I took a Sunday walk with Olaf Scholz, the number one citizen of Hamburg, the mayor of Hamburg and a former minister of Labor and Social Welfare of Germany. Yes, I had him all to myself without the usual bodyguards.
Olaf prefers to call me Burger since he got to know that Ghanaians outside are referred to as burgers. We set off after usual greetings.
I asked, do you still reside in this house? He laughed and said why not, I still buy bread from the same bakery all these years. Trust me if this guy were to be an African politician, you need to pass through several Jerusalem gates to get to his house.
It first occurred to me in the S-Bahn (Train) how overdressed I was. The well paid and powerful Olaf was in a T-shirt and me in my suit. I quickly removed my jacket and folded my sleeves.
In the main train station, I felt like a star walking and chatting freely with Olaf, waving to people who knew me, suddenly we got to the Lampadusa TENT. I asked our mayor how he feels about having this tent in the centre of Hamburg; don’t you think it is an eye sour? He said, “Ja”. “We have been trying all these years without any significant breakthrough“. I said politely Olaf stop that…
If your leadership can cater for over 40,000 refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, why can’t you solve this tiny problem?
Anytime I pass by with my kids they asked “Papa was machen deine Leute hier, das is aber peinlich” which literally means “what are your people doing in here, that is embarrassing”
This tent can easily turn into a dealing point for drug barons in the city. Olaf please we want our city clean and we don’t want others seeing Africans in a different light, please resettle the people and clear the camp!!!
We walked past the Deutsche Bahn office, in the main Hamburg train station, I pointed to Olaf, there is none of my people around why? Desmond this is a free market and the companies are allowed to employ whom they wish to, we can’t force them. Olaf what of the ministries? I asked. I can count the number of blacks working in all the ministries in Hamburg.
Can’t Hamburg enact a law saying 2% of all vacant positions be reserved for Black or Africans? Where there is a political will there is always a way! Bitte sag was? Our mayor is a very clever politician and refuses to answer questions that might put him in a tight corner.
Lack of Motivation:
Everyone is advising we go to school, but no one is ready to provide us with deserving jobs. I finished as “Informatikkaufmann” and then as Microsoft Certified System Engineer but got no jobs related to my training, whilst my biological -/native Germans who even failed their exams got jobs.
Being a native German speaker doesn’t make one more intelligent than others or more suitable for a job.
As we speak we have two of our African scholars with PhD titles from Hamburg University, without jobs, why? How can our children be encouraged to further their education, when their mentors are without jobs? It is therefore humiliating and sad when you are told in the face that you are lazy… For not finding work.
Olaf this cannot continue in modern Hamburg.
We visited JIM BLOCK for lunch, Olaf took his food and paid for his only, I had to pay for mine as well. He wasn’t treated differently and had to join the queue as I did. As an African, I was wondering why this man who earns so much should look on whilst I pay for my food.
This is a cultural challenge to most Africans in Germany, you invite them for an outing and they expect you to pay for them. Besides, because our politician has to pay for all outings and social gathering, they turn to corrupt ways to withstand the high expenditure.
Africans in Politics:
I regretted asking about Africans in politics, Olaf said “Desmond stop it…
We gave your community several opportunities during the past elections. I remember Clement Klutse, Irene Appiah, Adeyemi Ademuyiwa, Mary Oduro and Maxwell Nkrumah among others, what did you people do? Instead of mobilizing the masses behind the candidates, you were working against one another and forming exclusively smaller groups”.
I encourage you to learn from the Turks, they support one another despite their differences. Let me tell you a secret about my party we fight a lot, we disagree and disagree all the time. But most often we come together and work as a team when it matters most. I also advise the youth to enter into politics at very tender ages, if you can learn to serve people at early stages, it is much easier to serve when you are elected by the people. You understand you are not doing favours to your people but working for them and to be paid on top. Desmond! Teach your youth to learn how to do voluntary work before attempting to enter into politics.
Olaf then said to me in German, Ich hab doch Recht! Oder? I felt defeated…
Hamburg Integration Council “Integrationsbeirat”
Olaf, don’t you think the council is gradually failing to attain its main objectives in this form. All the main stakeholders, like the police, the senate and other ministries are no longer involved. It has become a group of foreigners and the voting system is not the best. Members of most associations are not aware of the people they vote for to represent their interests.
We see what we can do to improve the system, he said.
We have the past 5 years been inviting you to the African Youth Education Awards as our VVIP, you don’t come, and does it mean our community is not relevant? Desmond, how can you say such a thing? Why not? your office is just around the corner! Our children want to see you and other parents have a few questions for you to answer.
Olaf, this is our right or not?
Olaf had a call from “Frau Merkel” and we parted. I then realised it was all a dream.
Desmond John Beddy
TopAfric Media Network