“I was born in Guinea-Bissau, a land overtaken by political unrest and war. Amsterdam has given me freedom. A lot of wonderful people live here. Sadly, I had to leave my children behind. I have two: a daughter of 16 years, and a son of 14. The mother of my daughter was killed 12 years ago in a car accident, and the mother of my son lives in Bosnia. My children live with my sister in Guinea-Bissau.
My children mean everything to me. I would love to see them, and do everything I can to bring them here; however, communication is a problem. They don’t have internet over there. The last time I saw them was 6 years ago. I miss them so much. My dream is to bring them over here. Every day when I wake up I ask God, “Please bring them here”. I want them to see that the people here are kind to each other, and that politics can be a positive thing. I want them to see what freedom looks like. The only thing I’m not so enthusiastic about regarding the Dutch is that they don’t seem to pay enough attention to the elderly. My advice is this: get to know the elderly. They deserve respect. My neighbours are in their seventies and are extremely lovely people. We talk a lot, and they also buy me presents: lighting for my home, plants for the garden. In my culture, neighbours are your extended family. You can always turn to them when you need help.
Sometimes I’m scared my daughter will be kidnapped, but I hold on to more positive thoughts. I am a singer, and my songs tell positive stories. I sing about love and freedom. My motto is: it’s nice to be nice.
I see my future as being in Amsterdam. I feel at home here. The people are a positive bunch. I have good and kind friends surrounding me. I hope to make a living out of my music, but my biggest dream is that my children join me here.”
1 person in Amsterdam has the Bissau-Guinean nationality