One of the challenges for the year 2016 is to write my poetry slam in the languages in which I have achieved a reasonable level of understanding such as French & Wolof, my mother tongue but also Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese Mandarin.
I had the opportunity to present in New York my first poetry slam in Wolof, Bitim Reew Mitina, which means living abroad and struggling. It sums up all the phases that I passed when I decided to get out of my comfort zone.
As a daughter of Senegalese immigrants, I wanted to express the complexity of belonging to many cultures, and at the same time, to feel rejected from your place of birth.
Bitim Reew is for all of us, sons and daughters of immigrants and immigrants themselves.
Bitim Reew Mitina
Living abroad and struggling
Lou bari metinama suma xolé vie bi immigrés ;
My heart is falling apart when I’m thinking about what immigrants are dealing with ;
Sama xol dena dal ci nit gui amul kër ;
I’m thinking of those who don’t have a comfortable shelter
Sama xol dena dem ci yen gui amul famille ;
I’m thinking of those who left their family behind ;
Déféna amna nit lou bari ci situation bi, man timit amuna sama famille ;
I think that a lot of people are in this situation. I left mine too.
Man tamit immigrés la ;
I’m also an immigrant ;
Magui jdudo Faraas mais amuma kër bu fix ;
I was born in France, but it never felt like home;
Bes bi dena bugue delluwate ci Sénégal, dema nek immigrés ;
When I’m thinking of going back to Senegal, people will consider me an immigrant ;
Bes bi dema dellussé ci Faraas, mome tamit dénama considérer
comme immigrés ;
If I’m going back to France, a majority of my fellow citizens will consider me an immigrant too;
Fal la tal ? Khamuma ! Magui tallal sama loxo ci asamaan : Yallah dimbalema !
What am I suppose to do? I have no idea! I’m putting my head to the sky asking for help: God, please help me!
Sama yaye, pape, rakes ak sama xarit nekunufi, lolu mitinama ;
My mom, dad, brothers, sisters and my closest friends are not here to cheer me up; I’m suffering in silence ;
Nitni xalat, amna xalis bu bari, dena voyager bu bari ;
Many of them think that I’m making a lot of money and that I’m traveling a lot ;
Bokhamon sama vie bi fi manek, do na ñé ;
But if they knew my struggles, they would have more compassion for me ;
Amna fan talluma leek ak naan ;
Some days, I don’t even drink or eat ;
Amuna xalis ci sa ma poche ;
Some days, I do not have a single penny in my pocket ;
Dema dow gudi ak béchèk am lu tuti ak man ;
I’m chasing my dream day and night ;
Malgré sama difficultés dema sante Yallah , bail lep ci mom
Despite my difficulties, I stay strong, and I leave everything in God’s hands.
Bitim reew mitina mais magui sante Yallah.
I’m living abroad, and I’m struggling, but God is taking care of me.