‘I want to bring the youth of Africa to realise that Europe is not worth putting one’s life in danger; for in Europe as anywhere else, life has its share of suffering, dead-ends and recurrent failures.’
Omar Ba had been dreaming of Europe for twenty years. In the eyes of millions of young Africans, it remains a ‘surreal El Dorado’ that must be reached at all costs, often by tearing oneself away from one’s family. After a three-year voyage at the risk of his life, he eventually arrived in France. Once settled, all his illusions vanished: he was not to find the affluence wrongly praised in Africa.
A student in sociology also working for an NGO, Omar Ba gives advice to the young people of his home continent: ‘If you believe that Europe is the solution to your problems, don’t come! Instead, start dreaming of Africa.’