Where is home?
This is a question I have struggled to answer my entire life. See, my family is from Mali, a relatively large, land-locked country in West Africa. When I was one, and my brothers were 3 and 5, my family moved to Swaziland, a much smaller land-locked country in southern Africa and we have lived there ever since.
Whenever I am asked where I am from, I always say Mali and Swaziland because I always thought, the physical space of home was Swaziland yet I think culturally, I am Malian.
Most recently, I realized that home is where my family is and as a result, I have many places I can call home.
For this project, I will start my family’s story from our move from Mali to Swaziland, since it played and continues to play such a huge role in my life and where we all landed up. There are so many interesting aspects about my family and my parents life in Mali before they moved to Swaziland that I have not included here because I wanted to center the experience of my childhood and to focus on the three themes of my website, From Mali to Swaziland, which I have explained is a huge part of our lives, A Happy Childhood,which speaks to the phenomenal job my parents did raising my brothers and I despite financial hardships and the final theme is A Global Love Affair, which speaks to the current reality of my family. We collectively live in 3 different countries on 3 different continents but have been successful in maintaining the strong bond we have created with each other. We have all learnt to nurture the love we have for each other and to continue to strengthen this bond in a way that has centered my family in my life despite the physical distance between us.
This is the story of my family, a close-knit, multi-cultural, multi-lingual family.
My Family: From left to right is my eldest brother Macky, my mum, Diorobo, my dad, Boubacar, me and my brother, Demba.