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The missing friend, a short novel on Africa's Lgbt refugees.

Dernière mise à jour : 4 juil. 2021

My country peopo!

A few weeks ago, I travelled to Benin. Over there, the sky has no colour, the beauty is the beach, fresh wind whirls, the sun never stop shining. A divine blessing. Sweltering heat. The Zémidjan are yellow birds. They fly on their motor bike picking one client there and there. They look like bees. With a matriculation on the back. A stamp.

Over there, I could feel it again, the real perfume of distilled palm wine, the Sodabi. A must, if you go in Benin! I brought some in my luggages back to Geneva and my friends here love it!

Bent palm tries. Men having a nap under the shadow. This one has a traditional conic hat on his face. These men there are playing Songô or Awalé, an African board game. Five balls per hole. The balls click on the blister hooded game. The sun feigns disappearing. Nothing higher. As waves roar. The cries of those who had left and yet, still never came back.

In Haiti rest dem souls.

Over there, people don’t know about Corona. I mean yep, yep, yep, they must have heard about Corona. Yep. But they don’t know the Corona I’m talking about, di one we are getting out of. (On croise les doigts!) Mostly in the inner country. They closed the beach, touristic area. You close the Belters, the Inners are protected. They don’t know about your Corona - soon they will know the economic consequences of our pandemic.

They struggle with what they have and solidarity – in Ouidah, where once they were used to take by force brave men to sell them as slaves, I met an old woman who sewed free masks for her people. She uses some colourful pieces of pagne.

It’s swarmed with young people. Young Black men who have to flee from their own homes. Many of them because they are Amousoungoulay (a bad prononciation of “I’m a single lady » of Beyonce). Amousoungoulay in west African countries means faggot! Hein, pédé!

“No dream can blossom here,” they often tell me when I try to encourage them.

But I live in Geneva and got a Swiss pass.

A friend of mine lived at Azzawia’s refugee camp, at the far north of Libya, exactly where all the migrants await the possibility to cross finally the waters. “The Asylum center – the UHNCR, he meant – is locked”, he told me one day on phone. He just wanted to cross waters, to overcome that last wave after he had already dealt with human trafficking. He told me about slavery, forced prostitution and rapes. Many colourful Amousoungoulays around there in the camp. The real ones and the fakes: being Amousoungoulay is one of the last-last chance to get asylum in western countries, even for those Rambo ova masculine guys who ova discriminated the really Sissy Black Amousoungoulays when they were still down there in dem country.

I last had my friend on the phone about four years ago.

I had sent him money to pay his tickets to embark aboard an inflatable boat. Openly Amousoungoulay-gay-faggot, he wanted to be set free. All of them, all kind of colours, persecution, torture, insults, the blade is sharp. Abuse. Dem just wanted to be set free.

Cut the chains. Leave Azzawia!

I could feel it at my phone vibrations. The warmth of the muezzin call.


I still have no news from him.

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