Monday, March 26, 2012

Sine Qua Non.

Raoul Miessan
31 years old.
Born in the coastal town of Bonoua, Côte d'Ivoire.

His sister arranged his move to Cape Town and helped him to get together the money to go to the Language School in Green Point. He arrived with a tog bag full of cash, undertook a six month intensive course - and from not understanding one word, now speaks the most beautiful English - softly.

Back in Abidjan he trained and worked as an IT Specialist.
Here he has been a waiter and a barman and an extra on commercials - which fortuitously led him to us.
He tells me that in his home town, one is so marked by your religion - Muslim or Christian - that it became very limiting for him.

I asked Raoul if he has a dream.* He said: "Yes, like anyone, I do have a dream." He explained that it is a dream of such magnitude that he is almost ashamed to tell me about it. Funnily enough, he is the only one I told about my dream - and that it is also very big. The only way I can imagine it as a truth is to try to reach it by taking it to pieces and doing them one by one.
He nodded and said: "Yes! That is what I am doing..."

*I've been inspired to ask this question by Chris Arnade's wonderful photographs and stories about the people on the streets of New York City. The most heartening thing about it is that everyone I have asked so far answers YES.

I am writing about the swing gang because I admire them greatly. They are modern day explorers.

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