I have returned home.

I am a South Sudanese, born in Egypt, raised in London, Ontario and educated in Toronto. I can confidently say LOUD and PROUD that I am African, yet there was something missing while growing up, spending almost 20 years without touching foot back in the continent had left a giant whole in my heart which scratched at layers of my identity. These were insecurities that unknowingly doubted my African authenticity because I hadn’t had a direct connection to the continent after landing at age five to the global north. All there was were the unreliable phone calls that turns that direct connection to inconvenient worries because “Mama Andiku’s” last words before the phone disconnected was that she hadn’t eaten in three days. I had an imagined homeland. A homeland I love so dearly, that I remembered through the minimal descriptions from my parents, the videos I viewed and books and news sources I read to educate myself about the history as well as keep myself up to date. I only had external images and stories, not the real deal; I reluctantly came to accept that I had an imagined homeland.

It became a duty of mine to find a way home, this home that has been through turmoil but birthed me. The home that my foremothers and forefathers fought to protect. I’ve always been a fighter and an optimist; and though there may have been challenges or discrepancies in some of the potential opportunities I’ve had, I’ve finally managed to touch foot on the continent, my home.

I am currently on the ground, I am in South Africa. Not only am I on this land that was once imagined, but I have the privilege of practicing my love for youth development. I’m also being challenged by practicing as a social worker. I earned a diploma in Social Service Work with Immigrants and Refugees in 2012 and completed my undergrad in Multicultural & Indigenous Studies (Race Politics) in 2015. I am in South Africa where race politics is visibly evident with the residue of the apartheid still affecting my African siblings.

I am extremely blessed to have this opportunity. My mission now is to excel while making sure that my African siblings in Canada have access to opportunities such as the one I received.

Follow my blog family – I’ll be providing you some updates about my ongoing experience.


Ema B


4 thoughts on “I have returned home.

  1. It almost brings tears to my eyes. Looks Cape Town. Note I did not say “looks ‘like’ Cape Town”. LOL seeing you there is joy! Do I feel excited and proud of you? you bet I do!…:-)


  2. You are such a beautiful writer, Emanuela – Thank you for sharing this! I look forward to getting glimpses into your journey through your posts! Sending love to you all in SA from UG 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Arwen, I think this is the most honest i’ve been with myself in a long time, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! Sending love right back to you can’t wait to hear more about your experience. ❤


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