In my previous article I wrote about my trip to Berlin and my meting with the president of the African community in Germany. Mr Moctar Kamara accorded me an interview in Bantu restaurant, where we ate nice and delicious food together. Everything about this interview is about our people, how they are living, what is going well or bad for them.
Me: Good afternoon Mr. Kamara, I am Awa Doumbia, I am the founder of Africanlifestyle.blog. We are in Sweden and we are in contact with most of African expatriates around the world. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Mr. Kamara: My name is Moctar Kamara, I am from Senegal and Mauritania, and I am living in Germany since 21 years, I passed by Paris where I studied philosophy. Here in Germany I am a Activist for my community, That this something that no one can take from me. So presently I am the President of The Central council which is a regroupment of differents association of African community, and we are in different states in Germany. We have create our structure since 6 years.
Me: Thank you for the introduction. How many African are living in Germany in your knowledge Mr. Kamara?
Mr. Kamara: That is a very difficult question, because in Germany we are not authorized to do the census of ethnic group of persons, but there is a way to know about. The Germans consider that someone is African descent when that person have one of his parents or one of his Grand parents from Africa, and according to the micro census, there are 800.000 of African descent in Germany, Me personally I estimate us to be more than one millions of persons. Just in Berlin here we are 30.000, we are a strong minority here.
Me: how do Africans from Germany make to stay in touch?
That is a very interesting question, before we had always ceremonies for African people, that was the easy way to not miss home, it was no border at all, we could go to Nigerian party, Guinean party or any other, it was the same for all of us. After that we had some cultural manifestations or some conferences to keep in touch and meet other Africans. I remember my beginning in Berlin, when I just arrived and found that we where not in contact, I opened a small African music shop where I used to meet my brothers and sisters. By the suite We(Djeli association) began to publish a Magazine , it was called “DJELY” Afro Magazine, that was to just give the African news and get information about different ceremonies in different African families. DJELY was our communication way. But today with internet and the development of technologies we are using different social network, WhatsApp and Facebook is much used by our community and we have different community groups on Facebook and E-mail list system. We also use African Festival to have contact and keep in touch.
Me: Do you have many festivals of African people here in Berlin ?
You have to know that in Germany here we have a lot of African festival and specially in the summer. Because every federal state have his Festival. In Berlin here we have a KENAKO Festival, African Festival, even just not long time ago we had Habib Koita. We also have a special party to the Unity of Africans. The most important is that every country celebrate their independence, some time we get the help of an Embassy and many times we organise with what we have. Festivals are the good way for us to meet each other, hug each other and change contact. But what I like with my the African community living in Germany is that we have a good solidarity, we dance together and we sympathize for different misfortune also.
Me: What is the disadvantages and the advantages about being the President of African expatriates living in Germany
The problem we have it is that every one want to be leader in the community, in African community some brought their personal problem from home to here. But for me I just do my job, I try to answer to every one request. I have to give a lot of my time and probably pass less time with my family. I take care of the social life in the community, I love to do this job and to get my heart satisfaction is more than everything for me. The happiness from my people is my Advantage. When I will not be here anymore I will like them to say that Mr Kamara really fought for his community. Every one of us have a mission on this earth and I am doing all my best to complete mine.
Me: How are Africans managing with the cold weather in Germany?
Man acclimate hiself, it is cold in Germany, the beginning can be hard but we just need time to get used to it. The Germans say that it is never cold when you have good cloths, so we just wear the right cloths at the right time and then it is okey.
Me: Which places are mostly frequented by Africans about food, about cosmetic and body care?
We have one big super Market Afro-Asiatic, most of the African people go there; for food, cosmetic and many other stuff. Before we had many Afro shop owned by African women, they are enterprising and fighters. Now you can still get some Afro shops, trading was the business that many Africans used to do here but now the business is getting out of their hands. Many Asiatics are doing shops and selling products that our women need for their beauty.
What is your last words to tell to all African people living around the World?
I want to tell to all Africans living out of Africa to be united to give love to each other, the more united we are more stronger we will be. They should be organised, create different associations, the solidarity is the most important things that we should have in our different association.