This is
Yve Baya (29)

Country of origin

In the Netherlands since

Lives in Amsterdam 

Filmmaker, musician and MC of the band Yve

I find that hard to tell, I don't know Congo. I feel more obligated to go there, while it is the place where I was born, than to go there while I miss it. 

Music and visual arts 

Still would like to 
Get a tour about canal houses

musician and MC of the band Yve

“I came from the Congo to Holland as a refugee in 1996. I came together with my father, brother and sisters. My father wanted us to have a better future. We first went to Germany, and my parents split up there. My father then took us to the Netherlands. Child protection quickly got involved and I ended up in various children’s homes. I ended up at a home in Amsterdam Zuid in 1998. It was a completely new environment; in the city everything is fast and it was really busy.

Both the home I was in and my school was a melting pot of cultures. This multicultural community was extremely important to me, although I didn’t realise it then. When I look back on that time now, I realise that it was thanks to this that I don’t feel like I am a stranger, or different. Even then, it took a lot of time to get used to it. I was a quiet boy. I didn’t dare join in, and didn’t feel I belonged. I felt like a stranger in everything I did. When I was travelling to the Netherlands I bottled up my emotions. Because of this, I learned to escape through being creative, rather than being more academic.

In Amsterdam I landed in an environment with lots of young people similar to myself. I went to places where nobody prejudged me. This city has stimulated me to be creative. I’m not crazy for following my dreams here. People here have balls; they aim to make their dreams come true and aren’t scared to believe in themselves or their own creative skills.

I’ve now lived in the Zuid Oost district for fifteen years, and this is the place where I became me. I love going into the centre of the city, where the pace is faster. Zuid Oost is like a village and is very laid back. In the centre of Amsterdam you can keep busy until the early hours; you don’t need to go home and you can do pretty much whatever you want. You’re not stared at when you’re enjoying yourself. That fast pace which attracted my attention when I first arrived here, is now a pace that I love. I have become an Amsterdammer.”

52 people in Amsterdam have the Congolese nationality


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