In this captivating memoir, John, a young refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, embarks on a journey of growth and resilience. At eleven, he arrives with his family in Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi. He plays a role in their toil to create a new life from nothing. Some stability is achievable, but the escalating political tension triggers xenophobia and an ever-increasing gloom for refugees. At the height of the political crisis, his family is forced to flee their refuge; he is forced to leave behind friends and a quality education he had desperately attained.
Destitute, his family starts a new life in Mpaka Refugee Camp in Swaziland. Dejection takes its toll on him due to unimaginable conditions of this familiar, yet new life, but when he starts school and Alberto, his twin friend whom he left in Dzaleka arrives in Mpaka, life becomes manageable. Alberto’s arrival triggers depressing memories and thoughts about fleeing and living as a refugee. But new dreams are born out of despondency, and against all odds, success follows him as he establishes a youth club in the camp, represents his school in multiple regional and national academic and sporting contests, gets selected to be the school Head Boy, graduates from high school as one of the top students countrywide and ultimately gets the much-desired UWC and ALA scholarships. But that’s just a start of another struggle. Bureaucracy and bilateral country immigration laws combine with his status as a refugee to prove his efforts almost futile. He eventually makes it to the UWC in Germany, which exposes him to a whole new world. It’s just a matter of time before he discovers that a refugee somewhere is a refugee everywhere!
Refuge-e: The Journey Much Desired exposes the reader to the connection between the little-known suffering of refugees to the much-ignored world politics in a subtle way. It details many aspects of the dark life of refugees and questions whether there is hope for a young refugee determined to succeed.