have to make sure that every Congolese has to eat, hospitals have to function, jobs have to be available, because this thing does not work,

[i] Do you think one day you’ll return to Congo? Do you think you will be able to do something there or will you stay here forever?

[r] As a foreigner, I have always needed my land, I cannot stay here forever,

[i] As you said, your desire is to live the Zunkuft in your country, what do you want to do there, can you tell the people? . For example, I want to do that in 5 years, or be in Congo in 5 years. or be here, or do that in 5 years,

[r] Normally, as a Congolese, I always think of my country. I can say that I will return to my country in 5 years, but if there is no possibility, it is difficult for me. We wish to have all possibility to get something so that you return tomorrow to your home. But if the possibility is not there, it is hard

[i] What possibility, for example?

[r] What possibility? There are many things in the first place is money Because if you have money you can buy car, you can buy something, you can collect several things, you can make container full of things, then return home, but if you have nothing it is hard

[i] But if you get this opportunity, what can you do in your country? Let’s say that you are in Congo and you have resources, you have seen a lot here, gained experience, what can you do in Congo?

[r] I can do something for children, children have many problems, many children are on the streets, families are destroyed because the government does not do anything for the citizens. Children have no support, children have become homeless Children sleep everywhere I have the intention to look for a place where I can afford children. I have the intention to find a place where I can help children, to support children for school, to follow their school career, because one day the children can help the country. My concern often goes to children.

[i] Do you want to start a school? So that you can better help the children who are the future Congo?

[r] Yes!

[i] You have said that you are not working, that you are unemployed, and that you are not working at the moment. What do you do to get a job? What difficulty do you have to get a job? Where do you start here to look for a job? If you have to help someone who has come here for the first time to look for a job because you have lived here for a long time, what will they say?

[r] For the work we go to the rental companies to look for work. We also go to companies to ask if there are vacancies.m We also write applications that we send in different vacancies. If you are lucky, he gets a job. Then you can work.

[i] We have seen how many young people come, young Congolese and Africans, and boys of other nationalities, you have been here for a long time. If someone is new, what advice can you give him so that he can overcome the heaviness that is here, possibly, in the beginning?

[r] I can advise him to be strong. Because it is not easy. It is not easy to be strong. Because leaving your country and going to a foreign country isn’t always easy. I will advise him to be strong, to follow his problems properly. That is all

[i] When you’re new, they sometimes bring you an apartment. What is the housing situation here in the city of Bochum in general, or in the surrounding for and foreigner cities?


[r] For and foreigners it is not so difficult, I can show him, which office he must go, what he should do, then he will get an apartment.

[i] When looking for accommodation, is there also support from the city?

[r] Yes, the city also helps with the apartment search

[i] How are the foreigners, the Africans for example, organized to help themselves? Are there associations here, African associations that are established to help each other? So that they can reduce their difficulties.

[r] Yes, there are African associations, like in Bochum we have the association Bosangani , it helps Africans , many Africans go there to describe their problems. They are well received there and well advised and orientated. The association is also doing well.

[i] Apart from Bosangani, are there other African associations?

[r] YES, there are also other African associations, like Planet Africa, many others.

[i] How is the cooperation between African associations and other associations? of Turks, or Serbia, , Romania, , other organizations?

[r] Our association has contacts with other organisations. They also meet more often. They also work together to achieve their goals.

[i] Apart from associations, are Congolese or Africans organised in social groups (mutuality) so that they can help each other in case of difficulties?

[r] I don’t know about this.

[i] We see in other cities or other countries social groups of the commune Bandal (district of Kinshasa), , , Mutuality of Selembao, or Mutuality as a group of men, or as a group of women. In case of problems, such as death, money is collected to help the affected person. Such a group does not exist here?

[r] Yes, here we have something like that.

[i] For young people who have recently come to make progress in many matters, you can guide them on how to become members of an association so that they do not have to remain lonely.

[r] About the young newcomers I will meet them, and recommend them to go to unite. We have various associations of Africans, such as the Bosangani Association. It is not a problem, I will report them.

[i] Let’s go back with your separation with the country of Congo, how you left your country and you came here, did you take something as a thought? Something you can remember your country?

[r] I didn’t take anything with me except my papers.

[i] Let’s talk about culture. We know that Congo is a musical country. Didn’t you bring any music from Congo, especially old music, before we had the opportunity to listen to music from Youtube when we were still using CDs or cassettes?

[r] No, I didn’t take any music with me.

[i] If you want to hear old Congolese music today, which music do you like?


[r] There is a lot of old music, for example from Zaiko, Werra, OK Jazz, , Afrisa. There are my favorite music.

[i] Today we see in pictures how people march sausages through, we see in Libya people in prison, we see in the sea how people cross the sea without being afraid to come here in Germany. What can you say about it? Do you also follow this development?

[r] Yes, I follow this development, I see the pictures, it’s very complicated because each in its way condemns the situation. some say it’s good, some say it’s bad. Why bad, since people cross the sea, they take a lot of risk. But if they are lucky, they will reach a country where they can apply for asylum. If you have a problem, you have to try everything to leave the country. All means must be exploited, whether you have to die or reach the goal alive, you have to take risks. Because life is not easy. Life is not easy That’s how it is. And then they have to try to come here, somehow and then apply for asylum.

[i] The risk they take to have to leave their countries is it necessary or not?

[r] It’s necessary because if a person crosses the Merr with just Shif, it’s not easy. Everything to save his MLife Sometimes father, mother and children leave the country, you have to understand the situation.

[i] If you were in her place, would you have made them the same?

[r] Yes, if I had been in her place, I would have done the same.

[i] But the people who receive them in Germany, in your opinion, how are they received, good or bad?

[r] In Germany they are well received. Because when we came back then, it was quite different how they are treated today. . We had a language problem. We didn’t throw into school. We just had to stay at home. We were not allowed to work, but they have permission to work immediately after their arrival, they are allowed to learn, . There is their advantage.

[i] What did you lack to be able to work and learn the language?

[r] The residence permit was missing. During this time we had the strength to work, but we had lacked papers (residence permit).

[i] Didn’t the city give you the opportunity to work? Or to learn the language?

[r] We didn’t get this chance.

[i] But today the people who came now got this chance?

[r] Yes, they got this chance to let you learn, . That’s why they learn everywhere to learn the language of this country.

[i] Do you want to say that there is a big difference between Germany today and back then? If so, can you tell us these differences? The differences that are reflected in German when you came to Germany and today?


[r] It’s different when we came, things weren’t like today. When we came, the situation was different. When you apply for asylum you are not allowed to work if you have not yet been recognised. You can’t go to school. The short ones, as they do today, weren’t offered. But when they came, they were well received, they got an apartment, they got papers, they were allowed to go to school, many went to school, That is the difference between our time and today.

[i] In your time before you get a stay, how many years did it take?

[r] It’s hard to say anything about that, because none of us had got a stay in the home where we had lived in our time.

[i] Had no one got a stay?

[r] None had received a paper.

[i] What was the asylum policy like at that time? Do they have any ideas?

[r] Asylum policy of that time

[i] What did you live? What you had to live, how was that? Can you please explain so that people can understand that? So that they can know what it was like then? So that they know how they suffered.

[r] The situation used to be different, it was difficult. If we stayed here because we were stubborn and we didn’t know where to go. We lacked place to go. That’s why we stayed until today. That was not easy. Things didn’t work well.

[i] But you don’t explain well, you just said that things weren’t good. If you could say that if someone applied for asylum, he would be accommodated following mass. So he was heard so that people would understand the situation better.

[r] I will give my own example. I had applied for asylum, at the Central Office for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, I stayed 4 months. Then I am assigned to another post. We then moved to the Hiltrop district in Bochum. We stayed there for a long time. Then again we were assigned to another post. We have brought many times of our life in different central institutions. A large part of our life we have brought central institutions. We have brought several times to central institutions. The time I have spent in the home is less than in the central facilities. We have brought life to central facilities. But the new people after the asylum application get an apartment directly. That is why there is a difference.

[i] What can you see in view of everything you have said, the new arrivals about asylum policy, what they have found today? What can you advise them?

[r] I will advise them to go to school, and to follow the country’s program for asylum seekers. In summary, they should follow the asylum polygytics exactly. That is very well done.

[i] Some time ago many refugees came to Europe, it is now 2 years ago, if I am not mistaken. They have crossed the sea, many have come to Germany. We have seen how the Germans had received them, with open hands. If you have to make a comparison with the reception in your times, what can you say? About the differences and the changes?

[r] They are received with open hands but with us the hands were not open. They have come and are received with open hands. Man has shown them various offices, but with us it was hard. We were not shown different offices. They had not shown us where to go when they brought something.

[i] Can you say something about the asylum policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel?  Do you have a word to say about it?

[r] She received them well, she gave them papers, they learned, they worked, and everything went well. Her asylum policy is good.

[i] We saw when many people came, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the following sentence: we can do it. In Lingala this means: “Tokolonga yango” Did you manage what she said?

[r] Yes, they did it, because like she said, “we can do it”. They have accommodated the refugees well, they have given them work, they go to school, and they have also received papers.

[i] In the year you entered the country, Helmut Kohl was the chancellor, you also lived the other chancellor, Schröder, and then you lived the chancellor Angela Merkel. If you have to compare three, whose asylum or foreign policy you think pleases you?

[r] For us who have come from distant countries, for that (he laughs) there is a question mark, because I could say Scröder, but it is a question mark.

[i] I have noticed that Angela Merkel has brought many changes. She has welcomed many people, people have the opportunity to work, to look for housing and to do further education.

[r] Yes!

[i] Do you agree with me or do you have another opinion?

[r] You’re right because Merkel has made asylum policy better. She gave them the opportunity to go to school and many other possibilities. Yes, I can name Merkel about many changes. If you talk about the change, Merkel is in a good position to compare with other Chancellors who ruled early.

[i] When we talk about the time when you were still an asylum seeker.  You said that almost nobody had papers in the shelter where you lived.  And also asylum procedures had taken a very long time. Was that for all nationalities or only for certain?

[r] That was for all nationalities because we had only stayed in asylum for four months. After we applied for asylum we only stayed there for four months. I don’t know if people got any papers after our assignment.

[i] There are currently refugees in Germany who are preferred.  We can name the people from Syria, Somalia, Ethiopia and Erytrea.  People from other countries have no advantages like people from those countries. How do you find that?

[r] Yes, I can also agree that they are preferred because other countries are treated differently than the people from those countries. They can go to school, they have a lot to do. But the others have no permission to work. They have hard to work. That’s how it is.

[i] How did you find that? That you separate the refugees, some do not have several advantages some? Although everyone has applied for asylum here, all have fled their countries because of political problems? They are all young and have the future before them.

[r] Normally this is bad for me, you have to improve asylum policy. Asylum policy should be made good for everyone immediately. All people must have the same right.

[i] We see people who have to cross the desert. Many even have to cross the sea, some have to flee through Libya. Some are arrested there. Even more we see our brothers and sisters doing business with the people who flee, who suffer. The people who do business with refugees, they get money from suffering refugees. What can you advise them, especially our brothers and sisters from Africa?

[r] For these people it’s hard to judge. I can say it’s bad, but it can’t be bad either. Because if I want to filehen, I have negotiated with you for a ride for example with your boat, you will give your price. If I can pay that, I will give that. So that I can leave the country and save my life. That’s a way to save someone. Because life is not easy.

[i] Some Europeans like to help the refugees. But we see other Europeans building the wall before refugees. They don’t want to let people in. We see refugees being driven back and forth by boat on the sea. Many countries are distracted from accepting them. There are boats that have to travel back and forth on the sea for 2 to 3 days. They are not taken in some ports. What can you say to these politicians. The politicians who make these laws to prevent ships carrying refugees who are taken from the sea, who are in need to land in their ports.

[r] I shall tell them to be good, they shall calm down, and they shall receive refugees well. When someone has fled from a problem, he becomes like a wise child who seeks which land can receive him. When he comes to your country, you should receive him well. Offer him a shelter so that he can start a new life.

[i] And we who live long in Europe see the people who come, they are some come from Africa like us. or from other countries. What recommendation can you give us in general, about the reception, the advice of them.  The asylum seekers who have problem in their countries?

[r] I am recommended to them to keep calm, to follow their cause in detail, and if they need help, we will help them. There is no problem

[i] I mean Africans who live here for a long time, who have built their own lives beautifully. Some have no respect for new arrivals, who they sometimes meet on the street, who people sometimes look for help. New people who don’t know the language. For some it doesn’t matter, but some want to help in this sense. What behaviour should we show when we, who live here for a long time, meet a newcomer who is looking for help?

[r] I will receive him, I will ask him what he needs. For example, lately I have met one, he has been looking for an address in Bochum he came from another city One has assigned him in Bochum, but he does not know the language, he has only spoken his native language, unfortunately I do not know their native language, but as an African I have tried everything so that I can show her where he wanted to go. I can say that they should also try to explain in other languages, the languages that many people speak, so that people can understand. They people should be shown their accommodation and brought there.

[i] If we consider the authority of the city here, we go to the offices, what can you tell about their behavior to us. What can you advise them? For example, the foreigners authority, how can they behave towards new arrivals?

[r] I will tell them to be patient, to understand the new people, because these new people don’t know anything. They should explain things better to people, or they should send them to someone or to a place where they can get everything explained. That would be better.

[i] I often see many difficulties that arise with the misunderstanding. It is often the case that when I accompany a newcomer to an agency, sometimes the official is aggressive about him, or he talks loudly to him so that he can intimidate him. That could be the police. When they meet a foreigner, they sometimes speaks with the intention of intimidating them. That’s why I asked you this question: What is the behavior of these people should be to people who have come new. Sometimes the language doesn’t speak, they don’t know the culture from here, first he met a European, first he sits in the office with a European or with a policeman?

[r] That’s bad. You see, they don’t know. Leaving one country and applying for asylum in another is not easy. When someone comes to you to explain sthsa to you, or you do something for them, you must have the will to explain in detail what they want. They should have a big heart, they should know how to explain people in peace so that one can understand, so that one follows the matter as it is required here.

[i] How were you received at the social services.

[r] When we came, Social Welfare Office … That depends on the person, in some social services you don’t get complicated for anything. But some understand your difficulties. They understand that you have problems. The civil servant tries everything possible so that he understands your problems for what you came to him. Then all your things will be done well. But with some officials it can also be that you return home without finding a solution to your problem.

[i] Often we have heard people repeat names of social workers and say that it applies to him or her difficulty.

[r] Yes,

[i] That sometimes scared some people when he or she had to go to social services, his or her pulse beat fast (he or she got scared). That’s why I asked you this question. Did you also live such a thing?

[r] I also lived such a thing because everyone here has their own way, I lived such a thing. You go to someone, and he complicates the thing for you. So sometimes you don’t get time to explain him, then bdu returns.

[i] Had you had no dream at that time, how did you react?

[r] During that time, I got a bit traumatized. That had reacted badly to me. I was traumatized because I didn’t know the language, I came in, but to offer me a seat is a problem. Then I should sit. Then now you can talk. That’s why I didn’t find the opportunity to speak.

[i] What advice cannot be given to social workers but to people who have come new when a social worker is aggressive, what kind of behaviour should they show?

[r] If someone is aggressive towards them, don’t pay attention to the behaviour, take time to learn the language, you should know why they came here. understand the situation,

[i] Is there still such behavior today or no more?

[r] I don’t know exactly if such behaviour doesn’t exist anymore, I don’t know exactly anymore, but such behaviour happens again and again, that can’t be finished. Everyone has his own way of working in the office, everyone works in his own way. Some receive people as usual, with an open heart, who reacts nicely with all people, but others, when you have come, wait for you a disauschung.

[i] If you have to advise the social security officers, I know it’s hard, what will you tell them?


[r] I will tell them they have a big heart. They should receive people well. Because it’s not easy when you’ve left your country and come to another country and have a problem, they should receive you well.

[i] We have seen in recent times that many young people have come who are not too old, who have no parents, some are 14 years old, When they have come here, they are considered children, and they are given guardian. You as a father, since you have lived here for a long time, and also Africans, and these young people are like your little brother, what advice can you give them for their future?

[r] I always tell them for their future that they are little children, it is better for them to go to school. They should learn a profession so that they can work. Because the job will help them tomorrow (in the future). Because life is not easy. That is the advice I always give them. They should learn, learn a profession, work, because tomorrow it will help them.

[i] Here in the city of Bochum you also have contact with young African people, don’t you?

[r] Yes, I have contact with young Africans, because we have an association in Bochum, because we meet there, young Africans come there and we talk together.

[i] Do they also follow your or your advice? How do you judge that?

[r] They belong to the counselling because they come there. That is my remark.

[i] How can you attract young people who belong to the group?

[r] I talk to them and then I give them the address, then they come and we meet and talk. They get information and use it.

[i] If you return to Congo today with God’s help, how can you give the experience you have gathered here to Youth from Congo?  What can you tell to Young Congolese after your experience in Europe? Because many people say that the experience from Europe can be transferred to Africa so that we can develop our Africa. Accordingly, we had brought experiences from Africa here and passed them on to Europeans. When you return to Africa today, what will you give to young people there? What you will bring from here in your head? What do you think?

[r] I will talk to them, there are many ideas, I will orient them, I will share my idea with everyone, so that they can better shape their lives for the future.

[i] Can you please express these ideas?

[r] I have many ideas, (he laughs)

[i] There are young people. Now if we look at normal people you’re going to meet there, like entrepreneurs or workers, for example. What can you tell them to develop the country, what you have found positive here?

[r] For entrepreneurs there are ideas I will talk to them, I will orient them according to their work. I will tell them, we will talk, then things will go well.

[i] Mr [name] , we tend to end our conversation, what can you say about asylum policy to bochumen authority.   How they receive refugees in Bochum?

[r] I will tell them that they should be good to refugees, they should receive them better, that things should go well so that the refugees can feel good.

[i] And what can you say to the humanitarian aid organization about the hard work they do?


[r] Humanitarian aid organizations should work well, they should receive refugees well, they should go into the depths of the problems, so it will be better for asylum seekers.

[i] What should Africans who have lived in Bochum for a long time do for their “brothers” and “sisters,” who come new, who have to suffer?

[r] I am recommended to them to be open, they should receive their “relatives” well. Above all, they should give good information about the new arrivals, so that they may know where they can tread their feet (life here can be well understood as life here is).  Because it is not easy when you are new, he does not know where he can kick his feet, how he can walk, the thing is this way. But when you explain him, he knows how to walk in different situations. There he can run better in the future.

[i] You personally, what can you say to the authorities of the city of Bochum about what you lived here? I don’t know how many years you lived here. Do you have something to thank or criticize in relation to your life here?

[r] Hum. For me, the city of Bochum, what I live here, I will tell them that they should be good, and then there will be peace among all of us,

[i] Are you satisfied with your life in Bochum, in the past and today? What can you say about it? ,

[r] In life can be that you are good today and bad tomorrow, I am happy about the life we have here. Because there are many problems, today you can be good, tomorrow you can be bad. That’s life. I am happy about our life. I will tell them that they are … that they should help foreigners well. The problems should be solved so that there can be peace tomorrow.

[i] In the spiritual side in Bochum, do you have anything to say? In the side of the church, or in the view of the church, where are you going? How are you spiritually cared for with brothers? Or you yourself how do you try to strengthen your gesture life? How is your relationship with God?

[r] If I am to talk about the gesture life, we have a church in Bochum called MIRS, where we are spiritually cared for. We are doing well in this area. Because if you don’t know God, it’s hard to forgive someone. You should know God so that you can understand some things, that also brings inner peace.

[i] We talked a lot about the city of Bochum, but you live in Germany. We know that Germany is a federal state. We are in NRW(North Rhine Westphalia). What can you say to German authorities in general about their contacts with foreigners and also about foreigners policy?  Not only the city of Bochum, but the Federal Republic of Germany.

[r] I will tell the politicians to have some contacts with foreigners. They should have regular talks with foreigners. Because everyone who comes here has their own problem. The problems are different. If the policemen try to talk to foreigners on a regular basis it’s very good because the foreigners can express their problems. This allows peace to reign.

[i] We have seen recently that parties like AFD, which are against foreigners, get many votes. When they came in the year 93, were there such parties? or was there such behaviour?


[r] When we came, the behavior against foreigners is always here in Germany. To see that, you have to be a foreigner. If you’re not a foreigner, you can’t feel that either. If you are a foreigner, you will notice that this is the case.

[i] Isn’t there a big difference between the past and the present?

[r] There is no big difference. What message can you give to these parties that are against foreigners? I will tell them to be good, to keep calm, to have a big heart. They should understand that people are allowed to apply for asylum in their country. Because nobody leaves his country without a reason to come to a foreign country. As we are here, each of us knows what he has left in his country. They should have a big heart, they should understand the refugees in their country. Rest shall reign to them!

[i] If you were a politician from Congo today, what would you say to Germans about the relationship with Congo? What relationship should the German government have with Congo? Since we have many things in common, there is economic exchange, what kind of relationship can they have with Congo according to your wishes?

[r] There is much, there is enough, because there are many things in Congo. It promotes good politics, politics should run well, you should create jobs, you should help people, you should be able to work well, you should help companies, so that the workers have to get their wages. But not that you work without a wage for 2 years. That is no longer work. They have to help the school, the children have to go to school in good condition. They must also help the hospitals, the conditions of hospitals must be good.

[i] Congo, a rich country; Congo called a geological scandal; What can you advise to a Congolese, Congolese people, since God has given them everything they need. But the Congolese people suffer greatly, you as Congolese, what advice will you give to all Congolese people, no matter where they live, in Europe, in Africa, etc.?

[r] I will advise them to be calm, to have a big heart. They should know that they should distribute well what they have in Congo. Because everyone in Congo, no matter in which corner they are, should profit. So that he can be satisfied. If you can’t share it well, it’s bad. There’s the reason why we’re suffering today. There is no peace, because of this thing.

[i] What wealth does Germany gain in Congo? Do you have an idea?

[r] There is a lot of wealth, so the Germans have been in this country for a long time. They are there, it was a long time ago. They get coltan, they get diamond, they get something, (it coughs) excuse! They get Magan, they get without end, there are many what they take in this country, it is a lot.

[i] What relationship can Germany establish with Congo, since Germany needs many products from Congo? What kind of relationship should Germany have with Congo?

[r] Normally, they have to talk about it with Congolese people. If Congo gets a quota of 50 %, this should be increased to 70 %. This will help the Congolese better. Because if Congo only gets 40%, the country can’t get any further. The politicians take a part for themselves and give a small part to the country.  What is our budget? Five billion is elected by the parliament. Is 5 billion enough for Congo? No, the money is not enough for Congo.

[i] You’ve been living here for a few years now. Since you’ve been here, have you made a trip to Congo?


[r] I haven’t made a trip to Congo yet, but I will. I will make a trip to Congo. I haven’t done it yet.

[i] Do you have contacts with business people in Congo or not?

[r] At the moment I have no contact.

[i] We would like to finish our interview now. I would like to know if you have a message to anyone you will follow in the future?

[r] To everyone who will hear me, I recommend that he should be good and have inner peace. I just shoot here.

[i] Thank you for your availability, what you took to tell your story and answer the questions. Above all, I wish you good luck for your life and for the future, both here and in Congo. Goodbye!

[r] Goodbye!