I Left Without Ever Looking Back
- 3 Posts
- Age 19
I am from the Gambia, which is located in West Africa. I used to grow up in a small village in the eastern part of the country together with my extended family, which entailed a father, two mothers and several children. One of my uncles also lived close by – I spent a lot of my free time with him, listening to his stories.
I attended school and I had lots of friends. My best friend used to live right next to my home. I remember that when walking to school with him we usually dreamed about our futures. He used to tell me that if he becomes president, he will want to employ me as his bodyguard. I used to tell him that I want to become a politician.
When I was 13 years old my father died from a heart attack. Five months later I also lost my mother due to complications when she was giving birth - the baby died too.
This was one of the most painful moments in my life. After having lost my mother and father in such a short period of time I was depressed and even considered committing suicide. For a while I felt like there is no more reason to live. Eventually I decided to go and live with my uncle.
After staying with my uncle for some months I went back to my father’s house to see my half-brothers, in order to discuss our inheritance. They refused to share any of my father’s wealth with me and locked me into a room for two days without food and seriously tortured me. Eventually I was saved by my uncle.
When I lost him too, I was all alone and I was scared. I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to leave the Gambia in order to start a new life somewhere else.
At the age of 15 I left my home country, without having a clear destination in mind – I just needed to get out. I felt so emotional and sad to leave my home without knowing where to go. I chose to go by foot as I did not have enough money to pay for the bus. All I took with me was a bag with some clothes and a photo of my mum and dad.
I departed early in the morning around 4 am, walking towards the border. I was crying as I left my village behind.
I left without ever looking back. If I would have only known what will await me on my journey.