[i] Hello!

[r] Hello!

[i] Do you have an object that you feel strongly about introducing me?

[r] Hey… This object here. It’s my whole childhood, my education, it’s Bah! Since’98, I’ve nicknamed him Dad because he’s… my father’s companion.

[i] And what is this object? Can you introduce me to him?

[r] It is the Holy Bible in Sango language. Besides, it is thanks to this support that I speak Sango well

[i] What is Sango?

[r] It is a Central African language. It is a widely spoken language in Central Africa.

[i] Can you tell us about the history of this object?

[r] This object, my father being of Protestant confession, The Bible in Sango is one of the first translations (into the local language), so he got it and it is all the time his bedside book, his companion and everything he transmits, he transmits it thanks… to this Book Finally, it is for him the book of knowledge.

[i] Okay. But why is it important to you today?

[r] It is important because of what it…, well, as I said, it’s my whole childhood: I lived it as a child. I left the family dealership when I come back on vacation, it’s always next to my father. And, by the way, when Dad died, it was the only inheritance I claimed. The only inheritance I have claimed is this Bible. Period. He’s not leaving me. When I leave the Paris region, well, I have it with me When I travel, I always have it with me.

[i] How many years has it been?

[r] 20 years we’ve been together. 20 years and a few months because it’s been since May 1998 that I have it. Can you introduce yourself?

[r] Ha!!!!! They call me [name] I am a Chadian national. I arrived in France since October 26, 1978, for 2 years of training: almost 40 years that I am here.

[i] Okay. So you’re of Chadian origin, so you’re Chadian, so you were born there?

[r] I was born in Chad. Born and raised in Chad. I worked for 10 years as a teacher in Chad.

[i] When were you born then?

[r[ I was born one morning in May 1947, thanks to modern technology I know that I was born on a Wednesday I am lucky because my father is linked to the pastor, I even know my birth time. which is “9:30 am”, because there was a big alarm clock to symbolize this moment.

[i] Under what circumstances then? Circumstance uh… Well…, I… uh… my maternity was a big kapokier, I was born under a kapokier… Uh, uh…, I need to tell myself a little bit. I’m a false twin. We’re two: a sister who didn’t survive. There you go. And my maternity is a big kapokier that no longer exists.

[i] There had been midwives?

[r] No, no, no, no. In the age of midwives, you say? It’s…” Wise women”: the neighbours whom I consider not midwives but WISE WOMEN with knowledge And I open a parenthesis by what, as I have been told, my birth: if I had been born as…, if my mother had given birth to us as women give birth today. Well, I wouldn’t be alive. Because the birth, at the time, was crouching Women were not on their backs It was almost like defecating she was supported, squatting. There you go. That’s what got us out.

[i] Are you the eldest in the family?

[r] No. The youngest of an 8-girl family already preceded by 8 girls.

[i] They are all alive…

[r] Uh… no. The last one just left at 77: Ha! Tell you, I’m 71 years old, so my elders, that’s what. The last one left at 77 years old in the month of…, chance or not, in the month of May she too

[i] Can you tell me a little bit about your siblings?

[r] Mine?

[i] Yes, the father? The sisters? The mother?

[r] Well, my father arrived in Fort-Lamy in 1928, so he left from southern Chad, from the village of Mangnebbô (Maïbo) in the S/prefecture which is now the Department of Moïssala. So he’s from internal immigration. He went up from Mangne-bbô to Fort-Lamy and he says it, he had a rainy season. He left after a harvest and arrived in Fort Lamy after the next harvest, a whole year and on foot. All right. And that’s where he met my uncle. As a young and hardworking man, my uncle told him: “No, no, no, no. You don’t take a woman here, I have my little sister.” Hey there. So they were married in 1934 and the eldest in the family was born in 1936. In Abéché

[i] To the North?

[r] In the North. Oh yes! Yes! My father served as a meharist and then Bon ! not liking the profession of the army, he chose, rather, to be a cook He was the cook of the Commander… of the city of Abéché. If we have time, I’ll show you his work certificates I got back.

[i] Okay. What about your sisters? My sisters, there are 8, so there have been deaths: deaths by accident, deaths by drowning. We ended up meeting up with three sisters and me. They left one after the other.

[i] Did you live in Chad? For how long?

[r] Born in Chad. I left Chad at the age of 31, I think so, if 31 in 78

[i] Did you study there?

[r] I studied there… Well, I said in the introduction that I worked as a teacher for about ten years. 10 years. Not for about ten years but ten years

[i] How was life in that country during those times you lived there?

[r] You make me nostalgic. Yes! Life was… for a young civil servant with a regular salary, respect for the work we were doing. Oh no, for me, life was… was good.

[i] How much did you make? ¨Pour have an idea at the time.

[r] In good times. I… I started at 47000 frcs. And then I ended up at… No, let’s not be pretentious: I started at 33,000 first, and then tenured, I ended… yes, at 47,000frcs.

[i] 47000 was…

[r] Let’s say 470 old frcs.

[i] So in € it’s about 80€.

[r] Yes, 80€. Substantially 80€. And 80€ allowed me to… to support myself, my family, build. No, that’s right.

[i] Do you have family?

[r] Yes, what’s left of it.

[i] What do you mean?

[r] That is to say, those of my generation many have left. When we were young, life expectancy for us is 45 years. So we all lived saying: if we reach 45, thank God. The ones I left behind are my elders. Well, there’s only one left. No, there are still several I can’t say “Just one” in the extended family there are still some left and with whom I have… Even this morning I had just called one or two people

[i] Okay. Did you have any children before you came?

[r] Yes.

[i] How much?

[r] Officially. One.

[i] Is he still there or is he here?

[r] He’s here with me. He’s here, too, he’s a family man.

[i] He’s only old? The first one?

[r] Ah!!!!! He was born in 74 so he is 44 years old today

[i] Tell me when did you arrive in France? Unfortunately, it had been brushed a little…

[r] But… I arrived in France following a competition organized by the Ministry of French Cooperation For u,e training in school administration A competition affecting all French-speaking French-speaking countries and Madagascar. So I managed to get into the contest, fortunately. That’s what allowed me to come.

[i] The contest you pared it where? In N’Djamena or…..

[r] In N’Djamena.

[i] How many of you were there? Many? [R] Quite numerous…… Oh, yes! Yes! There were more than 50 of us….. Oh, that’s funny, because I even took the exam with 2 of my former inspectors. Yes, yes, I took the exam with 2 of my former inspectors. When I was a teacher, I had them as inspectors.

[i] They were admitted?

[r] Ha no. Unfortunately. It made the young man of the time a little pretentious. Well, today I understand why they didn’t succeed because they had a responsibility that didn’t allow them to: so much to invest themselves, to train,… Because I was taking parallel courses, I was going to the CFOD I was taking courses At the time I didn’t understand now I understand why, they didn’t succeed

[i] Was the contest difficult? The tests?

[r] The tests do. Organized by the Embassy, only under the responsibility of the Embassy.

[i] Which embassy?

[r] The French Embassy. The exams were supervised by the military cooperation The tests were corrected here in France And it was also the first time I learned that, well, “Ha! The exams you did there couldn’t be any cheating because it’s the exam center… the person who told me that told me “Ha! it’s on the Arcueil side, it’s in the care of the Exam House” And there, hope is given by what the exam isn’t… not being corrected on the spot Good, we had hope.

[i] And what year was that?

[r] 78. In April 78

[i] And how many of you were coming to France for the whole of Chad?

[r] I think there were six of us. Yes, six

[i] Out of 50. Can you tell me more about your backlog? Where did you get off…? How did it go…? Did you come by plane?

[r] It’s a bit of a folklore, because, well, we were the first passengers to inaugurate Roissy 1 because the airport had just opened and we were among the first to tread… and for us it was impressive. My first scare was to walk in front of a treadmill…. I asked for my luggage and I asked for help I asked to be explained how it works… it works I made people laugh because of what good… I said: “No, I, the stairs at home I climb them up the stairs or no roads worked. Here I have a moving road, how am I going to move on that road? And the agent who is there told me to put the things on the carpet, he explained it to me and for more security, he grouped us, the primos who arrived on a carpet that he blocked. We went up and he threw the carpet, at the end he blocked it, we thanked him, because on the other side we saw that there were people, primos arriving who were falling. especially when it came time to take their luggage they were ejected. But us, this Mr, Thank you, we didn’t fall, that’s first of all. And then we had to get to Paris. But the welcome at the time was good, because someone was with a sign to welcome us, all you had to do was go to him. We are welcomed and driven to the CIES. He changed his name, it’s still somewhere on De La Grange aux Belles street not far from Métro Colonel Fabien the structure is there but it changed its name. Then, we were dropped off at FIAP on Cabanis street. It’s funny, because as I woke up very early I got out, I always wake up at 5:30 a. m. so at 5:30 a. m. I was outside I wanted to see a little, I read “PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL” I was not happy to be a neighbour to madmen I didn’t understand why we were left next to madmen Thing even more funny nobody specified it to us so, (this information was missing) so my colleague and I who were there prepared as in Chad we knew that the offices officially opened at 7:30 am so, we prepared ourselves, we took a taxi to get to school as soon as possible. The taxi driver didn’t tell us anything and dropped us off at St-André metro station on Danton Street. It was when he was coming down to us that he said, “But Mrs. Your school is not open at this time of day”. We told him, “Oh, really! “Ha no!” Here it is at 9am that we open the offices “So, first welcome, it’s a coffee. We spent over an hour in a coffee shop. It was in autumn, for us it was too cold. The welcome here was cold. The first thing was the cold: there was a time….. There was a little bit of drizzle For the natives it wasn’t cold but for us, yes, I still remember it as if it was yesterday

[i] How many degrees was it?

[r] Haaaa. For me, who comes to more than 25° if it was 6°, 7° or 10°: it’s cold! In Chad it is…, the cold in Chad it is 15° In N’Djamena we were already shivering… Yes, it was 7°, I think at the time But 7° it was too cold for us at least. It was too cold We were too cold, we had winter gloves We were good, then we understood that it was ridiculous but for us it was not at all ridiculous. Yes, yes, yes. We were dressed. Really. The others told us but when it will snow how will you do it? Well, we’ll see. But the body is… We adapted to it. The bodies adapted very quickly to my great surprise.

[i] Tell me, was it the first time you ever climbed a plane to come here? And how did it go… from N’Djamena airport to… Well… Getting on a plane is not the first time A long journey as part of simple tourism is not the first time either But to stay for a long time, yes. My first time was at Le Bourget but Le Bourget is… Le Bourget airport was not as different as N’Djaména airport at the time, but Roissy at the time was for me, for us IMMEDIATE! Airport, shops, everything was crawling

[i] How long have you been…, or how long have you lived in Paris?

Since my arrival with excursions from time to time to the provinces The Paris region is my city Finally, my region, at least.

[i] Can you tell me about your stay in France?

[r] When I arrived?

[i] From your arrival…

[i] The various boroughs….. Life, work? We’ll get to that.

[r] First in the 14th, rue Cabanis Then, the studies in the 5th. We were staying at Massy’s shelter. So I made Massy’s home, then Cachan’s home. In the meantime I managed to go back to Chad to bring back my wife And the second war broke out so I made the choice not to leave again so I looked for small jobs My first job how did it go? It was in’79…. There were difficulties with the scholarship for all the Chadians and the home where I was, the night guard not being there. He had to be replaced and the assistant to the director called me to tell me; among our residents you are the only one who does not drink, who behaves well. Do you accept to… Let me explain: you’re going to stay here. You will stay there to make the night reception while waiting for the guard who is on sick leave to resume or for us to find a replacement. So from resident, I had become a night watchman. And since I also had…. I was offered the proposal because I was 2 late on the rent. Why? Because we had claimed it. Before, it was the CIES that paid directly, we had claimed to recover our scholarships paid for ourselves, that it was a little more dignified. After the events of 1979, I decided not to pay but to save money to send my parents to the refugee camp Why? Because Chadian students, who are dependent on the Chadian state, did not have their scholarships either. So it was hypocritical, I told the management that it was out of solidarity, but in reality I wanted to put money aside so I could send them to my own people in refugee camps. That’s how I started working. Underground. A BLACK MAN WHO WORKS UNDER THE TABLE.

[i] How does it feel? It feels a little strange because it happened so well that during the summer holidays I was asked to replace the guards, not just the holidays, but also the weekend guards in the Rolling homes in Paris, rue Rolling, in La Motte-Piquet and another not far from Montparnasse. Well, since it’s the same group, I was touring and then I was even doing weekly replacements,

[i] Are you well paid?

[r] Of course not: since the association that manages these homes has never declared me… I was paid at the… for me it was important at the time. At the end of the month, I was given a cheque for 1000 FF, 1500, 1200 It was for less a fortune I was happy to have this money until I had to regularize my situation now it became critical because there nobody wanted to accept me and asked that my situation be regularized so I also lost the job. |[I] It was the administration of the student residence that made you work illegally. It was what was then called the AFI Association, Quoi comme çà, students and trainees. It was an old structure. run by the elders of the old I make you laugh because I have this lie there Meanwhile I am enrolled in university so this type of work allowed me to be able to attend classes One day when I wanted to see the accountant. I dressed and wore this because we had to go to the Musée de l’Homme to attend a seminar. And when I had come, the Mr who was very badly brought up with me at my place of work, on the way I said to myself: tient, au liu de me présenter Mr TOKINON, I will give him my second name that he does not know, he certainly writes it but he will not remember it: TOKINON Bomarr à luui will say something When I arrived, I was told Mr Ni-Ngatoloum. The secretary wrote and left so he received me in his office, he even cleared a place for me to sit down. Yet in the same office when I came to see him he had no place, he had no time: It’s standing. I was talking to him standing up. He made me sit down because I was dressed all, tie… tied case So he received me very well. And when he found out it was me. I wish I had his image. That’s why I lost the job. I told him: Sir, he’s not the man you respect. Finally, it was enough for me to dress differently for you to have respect: when I came there, more than 4 times in your office, today you receive me, even your secretary stood up to greet me. She who never moved from her table. I said: There, there, there: maybe he’s a senior African official. It’s worth what I paid with the money you give me. Simply. Yes, I realized that, well, the clothes make the man. Those who say that “the habit does not make the monk”. I believe that they have not experienced this reality. Clothes are a lot of things in this country. For me, yes. My experience: Yes, the clothes make the monk. I played a lot with that: There are places where I went there without invitation or I entered because I was well dressed

[i] And how did you regularize your situation in the end, after working under the table…? Was it a little difficult?

[r] In the end, I turned to the ANPE, a friend told me: you go to the ANPE in Massy-Palaiseau. There, it was managed by 2 or 3 young people from there, those who worked there as youth… communist youth. He described to me about the people I had to go to, I was, I explained myself with this Mr. who told me: listen, I understand He asked me on a familiar terms, he told me I understand you. But if you are looking for work at the level of your training you will not get it. And the most urgent thing is that you regularize your situation. So you go from student to employee status At the time, you needed 3 pay slips and an employment contract for more than one year. He sent me to a first job as a warehouse clerk. I was not retained. When I came back, he said, “No, no, no, you made a mistake, you showed that you know, that you…, that you understand things. Now I’m going to send you to a print shop, make yourself look like an illiterate. For two days, he trained me to copy my name in stick writing. He said to me, “Please, do everything if you want to have this job. The important thing for you is this work after you do what you want I was and I took out my residence permit, I made the effort to draw my name in stick writing I had to take care of a trick for the falls of the…, It is a printed matter that makes cardboard so I was at the end of the cycle. All the scraps that came from the machines, put them in bundles and be able to weigh them. So the little secretary gave me….. (The Mr. de l’Anpe has already sent someone there and he told me if you are given operations don’t do them quickly even if it is…..) The secretary gave me so (I remember well) 5+4 so I counted my fingers and then I wrote 9 she was happy, she went to tell her colleague said make a complicated with restraints see if he is able to understand them I understood them but good. I didn’t say anything They came back so she spoiled the situation a little bit, for her at least, so I ended up with 16 + 5 or more… something like where I had to have deductions. Well, I always did the same game: So I have my fingers, I actually put the result but I had to play the game. So I was good for the job. And for three months I talked “Little Negro” Ah ! The funny thing is, when I arrived The master agent who was a woman of Portuguese origin came to me and she said: “Your first name is what?” I said: Me Bomarr. She says Ah no, no, no, it’s difficult It’s Doudou”. For three months I was called Doudou. Why? Why? Because the guy who was before he was called Doudou I don’t know, he told me: the one who was it is easy, he is Doudou, you are Doudou too So for 3 months, I was Doudou Doudou not knowing how to read or write

[i] What level did you have?

[r] I was steward. When I got out, I had the rank of Intendant. The rank of Steward was still If you submitted it at the time Ah yes, the license. The license. Yes. As I had not confirmed it, if I had confirmed it. I had the level, here, of manager. A university intendant. School and university. My training, I graduated with the Degree of School and University Intendant.

[i] And you’ve never worked in this field? I had gone to be in the private sector and even to have the position of Secretary of Stewardship and I was not granted it, because: At the time it was a trade with benefits in kind. Not having the French nationality I applied more in private schools. Mr. we will call you, your file is interesting…. But, well, that’s all in the past.

[i] Have you been reminded?

[r] If I’ve never exercised, it’s because I haven’t been reminded. What a funny question.

[i] You could say yes… We took such in relation to… [R} No, no, no, no. It is even a language that we understood at the time, when we tell you that we will remind you: “It’s, get out! We’re not interested in you.” So I stopped looking in that area. And then I did odd jobs, odd jobs.

[i] Can you tell me how it is possible to work and study at the same time? And at the same time a student? How was it going? Can you tell me about it.

[r] The advantage is that as a night watchman, I work nights or weekends So….Me, my luck is that I sleep in any situation which allowed me to recover and at the same time I also benefited from… comfort: I could work, make my photocopies And then I finish at 8am I…, I was enrolled at the University of Vincennes in Saint-Denis So the courses we had until… We finished at 10pm so it allowed me to plan and choose my Value Units in relation to my freedom times. That is to say: classes starting early in the morning. Rare. When I sign up, I negotiate to be there. Otherwise I took all the afternoon classes or the classes that started at 11am But the teachers at the time being all activists did that their classes, they didn’t do it… They didn’t register in the year or week at the same time, which allowed us to come and catch up on the next session. Of course, they don’t come back but you can miss every other session And also, I’m lucky to have had one of the first Auto-reverse recorders, when I couldn’t come, I would put on 2-hour tapes and I would entrust someone who would record the lessons to me so I could listen to the lessons again. I’ve worked a lot with this.

[i] Did you have time to go to the library with a vet look? Or how you worked your classes outside of college and work. Well, libraries do. But well, the libraries, there was La Documentation Française, La bibliothèque de la rue d’Ulm When I wasn’t working that day, especially during the day, I went to the library of the Ecole Normale de la rue d’Ulm. And then there’s the Beaubourg Centre! The Beaubourg Centre where I used to come and then I would finish almost at closing time. And to make sure I would find my books, I would put them back in the wrong place. I even changed departments: So if I arrive late I’m sure I’ll find the book again. And continue my reading. At the time it was a good child: We were looking at the bag. The books were not taken out. But we made arrangements with the girlfriends who hid them under their dresses and took them out. I could take the book home on the w-k, read it and go drop it off again. The great thing is that: any document we took out we gave it away We didn’t keep it As far as girlfriends were concerned. No one would allow themselves to feel a girl. So, there we were using them to get us the books I was using them, at least I’m not going to say We. Oh yes, I used several of them to…

[i] They trusted you so much to…

[r] It’s okay, it’s okay.

[i] be accomplices

[r] Since we’re working, they’re not adventure friends! These friends from university so we went out to work together Often we worked in workshops, it’s interesting that for me to progress I need these books… But I was returning them

[i] Can you tell me about the Beaubourg Library? Do you have any memories? What about this library? [I[I] Yes. But these are memories from the 1980s. That’s old news. At the time it was something quite revolutionary. We went to the library, we had exhibitions. The documents were also available on microfiche. Here is a whole thesis on a brochure; it was for us at the time… du <b>” THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE ” We were wondering: how to get one of these readers there and be able to duplicate the microfiche so we have the document at home. the microfiche for the time was Puis euh….. Unfortunately I don’t have time to go anymore. There is the library of my time well organized reception: great. The pleasant reading conditions Because it’s so vast, there are people there. And noise had no place in it: We respected: It’s calm. In Paris, there is the Bibliothèque St Génévieve not far from the Pantheon.

[i] And how did you, who came from Chad, from Africa, manage to live here? What are the differences? Can you tell me a little bit about it? (I change from “You” to “You”)…

[r] The first surprise is in public transit because those of my generation like me arrived and when you get on public transit. It’s collective, so I said “Hello” to the people who were there before me. I have to pick up some funny looks and 2nd surprise: it’s to see that the people who were sitting on the side “edge” of the seats didn’t move so that we could sit down. I was coming from where the bus we were taking in N’Djamena was coming from, when you enter the first one, you get to the bottom. You make room for others or not, you warn them that “I will go down if you go a little further. It was always… we the customers, we were negotiating I sat there by what I’m going down, are you going down before or near? The guy says, no, no, no, I go down a little further so we got up and got used to it. Saying hello is… Ah another thing, and that’s with the elders….. because when you saw the friends, you would clap their hands and then take them by the hand or want to take them by the shoulders when you walked, the others told you: “no, no, no, no. You shouldn’t take, here you don’t hold hands. Why? Why? We are boys. That’s the point. Here if we hold hands, people will think we are… Oh, really?! He says no, no, no, you hold hands with your girlfriend. Friends, they walk side by side and that’s it,. They don’t hold hands. So, I had photo albums from that time, when I did my first internship in Nancy, I laughed because when my colleagues looked at them, they didn’t understand why… and they say that it is who? Well, she’s my wife. And in the picture then why are you putting your hand on this boy’s shoulder instead? Ah! I say, he’s my friend, a close friend. I know where to take them and I was having fun taking them a little further to say but… how your close friend. But your wife can handle it? Intimate friend is not in the sense that you understand. It is really a friend that, in my tradition, he is more than a brother. Because a brother is not chosen: a friend is a choice. And this friend here is like a close friend. If there is my wife, she did not exercise jealousy or… In my day it is a person who can defend me with my family, defend my family, defend my home. There you go. They say Ha well, but… why are you putting your hand there? I say “Shh. We’re in two different cultures. And the proof that we are friends, haven’t you noticed that we even wear together? We’re almost in uniform. From where I got this expression in mbaye that says “Mad krrai”, that is to say: a friend with whom you have the same types of tattoos. If you go to tattoo yourself, that is to say you have the same tattoos, you have the same stripes. We have the same scratch. That means that when you walk around, reading, it’s there, no one asks: is it my brother? No. They know he’s a Friend. Uh… I’m Mbaye so I draw a lot from my culture to talk about

[i] From a cultural point of view… communication codes… didn’t you have trouble coming because your French is understood by everyone?

[r] Even understood, I am told: “You speak well, you speak well, you write well, but only with an accent I say yes, like the Marseillaise. I say like the people of Marseilles, like the people of Alsace. Yes, I have an accent. There is also the Parisian accent. And these same reasons why I did everything to keep this accent there is a little my, today is my trademark I will make you laugh. but my first internship in Nancy, I was confused with a difficulty but after when I did intercultural communication I understood why Even if I said it in relation to holding hands… from a best friend I was shocked: so I offered, when I was invited by colleagues, I offered a chocolate package to the young people and a bouquet of flowers to the mother of the family The bouquet of flowers is well received but the chocolate package was unpacked. I said it’s for the kids. They unpacked it and handed it to me for first. And I understood with another reading, because we were in the middle of the civil war in N’Djaména in 1979, where we knew that France was involved. I had a very Mbaye reading. Because when someone offers something to someone but the person tells you to serve you it’s to make sure that if you poisoned them if you try to kill them through it, you’ll leave the first time. I spent almost my time blaming that colleague: Why, she doesn’t trust me enough to…… And it’s after I learn that No, no, no, no, it’s more… Here, that’s the way it works, but I wasn’t well. I laugh about it but good at the time, I was hissing…. If I knew the way, I would have left again Unfortunately, we were in a village somewhere over there near Nancy, I didn’t know where I was going I was taken hostage, otherwise Submit to this, ha no! That’s an insult. Damn it. But that’s interculturality.

[i] Okay. What are your expectations when you come to France? Can you tell me about the expectations?

[r] When I came here, it was social promotion. Teacher then Pedagogical Advisor, I managed to get out. 2 years in France? In my time coming to France is…! The fact that our names are spoken on the radio. It’s respect in the neighbourhoods. It was immediately “Le français” It also gave a certain success with girls. “Ah! He’s going to France. It’s the Parisian, it’s… We weren’t like the others. We were… That’s it! That’s it! Even if we’re not proud, you could feel it. Pride. So I came for 2 years of training. I’m leaving again as a School Administrator. Especially. I, in my head, chose Stewardship because I had an experience of Stewards so, I have good I will be Steward. And I’ll try to manage it differently. Because I saw how the Intendant of the École Normale, the two teacher training schools I had been through, managed. For me it’s… That’s what I’m talking about. That we don’t have to live on the students’ backs. And my dream was: When I came back to the establishment where I would be, people would say “Ha!” It wasn’t like that before. Ha! In our country, we get that? Do we get that? We were at the time of the “Little Revolutionaries” To say that the dirty mentality will change Just set an example And that others who do not manage things well, they will certainly change. But a few months later, I arrived in 78-79, the Chadian state shattered. THE STATE I LEFT HAS SHATTERED. I left in December 79 I went through N’Djamena, I saw things I left N’Djamena until I saw my parents in Moïssala. In the background I left that Chad thinking to myself, it’s no longer…… “If Chad no longer organizes itself. It’s not mine anymore. Because at the time, when I was in N’Djaména, diplomas were sold on the market. Everything was looted. 79, that’s it, as many… After the 1979 war in N’Djaména, everything was negotiable. When you need such a document… I spent 10 days seeing this person who had his little office and all the official stamps and then leaving to be killed by Habré? NO. So there, on the spot, I was telling people that this is my last year. Some people were telling me: but why? Then why are you coming back? But my wife, I still make her see something else and then I get a free ticket. It’ll be a vacation for her after what she’s been through. No, I didn’t tell them that… I told one and only one person, peace to his soul, to a paternal uncle with whom I was Malkor, Elie Malkor’s father knew Him… Besides he told me: I understand your choice Even when I left Mosesala, my own father, I did not tell him To him, as we were discussing and I knew that I could entrust him with Him, he will know how to explain it to my father ,send him the message by what He is nevertheless within the church justice of the peace So I entrusted him so that he can transmit it to my fellow men That my journey is a journey without return

[i] And what was their reaction?

[r] My parents?

[i] Yes.

[r] At the time we didn’t have enough means of communication. He told me I understand you and I’ll make your father understand it. My mother? No. My mother I could have told her and zllz would have understood me. But… My father I feared his reaction. I don’t know why… And yet I was already 32 years old But good! I was. And I’m still his son. I needed a media relationship. You need a mediator to make it work. And this is…. Of the cost, he understood. No, he didn’t blame me. I was also used to my father. His silence is an approval. When I say something to him, he looks at me, he doesn’t answer. He agrees, if he doesn’t agree, he gives me his opinion right away: he dilutes that he doesn’t agree and that, he says His silence for me, that’s Approval. It’s silly, but that’s how it is, that’s how our communication code is.

[i] Is it with everyone at home? All your sisters?

[r] All my sisters that’s too much to say, because I was in the system where man is with man. The girls are with them and the kindergartens I was the male so I was with the fathers The girls, yes, came to explain their situation to him but when they come it is in the evening It has two sides: when it is a personal problem my father never associates me with it. She’s his daughter. But when it’s a problem that affects the couple I’m present. Because he says that “the day I leave the conflict between your sisters and their husband, you have to know the ins and outs because it will fall to you So much so that the eldest of the family (I was (I had not yet gone to school when it was given) My father made me count his dowry. I know exactly how much When the dowry was brought in, my father put me in and told me to count so I counted the tickets and it was later that I could find out what the tickets were that were there He told me: look at the tickets. I knew how to count to 10 He told me to look at the tickets so I looked at the tickets I saw the tickets I counted the zeros that are behind It told me: it doesn’t matter, count the zeros there is a 1 but count the zeros that are behind So I counted the tickets I counted the zeros The number of tickets I counted them and another I saw it is a number 5 with also its zeros

[i] How much was it? We were in One thousand nine hundred and fifty… end of 54 it was the first time I was brought to school and I was not accepted So, 15500 frs cfa….. It was a madness. I have a maternal uncle who said to my father, “But you sold it, it’s not possible? It’s not a dowry, you sold it: 15,500 francs, do you think your daughter is a What?

[i] How much is it in €?

[r] It’s barely €20, right? 15000 is 21 or 22.

[i] 15000 is about 25 I know that 10000 is 15,20€ Let’s take half, 7.60€ is 22€ is less than 23€[I} And who was giving that amount?

[r] He is the husband of the suitor’s family. He’s not my father. The suitor’s family. It’s a dowry! In my day, it also helped the bride to build her trousseau. Because she was going to her husband’s house, she needed a bed with everything on it, the kitchen utensils, so the dowry also contributes to that financially, my father lived his life well so he didn’t need that.

[i] In the end, were you able to come with your wife?

[r] Yes. We arrived on January 10, 1980

[i] Was it not easy or was it easy to get the visa for the departure?

[r] At the time, we didn’t need a visa. It is The visa problem settled under Giscard, at the end of the year 80 After the Barracuda operation in Central Africa. Ah ! after Habrè was driven out of N’Djamena by the GUNT The Chadians, the visa was imposed on them after the GUNT of late 80 beginning…

[i] What is the GUNT? Government of National Transitional Union with Goukouni as President and Kamougué as Vice-President No, there was no visa. However, when I arrived at the airport, the air police asked me what documents allowed me to come with my wife and, there was the Counsellor at the Embassy who was there, Sahoulba, he was waiting for someone, I called him and Sahoulba arrived, he told the police officer, it was a Chadian who came and the Chadian Embassy was there. The Mr. apologized. And it was settled pretty quickly, it wasn’t complicated.

[i] All those who were born before independence know that they were born French, it was also your case.

[r] Yes, I was born in 47 I was born French I was born in Fort Lamy: the very capital I was French

[i] Didn’t that help you in your journey? When do you come? Your family?

[r] Well, no! Since I have made the choice not to take French nationality.

[i] To independence.

[r] To independence. No! I joined the Chadian administration so I integrated it as a Chadian. This is de facto. I did not take any action at the French Embassy Historically I was born before independence. It is, in my time, it is 45 days if I wanted to regain my French nationality, especially I still had with me the birth certificates of that time: French Equatorial Africa, Chad Territory.

[i] The territory of Chad was a French colony?

[r] A French colony First capital of Free France: this is where Leclerc’s troop started for Kouffra

[i] Can you tell me a little bit about your environment, in France, in what environment you live when you arrived with your family or your wife… and your son? How did it go? How did you integrate into life? Was it simple or did it go well?

[r] For me it’s simple because I’m lucky enough to be able to find a job. after my little babysitting, my papers being regularized. After 8 months I gave up this purely food work and looked for other ways.k What is funny, “Peace to his soul” But with my friend Dédady Djasra, he had a friend, Moncif, who told us, and at the time I was living in Paris, Ah ! No. I’m skipping a sequence here. After I left this job there (the very 1st) So I did a replacement in a girls’ home in the 15th of 15 days as a maintenance agent, as I was between 2 shifts, rather in sabbatical period To my surprise when the incumbent returned the management fired him and she called me to ask me if I still liked the job? Yes’ is a job that I liked because I organized myself the way I wanted and I could continue my studies, I could even come on weekends to take care of the repairs I told the management, I accept this job on the only and only condition that I can’t miss my classes. So when there are emergency repairs I could come on weekends. I could come at night to do, fix, my number of times (hours) and then there it was. It’s funny, because I did this work there, starting first intellectually, because I did my internship in a high school in the building. Being with the BTS students, I saw how they were doing it and that’s what helped me. And then I bought a book that hangs around here somewhere, I put it away, I can’t find it, I bought this book that allowed me to…. It was…, it’s written behind “The do-it-yourselfer’s key or toolbox” I read this book, it was very expensive at the time, I bought it for 120FF, can you believe it, 120FF at the time.

[i] What is it? 5€?

[r] No! 120FF is more 120FF, it’s 17-18€ anyway. So, in this book there was everything, everything was detailed. Mrs. SOU it made her laugh, because I said: When I was called to her for this work for the first 3-4 days I was doing, I was preparing my reading sheets. And I came, no longer say what I was capable of doing. But when I had the first case it was very simple: I saw the breakdown and as I have the pass, I will open the next room to see how the one that works. So I was repairing in relation to and so, well also to say that I have a DIY mind, I don’t know but DIY is instinctive so I quickly knew how to do it and I think the Mr. I stole his place because there was a room that was closed and I asked and I was told; there are problems, we haven’t had the plumber yet. I opened, I looked and noticed the breakdowns I was at the time at the BHV not far from the Town Hall, in the basement in the basement, there were advisors. DIY and I explained as if it was a personal breakdown. Poor student so I was told good: They helped me to be able to help myself. I was given, I bought products, materials: by what I told myself: If it works so well. If it doesn’t work out so bad for my money. But at least I learned. What is the story? The former tenant as she is indelicate, we sent her back and to get revenge she bought some sweet saints that she heated and emptied in the bidet it clogged the pipe… I was told how it heats it…, as it is oil, heat and put such and such product heat the iron with to solder like that and it will flow so I helped out, I cleaned everything. That’s when I discovered the “Saint-Marc” product. I cleaned everything up. And when I said the room is free, I said to the assistant The room is free. Free of what? I fixed the bidet and everything’s fine. She’s gone. She saw it and phoned immediately because there was a waiting list. It was after I learned that the person I replaced had the list of breakdowns. He called the plumber, so we waited for the plumber to come and help. When he came back, we told him six months ago that we lost money because “You call yourself a cleaning agent but we hired a real cleaning agent. And that’s how I stole his place. It served me a lot afterwards. I did this job for 5 years. Excuse me, but it’s a penny thing. It is a home that houses 180 girls plus the director. The director and I who have the passes… It was on 15th Blomet Street and then, when I abandoned that post… I didn’t hit on a chick. Don’t look at me funny. Every time I talk about girls, you start looking at me. No, no, no, no! I don’t mix things up in my work. It’s the chance because being a teacher, at the time it was what saved me, not to have conflicts. Because in fifth grade we had grown daughters. In my time? Yes, they were big girls. But NO. When you leave and “You’re in a bar” as they say in our country. Yes, yes, you are a customer and I am a customer like everyone else. But never my student. And that is also thanks to my father and the Jesuits: because when you have responsibilities, these are things that make you no longer be respected. Or are we the lover? Or are we a teacher…? Or are we in charge? But you can’t be in charge and boyfriend. It’s a problem. No, no, they taught me how to handle it well. So it’s a completely different subject. I put another compatriot in my place and then we found a job with… No. It was Sou I replaced, because he was going to Gabon, in a paint factory and all the related products. At La Courneuve. It was a bit of a folklore, but I didn’t take long because the behaviour of the people in charge irritated me so much that well, I left. It was my friend, the late Djass who stayed but I left

[i] Where did you go after that?

[r] Well, then I took my teacher’s hat. I would like to digress here because: at one point, I say no “I will never do anything in this area”. Then I knocked on the door of the centers of formation. I did for 6 months: the job of trainer. Then, I am taken over by another structure as a Pedagic Advisor in charge of producing teaching materials. It is an association that no longer exists: Reception and Promotion I therefore worked in these structures. And they are the ones who also made me want to learn. I deepened my knowledge in psychopedagogy and more particularly in groups in difficulty Until my retirement I worked with them.

[i] How many years did it last? ([R] I had entered there, it was 88 until my accident in 2006.

[i] 18 years old. I left this business with a little regret. A little sorry by what I met, so during our discussions, a very strong, very good guy, Serge DEVILLER. He is a clinician by training. It’s someone we used to talk to like that about shortages. And then I drafted a project that I showed him: Given the discussion, what we said: What do you think of that? He left on the hat of the wheels. So we finalized this project which allowed the training, and it is the first training that exists, here in the Paris Region, of Integration Managers. That is, all those who…, the staff of the Local Missions. So we set this up in Chanteloup. Now this training, it is the AFPA that provides

[i] What did this project consist of?

[r] This project is the training of integration officers. Socio-Professional Integration Officer Because the Local Missions welcomed young people but when we talked with the people with the people who worked there. They were learning on the job, they were coming. Sometimes it is the town hall that sends agents to do work for which they have not been trained. It is therefore these discussions, during a meeting in 91. we had a small meal. I listened to him (Serge DEVILLER) and I felt that too. So I made a project with… I made the opportunity statement. He (Serge) was in charge of AIDE, which was an intermunicipal structure. That’s how we started the project… It was well received. One of the first to be trained there is Raninga. Raninga was one of the first and then there was

[i] Raninga is a Chadian? Yes. The late Dédady DJASRA. And then another one too. But it is not only Chadians. Chadians because, excuse me, but when there is a request I do not refuse. And then we made them take tests, It’s not just by coptation We were also in the process of getting this training validated by a university. Then there was a staff dispute: the mayor of Chanteloup, staff layoffs, but I was working as a temporary employee.

[i] Is that after your retirement?

[r] No, no, no, we. My retirement, the funny thing is that I was training integration officers. I was a personal accountant. As soon as I entered the world of training up to the position of Training Manager, I was paid by structures. And at the Ministry of Labour, I negotiated to be autonomous, so I was inactive as a temporary employee.

[i] Independent.

[r] Independent. It was good. It was good. But constraining: Because at the time it was either the telephone or fax and you always have to have your suitcase ready to jump on the train and go from left to right. But it was good.

[i] Is that when you were able to bring some French people to Chad? Or is that another one?

[r] It is in this context and I was therefore working on… …Not to shock the public… I called my speech “THE PREMIUM TO LEARNING” But which therefore made it possible to address all the psychological difficulties, to be able to have an interview, to work on the complexes, to work also on certain personal difficulties and to accept them. But at the turn of this, the public accepted well By they were PRECES: we must first solve these prerequisites. So, it was “THE PREMIUM FOR LEARNING” or “THE PREMIUM FOR LEARNING TO INSERT” that we were working on that as well. And that’s why I got back this audience that instead of going to do, spend 3 months walking or building something that will be demolished later because: Any project is just a pretext to rebuild And the project that allowed me to bring these peers in Chad It’s “THE CASES”, really those who are at the limit. Some were negotiating with the justice system They had to choose: accept the project or go to prison But the project was to allow them to get them out of their environment for 3 months, live an experience Conducting a project from A to Z We started with… We gathered here in Chanteloup (Les Yvelines) Then we left for a month in Cavillon (Vaucluse) to teach them about STABILIZED EARTH CONSTRUCTION. Then we have: Search for financing. Passport procedures. In these prerequisites. And spend three months in Chad. Because it’s on a 6-month cycle… In Chad, it is now the realization of the project. But it’s rewarding. Gratifying for…them. I meet some of them, who have even become fathers. It was an experience that left its mark on them. It even changed their vision of them. Because, when they arrived in Chad, they were considered. They were considered. In the families where they lived, they had an existence. A little story that will make you laugh: because they had arrived at night and in the morning we went to the market to make purchases. And since it was a group of whites, all the traders, everyone was chasing them. And a police brigade arrived. And one, it’s once we’re indoors, who said, “But when I saw the cops, I said where am I going to hide? “Because for him, the police came for him. And when we got home, he said, “Damn it! We didn’t get chased. They came to take us.” Police officers came to protect us. It’s a surprise for them and to say: We, who usually it is the police who chase us. We are so important” They had interviews on TV… It’s something that has done them well, well, well… Finally… Since it’s my baby, I can only talk about it positively. It was good. Because they led the project. We arrived in February. They left Chad in May. It was hot. One I didn’t want to bring because during the moments of cohesion of the group, I found it too fragile. This individual surprised me. When he arrived in Chad, he bought flip-flops. The only thing that happened to him was that he cut his finger when he wanted to cut himself a slice of mango. It was the only thing that happened to him. The one that his mother, he lives with his sisters here in Conflans Sainte Honorine, his mother tells me: But my son, he will die. Why, does he want to go? He’s going to kill himself. We have to serve him in bed. We give him everything. He can’t….. His mother came to me and said, “But, sir, it’s better if he goes to jail because he can’t. He can’t,… he can’t” <font face=”Arial Black” color=”#ff0000″>You know, he was how old? 27 years old.</font> And this is the guy who, when he arrived, he exploded: bermuda-teeshort. He is the first to be at the site, the last to leave. He almost caused me problems, because of what he said <i> that there is no question of him returning to France</i> Yes but the contract, you have to…. He said to me: Here I am respected. I told him: Go home and do the right thing. You’re an orphan, you have two sisters and a mother, and you’re playing baby. Here, people respect you because, well, they see in you what you refused to show One, the same, a young man, we were at the table at noon. He comes in, a taxi, he goes out with a child. From where he is, the child is sick. I don’t know: he had a malaria crisis, to come and say to me: “Bomarr, we have to treat him.” I’m not a doctor! You should have taken him straight to the hospital! You bring him to me. But we brought back some drugs. I always use doctors and nurses I don’t know I can’t take a medicine and give a child You see! How white you are. You ride with someone else. Go straight to the hospital. I’m giving you money. Ah! Yes, yes, yes. They went to the Central Hospital, that’s… With the child in his arms: The nurses. The whole medical profession They took very good care of the child And that’s something else for them. But I’m telling you, they’re offenders with files like this. Which made me think that Another anecdote. We were in a school. It was at the Lycée Félix Eboué We were welcomed. The young people were asking questions. And one said: “It seems that in France, there are students who burn down schools? Is that true, sir? I pointed out one Because I know he led a commando to burn down his neighborhood I said, “He’s going to answer that question He was wrong. He was in trouble. Bad. Because: : In the testimonies they gave they say: Ns when we arrived the classes were doubled, (they took the time to count) the teacher had a total of 117 students but she has time

[i] In N’Djamena?

[r] Yes in N’djamena, the Atrone school had 117 students but it has time to receive parents and discuss, here with 25-30 teachers say that they are overloaded, that they do not have time to receive And they are struck by the attendance of students. How the students with the slate or notebook on their knees listened. They say to themselves: but it’s not? They came in, they saw the crowd there and when the teacher speaks the students work. Some of them, many are of immigrant origin, I told them “see, how lucky you are”. The chance you have to be something else And among these young people you will find some who… I told them: I studied like them too. I wasn’t a minister’s son. My is a gardener and when they come there you’ll think they’re children of ministers

[i] The project still exists? Or…

[r] Unfortunately NO. Because of what local management has been catastrophic. We came across things where, the things where people confused They thought it was like the projects of organizations so I relied on a local association that was convinced that it was the money like the organizations have it and that they make malicious writings available so they came and it got out of hand by what in those writings there was about embezzlement. Everyone wrote to the young people they hosted. That they have to look for “The truth” because money is misused, which has created difficulties for me as a funder. Because of what was needed, at the time it was the time of the F’F. All funding had to be justified. It took time I was living on my account so, as I no longer have a project until the investigations were completed, I wrote my resume and then I did the… I have taken up a position as an integration officer. I was training the integration coordinators but I left to work as a coordinator, myself, in a Local Mission until I retired. Until my accident. There you go.

[i] Can you tell me what are the major events, the key moments of your life in France, in Paris?

[r] Keys in what sense?

[i] Majors, who have marked you the most.

[r] Positively? Negatively?

[i] Yes.

[r] Positively, my first dream is that…, in my time we had believed, we from French-speaking countries, that if the Left came to power, domestic politics in Africa would change. I was one of those who campaigned during the 1981 election for young people to register. Fortunately for Mitterrand, unfortunately for Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, he (Giscard) lowered the age of majority to 18. So we laid siege to all those we knew who were 18 years old to register on the voters list and it was that population that allowed François Mitterrand to be elected. I was one of those who danced at La Bastiile “We won, we won” It’s stupid because I danced all night on Sunday night but on Monday I had to work at the time so I could go to work. Completely voiceless. Because we believed it. Cooperation was entrusted to Anicet LE PORS (it was Jean-Pierre COT. In disagreement with the African politics of France, he resigned in 1982) We believed in the change of the French politics This is one of the events that marked me Yes. When I was also able to get my son to come in 1986 I was still in Paris. That’s pretty important. Then the most painful moment is the moment of my divorce. So painful that it’s good! I was what? 41 years old I started high blood pressure I’ve been hypertensive since then That’s something I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy. As not everything out of court was possible, so it is painful. Then it’s…. It was the birth of my daughter you saw there. She was born in 1992 so I was almost –45 years old. It was a high point. I open a parenthesis by this wife I brought, we lived 15 years. It turned out that Nature did not give her the chance so mechanically she could not have children. Even if she has all the external assets of a woman, Nature forgot to give her one of the little pieces that made things right. No. What I call it… What do we call this screw here? Platinum-plated screw. Very important. It’s very small but it’s very important in the engine. Nature didn’t give him a platinum screw. But it’s one thing that, the magnet and knowing it’s not his fault, I didn’t make it a problem. The solution is that: well the solution is that, well, she has children on her side, I too in my family we have…. I have cousins and nephews who have children. We recognize them. And being a parent is not necessarily being a parent. So we brought in four other kids in addition to my son. That way we can make a family. And then good… May good…! Everyone makes their choice to be and that may be what also allowed me to have what I call “My last carouches” Wouaï!

[i] Did you get married again after that?

[r] Uh!!!!! Since Chad, I’m not in favour of marriage. Because I don’t understand the usefulness of this approach, I have made the situation official at the Town Hall…

[i] Her who?

[r] My ex-boyfriend The situation, I made it official when I left here so that, well, we could be legally so. Administratively. But no, marriage in front of the mayor was never my thing. So here I didn’t get married. Yes, yes, yes. I’ll make you laugh, but… I got married in the 17th arrondissement of Marseille or the 21st arrondissement of Paris. It was the Mayor of the 21st who married us.

[i] Did you have children after that?

[r] Ban! She’s here, Nadira. Good! She’s working. But you know all about it, don’t you?

[i] Absolutely

[r] We’ve been together for 28 years.

[i] How many children have you had?

[r] Two children.

[i] Which ones?

[r] My daughter (Nguépelbbé) whom you saw. The boy Bytroos-Brahim Laya. Between the two at the time of my divorce and when I meet them, I also have a stray bullet somewhere in Mantises.

[i] Pretty Mantises?

[r] Yes, yes, yes. She was born on October 1st 90 So here in France, I have 4 children

[i] They all know each other?

[r] The first No. Given his mother’s behavior, I don’t wish to.

[i] So the one in’90?

[r] Yes

[i] Her mother, she’s French?

[r] Yes. She is French but of Polish origin.

[i] And the last two?

[r] French too. Yes, she’s French. I call them “Delaved Negroes”. So that means what it means.

[i] Is that an insult?

[r] It’s not an insult. It’s a way of telling them that you belong to 2 civilizations so you accept it. Accept yourself as you are. Point My children, the word “Métis” does not shock them. I, their Father, call them Métis. You’re in between, you don’t have to choose. Say “I’m going to be whiter than white or blacker than nigger”. You are at the same time on my side as on your Mother’s side. So, if you accept both, you manage them. Period.

[i] What about cultural cross-fertilization?

[r] Absolutely, the proof: we speak French. I that I am, Mbaye by birth, Mbaye by culture But I am French since I live in France. Soon, I will be 10 years older: I know the Paris region better than the Ndjamena region, not the whole city of Ndjamena: I get lost in it.

[i] Ndjamena in Chad – Paris in France?

[r] Yes. I know Paris better, I walk around Paris better, which is my hometown. I express myself, although often for very deep things I reflect first in my culture even if I express it in French

[i] Mbaye culture? And what is “Mbaye Culture”? And Mbaye is what?

[r] MBAYE is a lingustic group located in the far south of Chad and the north of the Central African Republic. The Central African North, for those who know it. After the Mandul region and Bahe-Sara we are on both sides a part in Central Africa. Part is Central African and the other part is Chadian But I am a native of Fot-Lamy so I came from immigration I did not grow up in the Mbaye country but I worked there: My chance is that my first job, chance does things well I was assigned to Moïssala. I started my teaching career in my parents’ home region. Ha! Yes. Better yet, I spent 2 years in Dilingala, my Father’s adopted village. So I’m a happy man. All right. Mbaye is only written in my time, it is a written language but only for confessional reasons. It was taught in catechism, it was taught in Sunday school. But no one has opened a school in Mbaye. Even private. Unfortunately. Me, for a long time when I go back to the country and try to speak Mbaye, my parents, the youngest ones say to me: No!!! Speak to us in French we want to improve our French, don’t speak to us in that language. Mbaye is an outdated language. That’s, excuse me: I may shock you, that’s what I call THE NEGER’S COMPLEX But it’s a language I love because I’ve worked, I’ve listened to the eminent psychologists in social spychology: I say but that, my old aunt, these, these, the consils she has always given me, it’s not written, on the behavioural level I had a young man, who came out, who is not a teacher, who doesn’t know the social world and who came out of his first internship as an Integration Officer. He was panicking. As he’s African, I told him to come to my office. I said, “You know, the young people you’re going to meet, do you remember that you grew up in this country? He said to me: Yes, I said to him: Remember what your father and all the elders told you, these young people, you just change places. When you receive them, you take your father’s place and speak to them as your father speaks to you the others, they are tools, they are texts that you will learn, that you will adapt to their location. But when you want to talk to them about their behavior in society. You adapt your father’s language to the local environment. That’s all. That’s all. And he came back very happy. So, the Mbaye, yes, has a lot to do with me, I say the Mbaye (culture) I’m not saying that it’s a predominant ethnic group but I believe that each ethnic group each African group has this value {[I] And to come back to the cultural mix that it represents for you? In a rather succinct way: we were on this path and then…… Cultural blending is… When you say “you have to accept that you make a mixture” If you have accepted the mixture: it is consumed Me, I don’t know me, when you make yourself a kir But if you want to drink your white wine you drink if you make the kir it is the kir And cultural mixing is to be yourself, while accepting that you have, in this Other you know, and that this Other, I accept that it is him. I am the one. But we must reach a consensus that I call cultural cross-fertilization to move towards a common objective. I told you, my suffering from the beginning, I was working, in the face of certain situations in Mbaye or Chad. That is not possible. I am really Chadian but I am in an environment with its codes, and I have to accept these codes. And that I have to adapt to it Cultural mixing for me in the public environment: once I get out of my house I’m in France. I am in France and it is the law of the French Republic that applies. I am a legalist If I want to challenge this law I will challenge it legally but I can’t afford to say: It’s not like that in my country. That’s how I see my form of cultural cross-fertilization when I enter my home. When I enter my house I close this door Sometimes I tell my children: France is out there out there. Here, there’s a certain behavior to have: Your mother is Your Mother, you may not agree with her, but there is no way you can yell at her. You can challenge it. You can challenge me. But there is no question of a balance of power. Because we don’t have to bring the law into our human relationship. You are our children, we have a duty to you And it is reciprocal, you too have a duty to respect. The right to claim if you are not given things. The right to contest but anything that is rude that is called outside incivility NO. When they were a little younger, I don’t know if it was the girl or the boy who said: Yes, but why do I clear the table and do the cleaning that I’m paid? They don’t pay you because the time they took to buy, to cook, is what you paid us. When you go to a restaurant you pay for that’s why people clear the tables. But you, when you sit down to eat is what you pay for what you eat. How can we pay you when you have to unload the table? I’m ready to pay you, if before you eat you pay me Finally, when you accept to be in a country, you have to do this work. That is, accept to be “Half-Half” I don’t know if I answered your question?

[i] Absolutely. That’s right. That’s right. In general, how do you see social and health issues in France?

[r] For me, the… When we arrived, we were young, so in the social struggle, in the union struggle, so we were in the dream of Equality. Unfortunately, disappointment is after that…the union forces… The union is a strength that I appreciate its presence but sometimes I don’t understand some of its decisions. I explain myself: The first company, where I worked, had the book union, which was very well established there. There was a problem with the salary increase. The manager said: Well, I have a cash flow problem. I accept your demands: The increases, yes, but you’ll only get it on your pay slips in three months. For the moment… I could read, he gave us his report so 3 days later…. The book trade union has decided to strike and block the factory. I found myself with another one doing every shift, because we worked at 3×8 to dissuade the workers from going on strike: Because it is a family business. Because it’s a danger to their job. We told them: We don’t care, we’re students. We’re here temporarily, but at least to leave. But what about you? I thought that this was because at the time people did not have the means of information and we could negotiate. In other words: The Union has its raison d’être but to arrive at the conflict. So far I don’t understand. I don’t understand why it is necessary to arrive at the conflict with consequences, losses, to move forward. I don’t understand that between the bosses’ union and the union…. I don’t understand. I don’t understand why they would be able to do that. And then we can be on strike. Show that you’re not dissatisfied, but do your job. I take the case of public service: Let it not be happy. Yes. Me, when the SNCF goes on strike. I don’t understand? They can be and say, we are on strike. We’re working. But users pay nothing. We say: We do our job. Our job is to move you, to bring you back. But we offer you. Today is our strike day: No control, Yes. I think the union (with everything to gain by trying it) By also talking about social struggle. Social life…. I’ve always worked. If it came from me I am saying: Here in France, you have to know “Paraitre malheureux” to convince people When you arrive, you have a certain presence and you pose your problems. It’s not working. But you have to know how to spread… do the comedy of the person who suffers. Unfortunately, it’s a mentality. I can’t help it. I don’t know if that answers your question?

[i] Yes. Yes. And from a health point of view, is the benefit? Have you been confronted with these types of situations or not?

[r] Well, yes. And that’s… Compared to what I saw.

[i] I said “You” but not as…

[r] No, no, no! You, my family, my family? Yes. Yes, the proof is that I walk cahin-caha thanks to the quality of the care, the quality of the chage holds. I had to leave my daughter, she was still… she wasn’t even 2 years old. She was 1 year old and a few years old. Sick, hospitalized at Robert Débré Hospital (Paris) and return to sleep in Cergy. Something that would never have occurred to me in my country, Chad. I have good medical coverage. The medical profession does its job. Even if it’s in even if it’s in rather difficult situations. Because my spouse is a nurse, so I know what she’s facing, but the work is done. The nurse doesn’t leave or the doctor doesn’t tell me to pay a little more to take care of myself. Doctors respect their Hyporate oath A very personal example: Today if I were in Chad, I would be in a wheelchair or maybe dead. Because I had a fall. The lumbar vertebrae from L3 to L5 affected It didn’t appear so 45 days later an inflammation set in. I was sitting at that table. I couldn’t get up. I saw my doctor who did all the tests on me. Nothing appeared on the x-ray or scintigraphy. He sent me to see his colleague: In an emergency. A rheumatologist who sees me in an emergency the next day, Saturday. Who after consultation tells me: Mr. within 48 hours if you don’t have surgery. You will be quadriplegic. I’ll send you to the hospital. I left the children who were minors. Their mother was working. I went for a consultation. And this Mr brought in the pompies because I told him no, but a taxi can drop me off: because if it’s a taxi, I was going to go home. He…, and this is the first time I’ve seen him, he called the fire department. Because with the fire brigade it’s like the army So he called the chief and explained the situation to him At first, I said I can walk He said to me: No. No. They brought the stretcher, I was brought in. From there, he ordered tests. He finished his consultation and went to meet me at the Pontoise hospital. As it was in neurosurgery and on weekends there are only on-call hospitals. This is the hospital in Clichy (93). And from there ambulance. He left his private practice and joined me at the hospital where he sent me. I don’t know what I can blame for medical follow-up? I was just a customer?

[i] A patient.

[r] Not a patient but a client. When I came to see him in his private practice, the word patient but I am a client. I pay or social security pays him. He doesn’t have to follow me. I paid the specialists’ rate. Period. No ? He followed me. From there he contacted the on-call hospital, which is the Clichy hospital. Lucky for him, he comes across a college buddy with whom they have lost track of each other. He came to tell me Ah ! Maus he is a student, he came back smiling because of what memories… as a student. And this boyfriend was waiting for me in the emergency room. When I arrived. I had arrived around 5pm-6pm, because it still took me a while. This Mr. asks me if I ate. No, I said to him. And I had an operation. From 9am, I was brought to the O.R. around 10pm I found myself in the recovery room with my eyes open, it was 3am and a few. For 3 hours and 17 minutes of operation Ah! No. If I walk today, even leaning on a cane I’m a HAPPY man: That’s why I say I’m THE BEAUTIFUL BODY When I walk, it’s always “Coupé Décalé” A step by Beau Gosse I tell you about my life

[i] Another question is to see how you perceive about… What perception of Paris can you have now or of France, in a way… After all that we’ve said, do you have a particular perception of the city? From France?

[r] France as a country and its inhabitants. or France as a political centre?

[i] Countries and their inhabitants.

[r] I would have spoken like any old “Of my time” “Before that” “France when we arrived, it was a welcoming land Even if there are fachos. and racists like everywhere. There was still the French Communist Party, which was solid. We aspired to equality. I have no particular problem with those I call the Natives. The native French rarely I have problems with them, since early 40 years. Not even neighborhood issues. On the other hand “the paper French” Yes Even in the administration: these are the ones who piss me off. That’s “Les français de papier”. Them! It’s… When I enter an administration, when I see them, when I have to be old… I format myself to do everything and accept anything that might hurt me. No particular difficulties but on the other hand I have this country, or not the city or the region in which I lived is transformed I was going to say even it is a 1st shock mutation, it is when I have at the North station men in 1st shock weapon also it was, I think it is in the 86, the 1st attack in a public place: The Tati market not far from the Montparnasse Tower, there was a marketTati TATI had a store where bombs were dropped. There! There! And it goes up crescendo. And I understand that, good me as an immigrant, the natives look at me with suspicion. I remember that before, we used to invite each other to wedding parties and it didn’t bother anyone. Because we were creating an atmosphere, because we were dancing. When we were bored and knew that there was a wedding in the area, we went, young, we prepared, we were not invited but we put on an atmosphere. We were dancing. We could with our records or cassettes, the dj played it. Everything started: instead of doing the duck dance,. We used to put on animation. Today, I don’t know if we can afford that. Because fear. Fear, good. There you go. And it means mixing decision-makers and those who are also affected by their decisions. It is the absurdity of the behaviour of people with a migrant background who engage in extreme actions Because where they commit extreme actions, decision-makers never take them… We came out in’86 with a lot of screaming about it, we thought. Well… But also, you have to see that, that’s my point of view, it only concerns me If decision-makers could simply realize that “Respecting the rules, the terms of the laws only makes sense if you have someone in front of you who also knows how to respect the de jure rule. When people tell me “We can’t do that, it’s illegal”. Hey! Yes. But the guy who did this, he got into the illegal business and from time to time, we have to let him know that we can also get out of the legal business. I was in favour of Jospin’s decision (President HOLLAND). What do you call it: THE STATE OF EMERGENCY Or what was it?

[i] The state of emergency. Yes.

[r] I, who have worked in difficult neighbourhoods I had even wished that in some neighbourhoods… In the meetings I said: But why are you actually sending police officers to these areas? You know, nests, where the dealers are. Why you don’t send…… Bring them The Legion. Who closes this neighborhood at night. And you simply search. You show people that the state is there. Period. POINT. And this. We were in the 90’s because of what we let happen. <b>AND I AM NOT FROM THE EXTREME RIGHT. </b> I say that at some point: We have to apply what we Mbaye say: When someone is strong if he slaps you. Kick his balls. You’ll see. It’s low, but it hurts that much. If he punches you hard in your fall, punch him in the face. You will see “Nda kôti yé i bba guir kamman al kitô ddi? “It’s still within your reach. We tell you: You have to accept that in certain situations. Tap below the belt. Being a little lower I was one of those who said: “In difficult neighbourhoods, young people who break all the public furniture. When they are identified as “TAP THE PARENTS TO THE PORTFOLIO” He cannot be put in prison Since this bulb can be bought, Sir, they will be taken away from you on family allowances to replace them. When someone breaks something in my house, I replace it. When the children are always breaking up, I have to dip into another budget. For. If we do that. If we had that back in the’90s. But no, no, no. That’s what I don’t understand. I don’t understand those who say: We can’t do this because it’s not part of our culture. This is where cultural cross-fertilization must come into play. From time to time, enter the other’s culture to say to him: “In your culture, that’s how it works”. So, speaking to him in his language And that’s, in the social environment, I regret. I regret what it is…. Don’t victimize everyone. Don’t feel guilty. I have the chance. When I was in employment I said: I am not French, I am a residence permit I told the French of immigrant origin truths, in behaviours, in things not to do. When you go out in our city, there are garbage cans on every street corner. You can’t do it, 100 steps is too much, without finding a garbage can. Despite this, there is garbage on the ground. We find that the town hall is not doing its job. When the city hall pays people and increases their taxes: we complain

[i] Why didn’t you apply for naturalization?

[r] Is it out of pride? Because it doesn’t pose any professional problems. And also, I think the departure was a way, perhaps unconsciously, but I feel like asking her to betray my father’s struggle. Because my father was a PPT/RADA activist. I saw how, as a child, he would bring me with him to the meetings where the colonial governor would send the guards against us. He fought for independence because they believed in independence and to be able to manage the country. Unfortunately, he did not read De Gaulle’s memoirs as I did and then my analysis of France’s involvement in the suffering of the events of 1979. I’ve had readings. I had sources. That made me think it’s… I’ll feel like I’m one of those people who did this. And then professionally, it didn’t pose any problem for me. I’ve always worked if I wanted to be a Steward. Yes: I could have done this for low material reasons. Because being a steward is still putting aside, at least, 2/3 of your salary, not to say 3/4. Since there are quite a few material advantages. But when all these opportunities passed under my nose; and my divorce followed as well. So I didn’t have time to file. And then there it is. On the other hand, my children, even the one I brought back from Chad, I encouraged them to be French because for them, they only know France. I raised my children: “YOU ARE FRENCH FIRST. “I am Chadian. You’re French. If you go to Chad, you are French of Chadian origin. But you are French. First of all. Here again, I will use the Mbaye culture. The Mbaye culture says: “Your land. Your country. This is the land where you are buried your double Negative, that is to say your placenta. In the mbaye culture, the placenta is not discarded. He is buried: by what he is considered as. You have to bury this double negative to get it out. For the child to be viable and re-appropriate. I tell them, in my culture it is that land. Your placenta is here. Your first blood has fallen: THIS EARTH IS YOUR EARTH. Just like me, I was raised to say to myself, “N’DJAMÉNA IT’S YOUR EARTH. “Moses if you leave and want to discuss Moses, respect all those (from elsewhere) who were born in Moses. You are the land of your ancestors. You will only claim the land of your ancestors. This is not your land. You can’t say it’s “MY EARTH. “This is Dad’s culture. “Bé lo kâmg” But all those from other horizons who were born there. They will say “This is my land” You were born in Mosesala? This is your land. You can pick it up and say: I was born on this land. This is my land. I can’t do that. I will say “Yes, it is also mine because my grandparents were born there”. That is to say, I am undercovered by…. And this is…. In my studies in interculturality. The Nego-African world shares all this. And that’s what I don’t understand from all my parents (the Black Africans) or the children from immigrant backgrounds who dared say: “Fuck France” You can’t fuck with your land. You can’t fuck with your country. It was just enough for us parents to come back to our sources and teach them this: This is their Earth. All these children from immigrant backgrounds, the black African culture… (they lack). It’s not the land of their ancestors: that’s for sure. But this is their land. And they have the right and duty to protect it: because it is Their Earth. That’s where I say, “I don’t understand things.”

[i] What are your intentions for the future? I don’t know if you plan to spend the rest of your time in France or if you ever plan to go to Chad to spend the rest of your life? R} My intention is the intention of all Immigrants We pack our bags at night to leave again but in the morning we open them to take up the work blue. So, going back to Chad, I have been there several times. And that’s even my intention. Despite my condition I can go back and forth. One thing is certain. The ancestors would trap me if they don’t give me to end my life in Chadian soil. That’s one of the things that’s particularly close to my heart. As I said: This earth is not My Earth. I don’t want my remains to dirty this land. That’s Me. I know that it is selfish towards my children to deprive them of a place of recollection. But I dare to hope that I can get them to accept that, and I admit it to you too. For me, it means saying to myself: Perhaps it would also be an excuse for them not to forget the country. Even if they go there once a year to flower Dad’s grave. It would be a pretext to return. But to return home is YES. I was prepared for that. Maybe not well prepared. Yes, yes, yes: I dare to hope that Dad will help me.

[i] Do you still have any family there?

[r] YES. Like I told you, I have family. Uh… since you’re not going to broadcast it here: At the time I was for the construction of the school there. I have a stray bullet: I have a daughter who’s going to be 18. Over there. It doesn’t matter, it’s dropped, I gave it the name NGODJO, it’s my mother’s mother’s name. It’s part of senile delinquency.

[i] Thank you, thank you very much, we went through almost all the questions, I don’t know if there’s anything more to add to everything we said. A final word? My final word is that: The people of my generation, we have failed. For the simple reason that we do not have the courage to tell young people some truths. This truth is the truth of the so-called liberation wars that have long been and continue to be waged in Africa. Because it’s more like a massacre of Negroes by Negroes, which doesn’t solve any problems. If we have an ounce of intelligence since we understand that the type or clan that occupies power is only there by delegation. And that taking up arms to kill each other does not solve the Problem. And then I say to the young people: you are smarter than me. You have access to knowledge. Invent other relationships, other futures than clinging to things that don’t make sense. I may shock some people. I respect my Father in his choice. I respect the books of knowledge. But let these books of knowledge not be the pretext for the Negroes to tear each other apart in the name of this or that book

[i] What is the book of knowledge?

[r] The book of knowledge and understanding is the Bible. The Koran. The Thorah. Whether a Negro is a Muslim or a Negro is a Christian IS THIS A REASON TO ENTERTAIN? If we’ve really read them: (and understood) I don’t think there’s any reason to want to kill each other.

[i] Thank you, once again thank you.