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“Good things come at a risk”

Von John Kazadi, Christa Roth / 9. August 2023
picture alliance / PantherMedia | Andrey Popov

We are all in the need of them: loved ones. Family and friends whom we can go to, who take care of us, and who shall be reimbursed by us for their kindness. Yet, sagwas-author John considers leaving his social environment behind in order to pursue happiness elsewhere.

We all need to ask more questions. We all need to pay more attention. More attention to each other. And so, we decided to ask our author, John Kazadi, to talk to sagwas about personal issues.

sagwas: You applied for the Hilde Domin Programme, a scholarship (offered by German Academic Exchange Service) for refugees to study abroad, but you still lack a degree from your local university. How are the odds that you can continue your education in Germany? Maybe applying for another country would be easier.

John Kazadi: After applying for the Hilde Domin Programme to study in Germany, I have not succeeded in meeting one requirement which happens to be a major one. For me to be considered for the scholarship, I need to have records of studying at the University of Malawi for a minimum of a year. As a diploma holder obtained from Regis University online after two years of studying, I am not eligible for the scholarship as my diploma is not recognised for it is based on digital studies. However, I am still passionate about furthering my studies in Germany, I have taken an important step which is enrolling at the University of Malawi to meet the admission criteria to study abroad. I am currently applying for their 2023/24 mature entry cohort and hope I will be admitted at Malawi’s national university. Applying to study in another country can still be an option, however having records of studying at a recognised institution will increase my chances of applying for tertiary studies in any different country.

As a young man and son of a strong woman, relationships become more and more important. But living in a refugee camp can mean: Finding love and establishing a personal connection or being intimite can be difficult, can’t it?

Maintaining my relationship with my beloved one is my top priority. I have lived with my family for over ten years in the camp, as a result we are each other’s strength in times of weakness. Talking of preserving relationships, this requires giving your loved ones time and attention which at some point is difficult to afford in a refugee camp as other priorities pop up such as food and clothes. In the quest of pursuing them all one ends up compromising their relationships either on a family level or intimacy level. Digital communication has made it even easier to stay connected to family and friends even at a distance while staying intimate.

How does writing poems help you with your life? Do you sometimes lack motivation, inspiration or creativity and if so, how do you overcome those lows?

Writing poems is a therapy and a comfort zone for me. I find it easier and relieving to jot down my thoughts and feelings in a poem than to share them with a person. As a writer sometimes it is hard to find inspiration or motivation. Personally, whenever I am in such a situation I prefer exercising and reading more to cultivate inspiration. At times I lack fitness to do sport, and at this point I prefer resting by simply taking a nap. (laughs)

You work as an artist/ poet while you support your community through your social work as well. Do politics play any role for you/ interest you?

As poet and social worker I committed to serving my community regardless of local or international politics. As an individual who has chosen to help young people of diverse backgrounds, I have no interest in either local or international politics despite the fact that it keeps affecting our lives day after day. For instance, the relocation of refugees in Malawi living in urban and rural areas is merely based on political interest that benefits those in power, thereafter destroying lives of the few established refugees.

When the time has come, would you be ready to leave your family and friends behind (at least for quite some time) in order to pursue happiness elsewhere in the world?

As an individual I am prepared to do what it takes to better my life. I do really believe that true friends and relatives will wish one nothing but the best, even though these wishes are put forward disregarding the fact that they do come at cost and one of them, the painful one, is separation. One thing I believe for sure is that good things come at a risk. Risks may include challenges that one may encounter in the process of pursuing something. Therefore, the more prepared one is to take risks, the more prepared they are to grasp greatness. As an individual, I have established great bonds with friends and family, but if the time arrives for me to leave and pursue happiness elsewhere, I shall have no option rather to take initiative in what will bring me happiness and consequently benefiting my friends and family.

Fans and friends

They are not ivories

They are canines

Between them is a venom

It stands in the right column

They are not friends

They are fans

Sucking your blood

They won’t leave

Until they paint you mud

They are not after your wealth

They worry about your health

Very few, but means a lot

They stand with you, firm as a knot

They don’t wait to wipe your tears

They hold you, and fight your fears

by John Kazadi

(You can find the German translation here/ Eine deutsche Übersetzung dieses Beitrags findet sich hier)

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