9:15 to 9:45

My interview was scheduled from 9:15 to 9:45, but when the radio announced that it was 8:15, I concluded my breakfast with your great grandparents early and began to collect my things to go. Before I left, I joined hands with my grandma, grandpa and auntie, and we prayed that God would grant me whatever it is I would need to make the most out of that 30 minutes. It wasn’t so much fear that clung to me, like those sleepless sweats, it was something more than that. I thought of my family, including my mother who was not there to squeeze my hand and wish me luck. I knew, this interview was not just about me, and my voice was not only my own. I was going to speak on behalf of everyone I loved, and my success would be my way of thanking them for the sacrifices they had made to earn me that precious half hour. As I prayed, I acknowledged the gravity of my opportunity: for, if I was successful, I would be the first person in the history of my family to access this level of education. I would be the first to step foot on Canadian soil, and likely the only who would have even some semblance of a shot of affecting the way the world works, rather than waiting four hours to fill a water bucket or resting their elbows on a dirty sports bar with a flickering TV.

Published by Gabriel Ndayishimiye

Gabriel Ndayishimiye lives in London, Ontario. He is a writer with a passion to contribute to Black history and literature; and the author of “Run Elvin” (forthcoming), a memoir written for youth from marginalized backgrounds. This book tells Gabriel’s academic/life experiences from refugee camps in East and Southern Africa and now from the metropolis of the western world. The story aims to inspire and motivate such demographic of youth to take up given opportunities to be creative, achieve success, and develop resilience to fight the challenges of life.

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