Workshop A3 : Open Source, Open Borders : Nnenna Nwakanma

Nnenna Nwakanma : The Story of a Would-be Illegal Immigrant

not just a migration issue, but a market issue

Nnenna tells the story of Mamadou, a 30 year old man who moved to Abidjan(Ivory Coast capital),from his native village in burkina fassou.

documented by Andreea

Mamadou is married and has 2 kids.

He started off in Abidjan by working manual labour, but then found out through the network of immigrants from Bourkina Fassou that a local watchman was going on vacation and needed replacement so he took the job. He worked nighs, didn’t need any qualifications and was very happy to have a steady salary and have access to food. When the watchman came back Mamadou was able to get another steady position doing the same work and he was very happy.

Eventually he started wanting more than he was achieving with his watchman salary so he took a 2nd job cleaning and sent his wife and children back to his home village where the situation was more stable than in Ivory Coast. He also started saving up for his own business selling cigarettes, so he began working 3 jobs. He started worrying more about his clothes, and appearance, starting thinking more of quality rather than quantity.

He became tired of Abidjan, the monotony, and started dreaming of a new job, going West. He planns to quit his job and leave, he wants to be his own boss, in either Europe or America.

“i’m going to make it”
He thinks that things will fall into place, that he’ll be his own boss “the new american dream.” “If others can why not him?”

But everything he knows about us/europe he knwos from media (mostly tv: cnn, tv5) and people from europe say nice things about their countries when in africa.

He is 30 and doesn’t know how to read and write, but says he will learn it once he arrives in Europe or America, and he’s planning to leave 2005.

documented by Andreea