Thembiso

Botswana

This is
Thembiso Nhlekisana (1994)

Country of origin
Botswana

In the Netherlands since
2012

Lives in
Amsterdam East

Profession
Student sociology

Loves 
Dancing

First impression of Amsterdam
Cold

Botswana in Amsterdam
‘Like three or four times I walked through different places and smell Botswana. It was cooking adors of tomatosauce. Also the BBQ places in Westerpark reminds me of it.

Would like to
Go to the Amsterdam wood

Misses
'All kind of juices you can buy in Botswana. I'm a big applejuice-fan, so everywhere I go I try the different juices.'

“I grew up in Botswana, then lived in India for two years, before moving to Amsterdam six years ago. A friend had told me about the bikes and of course about the weed and the Wallen. I decided to study my bachelor’s degree here. I got it, but remained here for a year to work. At the end of 2016 I planned to continue travelling. It’s been tough, arranging to move on. Amsterdam has a hold over you. But now I’ve made the decision to move on, I’m slowly saying my goodbyes.

I see myself as a traveller and would love to live in a variety of places. It’s not possible to compare Amsterdam with Botswana. They represent two completely different ways of lifestyle and existence.

In Botswana I had an easy life, living together with my family. In Amsterdam I live alone. These past six months I have had to grow up and become independent. Amsterdam has changed me. I will return to Botswana a very different person, but I like the idea that I don’t fit in there anymore.


I do voluntary work for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community in Amsterdam and I think it very important that Botswana changes how it thinks about homosexuality. It’s become a discussion point there these past two years, but is still forbidden. I want to change this. I want to try to make the world a better place.

I can talk over such things with my family; they accept that I am doing this in order to make changes in Botswana. They are worried that something will happen to me by working for this particular group of people, but I have always been open-minded. Amsterdam has brought me into contact with a wide range of people, which only strengthens my resolve to fight for equal rights.

I’ve become independent in Amsterdam and have developed a feeling of self-confidence. It’s important that people here don’t forget to work on the city’s urbanisation, and not slowing down when they think about everything that has been accomplished here as regards freedom. There is so much more to do.”

7 people in Amsterdam have the Batswana nationality

180Nationalities.TextByStorySupply

Discover other stories