African Heroism

Story of a man's immigration journey from a primitive African village to the United States Air Force Academy as an international exchange cadet. Stark images of the dissonance between two worlds, one where poverty reigns and the other where goodwill outweighs good sense. This book reveals the epic struggle of immigrants everywhere searching for a better life in the United States, only to find that what they've left behind haunts them even past pledging their allegiance to a new flag of hope.  Adopting America contains vivid imagery of what it's like to try to exist within a world that is not your own--of how it feels to adopt the ways of the Western world. A true story of International Adoption intertwines with the plot to give a realistic view of what it's like to adopt children from a third world country and hope they adopt American ways.  This book also includes a detailed account of life as an international exchange cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, with contrasts to third world military systems in comparison to the more developed U.S. military.

Story of a man’s immigration journey from a primitive African village to the United States Air Force Academy as an international exchange cadet. Stark images of the dissonance between two worlds, one where poverty reigns and the other where goodwill outweighs good sense. This book reveals the epic struggle of immigrants everywhere searching for a better life in the United States, only to find that what they’ve left behind haunts them even past pledging their allegiance to a new flag of hope.
Adopting America contains vivid imagery of what it’s like to try to exist within a world that is not your own–of how it feels to adopt the ways of the Western world. A true story of International Adoption intertwines with the plot to give a realistic view of what it’s like to adopt children from a third world country and hope they adopt American ways.
This book also includes a detailed account of life as an international exchange cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, with contrasts to third world military systems in comparison to the more developed U.S. military.

‘how to be a hero’ is Googled approximately 30 million times per month globally.
It’s very easy for me to tell a story in which I paint myself as the hero, but it’s a lot harder to actually be a hero. One element of African heroism that is difficult to understand outside of merely fantasizing about its implications is that in Africa, even heroism is a matter of birthright. It isn’t a single act of bravery that classifies someone as a hero. It’s a name given at birth that can never be legally changed. It’s a prophecy that creates hopeful expectancy for those who are convinced they need a born leader. Even before birth, I was considered a hero as the chosen successor of my grandfather in the village. This was a name, a position, a calling, a script from which I was destined to read. Even if I never felt cut out for the part, I did assume responsibility for keeping the village entertained by leading rituals that affirmed the common ties of sensationalist traditionalism.

Tradition is the bread and butter of any society. Whether having grown up with the notion of jolly old saint Nicholas or blood sucking vampires, each is believed by individuals to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the zeal in which their ancestors dressed the part. In American terms, I was still a child.  But to my African family, I was Jolly Old Saint Nick.  I was the one responsible for leaving the cookies and milk at Christmas time only to quickly turnaround and change into my Santa suit before anyone took real notice. Though at such a young age, it was empowering to realize I was charged with setting the stage for a drama, in which even the adults refused to separate the reality from the truth, at times I just wanted to be the one privileged enough to exercise blind faith. I wanted to wake up on Christmas morning and rush to see what had magically fit down the chimney for me.

But at times, my childhood was a far cry from Christmas morning. Although each day was connected to the next with much anticipation, it was more like a dreadful anticipation that made waiting a cruel mind game in which I was forced to participate. I wanted what I could barely imagine to exist. It was something indescribable but real, something unreachable but within, a freedom, a feeling, finality, a happy ending that would be the beginning of a new life in which I could finally enjoy the moment, not just the fuzzy memories.

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2 thoughts on “African Heroism

  1. Hi there! This article could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my
    previous roommate! He always kept talking about this.

    I am going to forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi uzdatniacze, Thank you so much for reading! I’m so glad that you think he’ll be able to relate. Sometimes when writing, it’s easy to wonder if you’re “on point” or not. I’d like to write more about the particular struggles of immigrants to America. It seems that the press on immigrants is mostly negative, but the true life of someone who has the pressure to provide for their “family back home” seems to be mis-interpreted more often than not, here in the States.

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