No.76, 2010/2011 Young Scientists Of Somalia by Nesta Primeau
My friends from African countries tell
great stories. I enjoy their real life
tales immensely. This story was told to
me by good friend, Ali.
As an adult working in Somalia, I
was sent to Rome, Italy to take a
course. Walking through the streets of
the Eternal City, I looked around and
realized that mine was the only black
face. It was an astonishing moment of
cultural shock. How could I be the
only black person in Rome? But in
that place and at that time, I was.
Thoughts turned to my home village
in Somalia, a desert area on the horn
of Africa. A dozen of us boys, a1l 7
and 8 years old, were playing on the
outskirts of our village when a truck
My friends and I stood at the side of
the road and watched as the vehicle
pulled to a stop and the driver stepped
out. We were amazed - the driver had
white skin! My playmates and I had
no idea that people with pale-coloured
skin existed. To that point in our lives
we had never seen a white person or
even a picture of one.
The truck driver headed for a clump of
bushes to relieve himself. While he
was in the bush, my friends and I
talked incessantly about this person
with the strange appearance.
Growing up in Somalia we boys were
familiar with excrement of sheep,
goats, donkeys and camels. As the
driver emerged from the trees, we
became curious about what he had
“Is it like ours?” we
asked each other.
“Maybe it’s a
lighter colour just
like the man.”
These were natural
solemnly into the bush and found the
spot in the thicket where we had seen
the driver stop.
There it was!
“The same as ours!” we shouted. “It’s
just the same as ours!”
It was a lesson for life. I learned
instantly that we are all human beings,
just the same as each other no matter
what the colour of our skin.