I had left one morning with some belongings in a handbag,

Not knowing where I was going or why I had taken the road on that specific dawn.

An incessant, profound desire to leave,

Since my very young childhood,

To leave the infernal circle which defines me,

limits me and makes me suffocate

For some mysterious reason

I had accepted the risks of adventure.

For there's a voice,

Underlying all events,

And scenes,

There's a threat,

In all appearances,

Of joy that left,

I felt deserted,


In an unknown soil,

Stranger to its disorder,

Inexplicable Chaos,

Unacceptable filth,

Peculiar hygienic manners,

Sometimes funny methods,

Unfamiliar ways of doing very common acts,

Outrageous at times,


Yet I was attracted

By the white clouds,

The faithful black-skinned fishermen,

Who believed in a goddess named Mary, whom they worship as a fetish,

I was attracted by the strong vivid colors,

Put together in an odd way,

Not so harmonious to my stranger's eye,

Yet delicious and kind,

I was driven by a sense of innocence

And the childish pride,

Of poor-people solutions for a better life,

And the elegance of women amid a chaotic land,

And men not even aware of their savage life,

Inhuman, brutal and harsh,

Imprisoned in a continent,

Without future,

Or hope,

Living in another time,

Aspiring to expand and multiply like in a pink kaleidoscope to the African sky.


Deborah Sfez, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 2018.