I left France and went in the Republic of the Congo, when I was a kid. When I came in the Congo, I felt something was different from my native country, France like the climate, the way of life and joy that I saw in people, the music and the cuisine. There were certain things that I didn’t look differently from France like in the city life and the school system. I was living in Brazzaville, which is the capital of the country because those days the transport systems were very organized and Congolese people are very proud of thinking like the French. In the Congo, people don’t just speak French we speak lots of other local languages like Lingala, Munukutuba and hundreds of others. My father was a jurist and he was also working in the chamber of commerce.
I started to go at school when I was 6 and I went in at middle school at the age of 13. Our school systems, beside of them being inspired by the French system is far more strict. But the good things about those times were that we were singing different songs and sometimes, we had fun before we started classes and we were jumping around with joy and it was so great.
I remember when we were in classes, if we didn’t do our homework; some teachers gave us up 10 lashes. If we were lucky, we got up to 4 lashes for not behaving well. Well… that’s was discipline. In my opinion, it taught us to respect authorities and take our lives seriously. In my early school days, we were singing the national anthem and we were also learning lots of things about morality and hygiene. We were going at school both in morning and in the following week; we were going at school in the afternoon, while others did the opposite. When I was in grade 5, I remember there was a girl who was always talkative and she didn’t really listen to what the teacher was saying and they called her and she was punished. When she got lashes, she started to laugh at the teachers. I was like what the heck… she was really laughing and I said in the inside that she’s tough. I would cry, if it was me.
We had everything and we always celebrated Christmas, just anywhere else in the world. Sometimes my family and I were taking a fairy to travel in the neighbouring country, the Democratic Republic of Congo because we went to see our grand parents. My current mother comes originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and she has 31 siblings. My grand dad was married with 4 wives.
We left Congo for South Africa, when my parents were nominated diplomats in 1995.
Two years later, as we were living in South Africa, there was a civil war in the Republic of the Congo because the Marxist dictator, Dennis Sassous Nguesso took power by making a coup and he ordered his criminals to search for diplomats who were working for the former elected president, Pascal Lissouba so that they would be imprisoned tortured and killed and my father was in the list. The South African government could not protect us, that why we were sent in Denmark by the United Nations. The Republic of the Congo is my country; it is also my country of origins. While growing up in the Congo, I have always viewed France and the Congo as home. Now I living in Denmark, I still think about the wonderful memories I had in both my countries.
For more information about France and Republic of the Congo, go to:
Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo
About Balthazar Rodrigue
Causes Balthazar Rodrigue Nzomono-Balenda Supports
Fight against poverty, justice, freedom of expression, secularism, nationalism, conservatism, Tea Party, fight against Islamism, protectionism.