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Barrier Breaker of the Month of September 2020

The Barrier Breaker of the month of September Is….

Mr. Saikou Camara who is originally from The Gambia but currently residing in America.

Jois: Welcome to The Barrier Breakers Corner. I am using this platform to encourage people to step out on faith and defy the odds just like you’ve done. I am super grateful for the opportunity to talk with you.

Saikou: Oh you’re welcome and by the way congratulations on your new platform.

Jois: Thank you. I can’t believe I am talking to you. Never in my wildest dream did I ever think I’ll be having a conversation with you. We are all from Gambia Methodist Academy (GMA). Shout out to all GMA Alumni. I think you were a year or two ahead of me in school but I only remembered you because of the election period at school when you were part of the selected few to become prefects and we’ the students’ shouted “No Minti (sweets) No Votes” especially for those we wanted to become Head Boy/Head Girl. 

Saikou: That was just a terrible legacy (laughs)

Jois: Lol. I Knowwwww

Saikou: I actually remember when we were being called politicians, bribing students with sweets to vote for us

Jois: lol. That’s the only way we would vote anyway. That is what we were taught. I can’t believe we fell for just sweets.

Saikou: Yeaaaa

Jois: Well you’ve grown a lot and I read your book “ Testimony of an African Immigrant”. I cried, laughed and learnt so many things.

Saikou: Awwwwwww

Jois: Yea. You know people move to this country (America) and they think it’s all rosy but don’t know that you have to put in a lot of work and effort to become a better person. I’m sure it’s because of the hard work you’d seen from your mum and what she had been through that shifted your mindset and caused you to push forward. What made you continue pushing while in the USA? 

Saikou: We know where we came from. I tell people that we came from struggle and when you go abroad what’s your excuse? You have zero excuse to be lazy when you know you grew up broke. I mean you owe it to yourself, your entire family and your legacy, to work everyday as if it was your last day.

Jois: Right

Saikou: You know that’s the mindset that I kind of work with everyday, because I know where I came from, I know how hard my mum had to work. Leaving home everyday by five or six in the morning and won’t come back till night. That work ethic has been engraved in me. In sports it’s called muscle memory; once you are disciplined and determined to live your life a certain way it almost becomes practically impossible. The very nature of yourself won’t allow you to live otherwise.

Jois: That’s true.

Saikou: We are inspired and motivated everyday by our struggle, we know where we came from, how bad things were growing up. We are blessed and lucky to be where we are today but we never forget. Some of us may have made it but there’s a whole lot of people who are still behind, so we have to make sure we keep working and keep finding ways to uplift other people along the way as we climb.

Jois: Yea that’s true. My dad  started Glory Baptist School in The Gambia and even though he had that he was always working hard while my mum was a stay at home mum (housewife), she didn’t have a job for about 10 years. I mean taking care of us is a job but back then people did not see it as that. Eventually she started a canteen in the school, and had to wake up early in the morning, go to the seaside to buy fish, come back home to cook and we had to help her throughout. Before we’d get to school we would have worked so hard and when we got back home from school we had work still waiting to be done. 

So moving from Gambia to the UK and then to the USA, I knew I had to work hard and this is one of the things my friend Anita and I talked about a few times. Some people move out of Africa and come here and it’s like they never learnt anything, they have gone through struggles but when they get here, it’s like they have reached paradise. They do not want to work hard but want to reap where they have not sown. They just want to be the same. I do not understand how some people can behave like that. I guess it’s different upbringing or the people they surround themselves with. Even though a lot of people felt that my dad had the money, we still struggled.

Saikou: Speaking of that, I didn’t know your dad owned Glory Baptist School (laughs). I had two of my siblings that went to Glory Baptist.

Jois: Oh wow. Yes he does and I think you told me that one of your sisters schooled there.

Saikou: Not only that, my baby sister schooled there from nursery to elementary school and I personally enrolled my brother who now lives in New York from 7th to 9th Grade as well as my cousins.

Jois: Oh wow I think my dad must know your family (my dad in some way knew his students especially the troublesome ones and the ones that visited his office a lot because he is always giving out something. The old guy just loved kids and young people)

Saikou: Yea he will definitely know my little brother because he was hell in that school. I remember they used to complain to the Omosighos (a Nigerian couple that went to the Glory Baptist Church) about him and then the Omosighos would report him to my mum and she would in turn give him some lashes. He didn’t like them at all.

Jois: lol. Everyone goes through a phase in their lives and I guess that was his own phase. He must be a better person now.

Saikou: OMG he is a great human being now, very calm. He had it rough growing up. So from his 9th grade at Glory Baptist, he went to St Augustine’s and then unfortunately for him we had this Nigerian couple who also lived in the compound and taught at St Augustine’s. So he didn’t get a break. If you’re surrounded by teachers you won’t get a break. I don’t know how you survived, OMG, cause you were surrounded by teachers. Your life must have been terrible growing up,  you have a teacher as your dad.

Jois: And a Pastor too.

Saikou: And then you had to grow up in the church oh my goodness lol.

Jois: Yup. I really had it tough. My parents were so strict on me. The things that my sisters do right now I couldn’t do half of them. I could not even play around.

Saikou: Are you the first born?

Jois: Yes I am.

Saikou: Oh my goodness, my condolences to your childhood (laughs), I know it was tough.

Jois: LOL. It was tough and then I got bullied in school too. In school it was like ‘you are a pastor’s kid and you are behaving like this? And then when my dad would pay my school fees late, it’s like ‘How is that possible when he has a school’? I got it from some of the teachers and the students. It was really tough for me. I was not as outspoken as I am right now. I was so reserved in school. I was a year ahead of Baptist so I never got to go to school there.

Saikou: Then you escaped being scrutinized in school and constantly being watched by teachers 

Jois: Lol you’re right, but I always wished I had gone to Baptist because I thought it would be different and I won’t be bullied. In your book ‘Testimony of an African Immigrant’, you talked about bullying. How can young people stop bullying? I went through that and it was really stressful. How can we advocate for it to stop? It happens everywhere, even in the USA and people are killing themselves because of this. What can you say about that?

Saikou: That’s a tough topic because that’s kids being kids. We have to be careful how we approach it because kids are always going to be kids. It’s something that’s gonna happen regardless of where you go in this world. Kids find ways to be mean towards other kids. I think the most important thing is teaching kids about empathy, for them to be able to see themselves in other kids. When you go to school for example, wearing a nice shoe and neatly dressed, your parents did that for you but you have no idea what other kids are going through in their homes, you don’t know whether they ate breakfast or slept at night, you don’t know whether it was raining all night and their house was leaking etc. These are some of the things that are hard to believe because these kids don’t know any better so all they see is they are nicely dressed and you aren’t and so they wanna make fun of you. Some kids try to belong, they see other kids making fun of you and they want to be part of the cool kids club. They just  want to belong to a popular culture in school. What we need is to educate these kids, train them, teach them more about empathy and responsibility, take them out as parents for community service.

Jois: Yea that’s true.

Saikou: Let them see that the entire world does not live like them, look like them or sound like them. There are kids who are actually going through some real issues. With this approach, when they see things that do not look normal to them they won’t judge. Instead they would try and find ways on how they can approach life in a different viewpoint and maybe help uplift if they can and that is very very important. It’s just about helping kids see things from a different focal point different from their norm.

Jois: Yea I think even in the schools they can do something that would help put an end to bullying because a lot of people go through that and seeing people commit suicide over that is really sad.

Saikou: Yea and again it’s all about the training at home, helping kids to make sure that they do not see the four walls in their home as the end of the world and make sure we help those kids because at the end of the day like I said, they are also kids who make terrible mistakes. They just need to know it’s wrong so we have to teach and train them out of it. I believe they are teachable and trainable  because a lot of things that children do is what they see and learn from in society. From the way their parents talk to other people, to television programs and from the internet too. Community service is very important for kids no matter how young they are. It helps them see the world in a different perspective. They get to understand that the world is a better place when we all work together and help each other out and be nice to each other.

Jois: Yeah that’s true. Talking about Community Service,  You have a non profit called ‘Your Change for a Change’. Your friend Rohey whom I used to work with told me about it during your first event but I couldn’t go. I bought a ticket and sent one of the girls (Olabisi) that was in a group I had which was called ‘Ladies that Make a Difference’ (I no longer have that) to the event and she was really happy that she went, she said she got so much from the event. Why did you start ‘Your Change for a Change’?

Saikou: We grew up in a very tough generation, an extremely polarized one. Everything was politically charged and you could not do much. It was all about you being either for or against the government and if you were against the government you just had to be quiet. Those were tough times; our generation especially was affected. It was almost like a wasted generation for the most part because we couldn’t do anything, we couldn’t speak out even if we wanted to, we couldn’t be activists, we couldn’t be creative, all we could do was just sit there and be quiet and that was frustrating. I felt like our generation was not growing. Again politics back then was about life and death, saying the wrong thing could literally cost you your life. So I decided not to make anyone become politically involved and decided to come up with little things that we could do to make sure that we support each other, encourage each other and get each other involved.

So a non-profit was one of the things I could think of which was community service and as Mother Theresa said ‘Service is the rent we pay for our occupation, our time in this world’. We can still become part of our community, be involved and participate without necessarily being politically involved and we were successful in doing that. We started the organization with young Gambians in the diaspora and partnered with young Gambians in The Gambia. We are currently registered in five different countries and it has been a success. People were hungry for something but didn’t know what to do. Everything was black and white; It was either you were for the government or you shut up. So when they had this alternative they just grabbed it.

Jois: Yea. So I’ve thought of ways to involve myself in community service but do we have to wait for the government to do everything before we do? Can we take up some things like for example I heard in Nigeria there are some areas people live in, they do not have to wait for the government to construct their roads, the people in that area come together and either contribute and pay a company to do that for them.

Is that possible for one to do in The Gambia? Do you think it’s the right thing to do even though we are paying taxes or do we have to wait for the government to do that?

Saikou: Well if you understand the history of The Gambia you will in fact recognize that most of the things that were done at the community level were all done by Community Health Organizations, Village Development Committees. The term ‘VDC’ is very popular and common when you talk about small villages and communities in The Gambia.These organizations came together to do different things. In Mandinka (a Gambian local language) they call them ‘Tesito’ which means ‘people coming together to help each other’.

In Jawara’s government, (the first president of The Gambia) a lot of activities were done by community leaders and this is not only in the Gambia but it’s also everywhere across Africa. There were leaders who were involved in things like this and were advocating for people to come together and help each other out and do things together. There is no government in this world that can do everything, that’s just straight forward. No government in this world is big enough or has enough resources to do everything for its people.

You need a public private partnership whether it’s corporations or not and you also need everyday average citizens, patriots for that matter who don’t just want to make a difference but support their communities and contribute in their own little way.

Jois: That’s important. I also feel that you have a limit to what you can do, especially in Gambia, I don’t know about now but when Yaya Jammeh (the second president of The Gambia) was there, you had to be careful what projects you involve yourself in because it could be taken away from you and I think that fear was there. For me the fear is still there because I would want to do major things but I wouldn’t want it to be taken away from me at the end of the day after putting all my investment, but gradually we would get there and be able to do that. Now you have ‘Hustle like an Immigrant’. You’re really growing and I really like the fact that you’re consistent and pushing forward. What do you mean by “Hustle like an Immigrant”?

Saikou: Hustle like an immigrant is just an attitude and a mindset. What I tell people is that it has nothing to do with your nationality, visa status, immigration status or your race, it’s just a mindset. For example in America the Candian Financial Research Institution made this research and realized that immigrants are three times more likely to become millionaires compared to everyday natives. So the question is what do immigrants have that sets them apart? And when we say Immigrants we are not just talking of Africans alone, we’re talking globally, people from all over the world who come to The US. What sets them apart and makes them more likely to succeed? When you look at the educational system of America, Nigerians have the highest level of degree attainment rate compared to any other sub groups which likely makes Africans the highest rated Degree attainers in the US compared to Whites and Asians and any other sub group.

There is something peculiar about people when they leave their nest. I know you probably heard this growing up in Gambia that Gambian boys and girls are lazy but these are the same Gambians that travel to America, Europe and all of a sudden become hard working. What changed?

Jois: Yea that’s so true

Sakiou: After careful research, I came up with 5 things based on my opinion and observations too.

  1. Their Why – What is your Reason(s)? A lot of times when you leave home you have a very good reason why you want to leave and most times that reason is very inspiring. If I ask you right now to run through a brick wall for me you may think twice about it but if your mum, dad or sister is behind that brick wall and the building is about to go into flames or collapse, you wouldn’t think twice. You will do it because your motivation for wanting to do that is bigger than the pain you’re gonna go through.
  2. Their What – What do you want to accomplish? People who have no reasons to do what they do usually don’t achieve their goals. When you ask them what they want out of life they become quite articulate. When you ask some students in the US, especially those born here what their Major is, they respond by saying they are just doing a General Major trying to figure themselves out and I am like WHAT? They come to College or University but don’t know what they want but us International students we do not have that privilege. The fees we are paying will not allow us to think about figuring ourselves out. We already know what we are going to do.

Jois: Exactly

Saikou: You do not have time to come to school to figure yourself out, you already have a plan, and a clear goal. That immigrant taxi driver in New York, do you think he wants to figure himself out, he knows exactly what he wants.

Jois: Yea so true, he won’t be a taxi driver forever

Saikou: That model who came from Ukraine to The US to be a supermodel, do you think she is here to figure herself out? No! that woman is trying to be the next Tyra Banks. A lot of times when immigrants move they already have a clear goal, they know why they’re moving and have a clear plan of what they want to do. People who do not have a plan would be used by people with a plan.

Jois: So true. Some immigrants have a plan others just don’t.

3. The third principle is Discipline. People are usually very disciplined when they travel by themselves or find themselves in strange land or strange situations. When you were young growing up, your mum or dad had to force you to get up and go to school but when you are paying your own tuition nobody wakes you up to go to school.

Jois: hahahaha

Saikou: (laughs) When you are paying your own bills, for example your phone bill, you know that if you don’t pay, your phone line will be disconnected. Nobody will tell you to go to work. You go and find a dish washing job at a restaurant or you become a shoe salesperson at some place etc. You do it without anyone telling you to. But when you are in the comfort of your home with other people taking care of you or responsible for you, you usually just go through life easily. Once they move out of their comfort zone, they are disciplined and are careful about how they use their money. When their parents are giving them money is one thing but when they are earning their own money, they are very disciplined and careful on how they spend it. All these things make people disciplined even with their time and they naturally become disciplined in their approach towards life.

Jois: You’re Right

4. The fourth principle is Perseverance – They Persevere through hardship. When they move from home they deal with all kinds of crazy things, they move to a strange land that they don’t even know or speak their language. Sometimes they have to learn their language. I have classmates who moved to Belgium and Sweden and they are speaking fluent Swedish and Dutch. These are people who could barely speak proper English growing up and they went to an English speaking school but now they are fluent in Swedish and I’m like wow look at that. That’s the thing about people persevering through hardship and difficulties with that immigrant mindset.

5. The last principle is ‘Taking Risks’. Nothing is more riskier than leaving the comfort of your home, your motherland, to go to a strange land to start from nothing. That is very risky but immigrants do it all the time. My advice to people is that they have to, at any given point, sacrifice who they are for what they can become.

Jois: Yea. I think there comes a time in everyone’s life that they need to take risks. Step out on Faith, start at nothing to become who you want to be but some people find it hard to do that. They are always thinking about what others will say and they refuse to take the risk because what people will say about them matters more than what the future has for them. These are amazing principles.

Saikou: Yeah. What is your WHY and your WHAT, are you willing to PERSEVERE, are you DISCIPLINED enough to hold yourself accountable and when it all comes to who are, are you willing to give it up and start all over again by TAKING RISKS. This is what the ‘Hustle like an Immigrant’ is about.

Jois: I never really understood it but I get it now. I was listening to one of your interviews which was really insightful. One of the ladies talked about how people coming from other countries into the US do not understand what the black people here had to go through. You hear people always say these Akata people (black Americans) are not really hardworking and we (Immigrants) are more hardworking than them. Can you elaborate more on that?

Saikou: You must first understand what the root cause of that society is and what they have been through. We Africans and African Americans are blacks yes, but we are blacks who went through different transformations in our lives, we’ve been through different struggles and I often tell people that the black struggle is not monolithic, the black struggle is diverse, we have struggled. We were colonized for many years, so the African American cannot empathize with how the mind of the colonized person works. They also went through the biggest dehumanization humanity ever went through which is slavery, so we do not know how it feels like, what the person who has been in bondage for over two to four hundred years think like or how they reason.

In order for us to have a cohesive relationship, both groups need to have an understanding of each other. The challenging thing with Africans and African Americans is that we do not talk, we just assume. You find one African American girl you’re really cool with, she becomes your home girl and you never have deep conversations because she is afraid to ask you questions that’s gonna make her sound ignorant, you’re also afraid to ask her questions that’s gonna make you sound ignorant. You love each other but you never really talk or have these conversations with each other.  I think that’s one break down in communications with both groups. When we come here and we see some people lazy, we must understand the culture of this country, the historic aspect of things and how things are in this country. 

One thing we need to know as Africans or African Americans, and many minorities not just Black people, whether you’re a white immigrant or a Jewish person etc, this country wasn’t always welcoming. It took the civil rights movement of the African Americans to be on the forefront, fighting, marching, getting beaten down, getting water sprayed on them, having bullets being rained on them, police dogs chasing them, their lifeless bodies being hanged on trees and being exhibited for all to see. All minorities no matter where you come from, irrespective of your skin color, these are the kind of struggles they went through to get us where we are today. So it is in-genuine for us to come here and feel like our intelligence, hard work, dedication, good looks or whatever you think it may be is the reason why we succeed, NO! There was a time in this country where a person of color could not work in corporate America. It took somebody to fight for the formative action for companies to be forced to even consider interviewing you, not alone hiring you.

There was a time as a person of color, you could not fly in the same airplanes or sit in the same bus or use the same bathroom. It took somebody fighting for the civil right act for that to happen. There was a time as a person of color you could not live in the same apartment building or neighborhood as white people, it took somebody fighting for the fair housing act to allow us to enjoy these things and be able to attain universities in predominantly white institutions, have these fancy degrees etc. So when you come into this country and you attend a white institution and you have a very nice 3.8/3.9 Magna Cum Laude, honorable mention whatever the case may be, you have a great profitable salary, employed in corporate America, living in a very nice expensive neighborhood with gated community, and you are enjoying all these things, you can even dine in the finest restaurant with the best cuisines, you can sleep in the finest hotels. These are all things you take for granted and now you even have your counterparts at work telling you that  “Jois you are different from these other black girls here and we like you”. NO, that is not because of you, it is because of the ancestors of these other people who were mistreated, who have to put it all on the line for you to be where you are.

If you look at the educational system in America and the public schooling system, the public schools are funded by housing tax. If you live in a bad neighborhood where the housing market value of your house is very low and the housing tax is very low it means that your children would not have good facilities in their public school. They will not be able to have good teachers who are paid well to come and teach in these public schools. They have to go through some broken down school system but on the other hand the counterparts who live in nicer neighborhood, whose parents pay a lot of property tax, end up paying for those school systems. They have nice utilities, computer labs, research labs, nice gyms, good furnished libraries, well paid teachers etc and so it will be unfair to look at little Jojo and tell him that he is not hardworking enough and Timmy over there is more hardworking than you.

All those things are important if we want to be fair. Look at the case where you want to move out of your community and give your children a better start and a better public school etc but guess what, they have something they call redlining where people of color find it hard to get loans to buy these houses in nice neighborhood so they make it impossible for you. The housing market value in your neighborhood becomes so low that they break down your entire neighborhood. So you go through a bad public school system, you cannot get into a good university if you made it at all and then you are in your neighborhood with no jobs, no skills etc but drugs are available, and mind you, you didn’t travel to Mexico to import cocaine but cocaine found its way to your community readily available, it miraculously grew out of the ground. You have people with semi automatic guns in your community too and now people ask why you are using guns to hurt each other, why are you selling and using drugs? 

You didn’t bring the drugs nor the guns, you wanted to go to school, you had no money and your school system was broken. No one will hire you, you have children to feed, what are you going to do, your mum is dying of diabetes, you need to buy insulin and you are the first born; what are you going to do?

Jois: You just go back to the streets.

Saikou: I am in no way excusing crime, I am diagnosing crime. I am saying that this country has a historic factor and if we don’t take that into consideration you may be mistaken in your analysis with the African American community. Just a couple of days ago I had a debate with an African American guy about Kamala Harris (the democratic Vice Presidential nominee for the 2020 US election) and he said, ‘you shut up, you are an African immigrant, you know nothing about our struggle, why are you even here talking about us when in fact you look down on us and you don’t like us’ etc and I was trying to understand where he was coming from because I know his hate and his anger but this dude does not know me. He knows nothing about what I do, he doesn’t know what my participation is in the African American community but then as we talked, I came to realize that this young man once had a girlfriend who came from Africa and the parents of the girlfriend were against their relationship and the girlfriend ended up dumping him and married an African guy. So imagine this dude’s disdain towards African people, he was mad, and was putting his frustration on me not because he hates Africans, but because of his experience and circumstance that surrounded his relationship with Africans.

If you meet a Chinese person who says racist things to you and then treats you badly, when you see Asians, this person has to be special for you not to put it out on them. So a lot of times you will realize that there is this small thing between us that we don’t talk about. African parents will tell their children to stay away from the ‘Akatas’ and the ‘Akata’ parents will also tell their children these African booty scratchers think they are better than us. So both your children grow up in a world where the two are suspicious of each other, you have no problem with each other but you are suspicious of each other and being careful of each other too. Some Africans will tell you that they rob each other, they kill people etc, well crime happens within proximity. When you go to Africa, Africans are not being killed by Chinese or Indians. Who are the rebel groups? They are African people. When you hear terrorism in America, you probably hear that they are ISIS members but in Africa they are Boko Haram they are home bred terrorists. So crime happens within proximity.

When you put crabs in a barrel what are they gonna do?  They are gonna hold each other down why because crabs do not belong in a barrel, so when you diagnose crabs holding each other down your first instinct should be that crabs belong in holes and not barrels so when you put them in a barrel you can’t blame the crabs for pulling each other down because that’s what they do in a barrel but in their natural habitat they are all crawling minding their business, nobody is holding anyone down and that’s the reality in our community so when you see crime rate in black community don’t attack black people for it, question the government.

Why don’t we have good libraries for children to be in after school instead of going outside playing with crack, needles etc. Why do we have young children at the age of thirteen or fourteen hanging around store corners when they should be somewhere doing something productive learning? They don’t have nice parks and children museums to go and enjoy, so what are they going to do? They’re gonna go to the liquor store and hang out. These are the facts. We have to be more empathetic towards others and understand that as minorities, no matter where you come from, you are here in America today and your freedom here is guaranteed based on the labor, blood, sweat and tears of the African American Community and we all owe them our gratitude.

Jois: That’s true. We need to come to that point where we understand each other’s stories and where we are coming from so that we are not hating on each other even when we meet on the streets. You are right. What lessons have you learnt and what advice or encouragement can you give to someone who feels like life is hard and they can’t move on?

Saikou: Life is full of disappointments, that’s one thing I can promise you, you will be disappointed. My first advice to people is learn how to deal with disappointments, as a matter of fact a great speaker Les Brown said “At any given point in your life, you are either in trouble, going out of trouble or walking into trouble consistently in your life”. So you have to learn how to deal with them and how to manage them. 

I’ve learnt that failing is not equal to failure, just because you failed doesn’t make you a failure, fail your way through success. You only fail when you stop trying, as long as you keep trying you are a work in progress so never ever relent, never fail to give effort no matter how intelligent you are, no matter how smart you are, no matter how good looking you are. Nothing in life can substitute effort. Effort is the biggest equalizer you’d ever find in this world. So no matter what it is, when you do not make it, it should never be for lack of a given effort. Give effort at all times in anything that you are doing, go at it as if your failure of doing it would be your last day in this world.

Finally, people may question you, loved ones may betray you, some people who do not know you will talk about you, people you’ve never met will have an opinion of you, is it fair? No, is it life? Yes. It happens, so do not allow other people’s opinion of you to be your reality because at the end of the day you know what you are trying to do. God gave you a special mission in this world, we all in this world have a purpose to serve in this world and that particular purpose is not given to your parents neither is it given to your siblings nor is it given to your friends or your community and society but it’s given to you and whether that mission gets completed or not is all up to you.

Do not allow other people talk you out of your life mission or life goals. It’s gonna be hard, you’re gonna keep on doing it and people will be like who does she think she is? Is she trying to be a talk show host now, they will laugh at you but it’s not their dream nor their purpose or mission. Your job is to do your job. For example, when Pablo Picasso takes his brush to draw, He doesn’t care who is seeing this art, he’s just creating art, that’s all he is doing. At the end of the day whatever you do, give it all you got and don’t worry about what critics are going to say, don’t worry about what people who don’t know you have to say, don’t worry about what society thinks of you, you know who you are. In the words of Sinach “I know who God says I am, where He says I am”.

Jois: What He says I am

Saikou: That’s it, you know who God says you are, so who cares what Saikou thinks about you. Be who God says you are, be all you can be and give all you can give and your best Jois, is good enough. 

Jois: Perfect. This is deep stuff and I hope a lot of people will learn from this and be better. Thank you so much for taking time out and doing this with me, I really appreciate it. This was a very wonderful conversation and I enjoyed every bit of it. I have also learnt a lot from what you’ve talked about in ‘Hustle like an immigrant’ as well as how we should just get to understand each other as Africans and as Black Americans in this country. This was a really amazing conversation. Thank you so much. You can get Saikou’s books and the ‘Hustle like an Immigrant’ shirts here

Saikou: Thank You too Jois.


Jois Donkor