There is an old Afrikaan proverb which says, no matter what a leopard does, he could never rid himself of his spots.
This is the story of a German lad. He resided in England for the first four years of his life, then his family had to move back to Germany. He made no friends in his new school, he’d sit by himself during lunchtime. His name is Patrick.
The was only one other kid who ate lunch. She was a tall, black girl. He’d stare at her till she catches his eyes on her. She had a unique beauty, one he’d never seen before. Her name is Ada.
He worked every day at his father’s grape yard, after school hours. One day, he invited her to tag along. She nodded. Silently, they picked grapes, then a song flustering out the radio which made him forget where he was or what he was doing. He grooved to the tune. She noticed his exuberance.
“you know who’s playing?”
“No”, Patrick replied, shaking his bum.
“Marvin Gaye, Got to give it up”
It saddened him when the song was over, so she yanked his arm and they ran into a CD store, above the archives, they found everything. Motown records, Tina Turner, the Supremes, Louis Armstrong.
Patrick bought the best of Ray Charles and Otis Redding CDs. He played them twice through that day.
Their friendship blossomed, and so did Patrick’s inquisition of the African culture.
He could watch, A soldier’s story, 1984, a million times, he had the albums of the Jazziest, funkiest and soulful artists. Of his records, Ada’s favorites were Gladys Knight & the pips and Al Green.
Patrick would have endless questions about her origin.
He wanted to understand why several Nubian princesses he came across preferred weaves. He would tell them all how beautiful they are, whether they have a short afro or curly locks, whether they are Ugandan or Ghanian.
He went on to major in History.
Patrick soon learned about the part of history that has been subdued. The scramble for Africa. The atrocities surrounding King Leopold IIs reign in the Congo-free state, the mutilation of child laborers.
He discovered that the Congo terror was not released to the public media. It moved him to tears.
Ada noticed him sulking.
“You found out, she said knowingly, The looting of crude oil and Benin bronze is in the past”.
“But the present isn’t any different, why is it easier for you to migrate to the UK, yet it easier for me to be denied entry because of the countries we each represent? Ideally, the aftermath of neo-imperialism should yield excellent foreign policies between EU and African leaders, encouraging Africa’s growth.
“Ideally, it should” he agreed in an undertone
Ada wanted to say more about the discrimination concerning citizens of third world countries. Instead, she gave him, Chris Hedges, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.
Patrick would find out how rich capitalist in the USA profit off minors by investing in private prisons. How charges for drug and gun possession are exaggerated by law enforcement. He watched the documentary, The house I live in, and he understood the systemic prejudice. He wishes he could do more.
He is an activist for human rights.
She is an author and an advocate for African youths. The ambassador for Nigeria in Austria.