Warum Kizito nicht ans Aufhören denkt

Kizito war Secondhandverkäufer, Drogenkurier und landete in einem südafrikanischen Gefängnis. Zurück in Tansania versucht er, sein Leben wieder zu ordnen. Ein optimistisches Porträt über einen jungen Mann…

“Is it you?” Two brown eyes stared at me at Kivukoni fishmarket on a cloudy Wednesday. Being overwhelmed by many fishermen and salesmen, running around to either sell or buy fish or carry ice to their booths, it took me a while to respond. “y… yes, it is me. Hi Kizito!” I replied finally. With a big smile, Kizito Alphonce Lifunga shook my hand. “Ninafuraha kukutane na wewe.” I said, using the maximum Kiswahili I managed to master. Kizito’s smile eventually become bigger, going from one ear to the other.
Equipped with good English and a good sense of the history of Dar es Salaam, 28-year old Kizito guided me through the market and later that day along the Kivukoni Front, up to the National Museum and finally to the Posta Bus Stand. All he had was a bottle of water in his hands.

“You know, there is no time to dream about future. There is no time to think about goals to pursue if you won’t be able to make enough money for a living“

Two and a half years earlier, the same young men stood at the entrance of a jail-cell in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was sentenced, because he was selling drugs to people around the city. As Kizito had to leave school after 7th grade, one would eventually not expect something else. “Having no CV means that I cannot apply for any job”, the young man says. The burden, he had to carry was too much for him since he could not proceed to College and later to University. Although, education alone does not guarantee a safe job, but having no CV at all, can be equivalent to a death-sentence. “You know, there is no time to dream about future. There is no time to think about goals to pursue if you won’t be able to make enough money for a living“, Kizito says as we find our way through the market. Considering his education, he eventually was supposed to end without perspective in life. His only goal was how he was going to survive the next day. Now, Kizito dreams about the time ahead, where he wants to grow and thrive, travel around, and build up a vibrant tourism-company.

All started with a decision. “In 2009, I decided to start my own life,” he explains. Five years after school, he was doing menial jobs, earning little money. In addition, he had to cope with his father, who served in the army. “His consumption of alcohol was worrying me. And it made him mad. Finally, I had to leave, because my father thought, I would not be worth the money needed for my education”, Kizito says. Being the oldest among three boys and one girl, he had to find something to do. In 2009, at the age of 21, he finally left home and moved to Kijoga, where he started to sell second hand things. “The business was not going well at that time. I realised as well, how bad life could be.”

“Sometimes, it is better to try something new”

Additionally, the young man wanted to “try life”, as he puts it now. After the first step, he was not yet on the success path, but on the road to failure. And eventually, it got even worse. In October 2011, he and his friend Abdallah planned to leave the country to South Africa. “We applied for the Passports, organised the journey and wanted to learn how things are done in South Africa.” Travelling through Mozambique first, he and Abdullah arrived in Nelspruit and went further to Pretoria within three weeks. Finally, they managed to go to Johannesburg, where they met some fellow Tanzanians, who were working in small businesses. “For some two months, I worked with them, sold water, sweets, cigarettes and other things”, Kizito explains. In the meantime, he and Abdallah moved from one Tanzanian couch to the next, having no apartment of their own. Again, Kizito was doing small business.
The little money, Kizito earned, he bet on horses. “And one day, I was lucky enough to win some 7000 Rand, which enabled Abdallah and I to get our own place.” Kizito laughs when he tells this part of the story. But Kizito did not like his new life in Johannesburg. It was too busy for him. So, he decided again to move. “Sometimes, it is better to try something new”, he says. If he would have known, what this “new” thing would be, Kizito would have not made the trip to Port Elizabeth. But he took the decision and moved from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth in March 2012. In Port Elizabeth, he bumped into some Nigerians doing some business. And Kizito who was eager to try life got involved selling drugs for about three months. Until that day, the police picked him up and put him in jail. Two selling drugs for about three months. Until that day, the police picked him up and put him in jail. Two months later, he had to leave the country.

“I came back and had nothing left. I had to leave all my belongings in South Africa”

With nothing more than the clothes he wore and his passport, he was transported to the airport in Porth Elizabeth in July 2012. The authorities sent him back to Tanzania, where he had to hand over his passport to the authorities. He, who wanted to travel and expore new things, had to stay in Tanzania. There was no way out anymore. “I came back and had nothing left. I had to leave all my belongings in South Africa”, he says. But Kizito learned, how things are done differently. And he further practiced his English. In August 2012 he went back to sell second hand products. But something was different in his mind. “I knew, that this would be only a temporary assignment”, he explains. “I understood, that I would have to change my life. I understand, that I wanted something different. Something, where I can talk to people, where I do have conversations, and where I can learn new things every day.”

Not surprisingly Kizito enjoys to host me as his guest and help me get to know Dar es Salaam. Sitting in the National Museums garden, he explains, why he managed to get out of the vicious circle, in which so many young men are trapped into: “I realized, that I can do almost anything, if I keep on dreaming, trying, learning.” He realised, that life has good and bad periods. He experienced very bad situations, but he never lost trust in himself. “My father always said, that I will never fulfil anything. He never believed in me”, he adds. With each time passing, Kizito learned that he cannot blame his father for his own destiny. His relationship with his mother and siblings remained strong though ties between him and his father thawed. “We became almost one”, he says. He always wanted to help them to pay their school fees. “They should be able to do, what I was denied to do”, he explains. This helped him, to keep on going. To try again. But the disbelief of his father left some traces on Kizito’s soul. Now, the only thing he wants is to be loved and appreciated by other people. “I do not have much, but I have a lot of good friends”, he says with a big smile.

Thanks to his enthusiasm about American movies and songs, and his time in South Africa, he has become a self-taught-English-speaker. The young man, who loves to chat, to laugh and to discuss, seemed to be the ideal cast be a tour-guide in the tourism-industry. As he started to sell second hand products in August 2012, he finally got in touch with the director of “Afriroots”. The company that organises city-tours around Dar Es Salaam to show the real city and its people and not only the touristic hot-spots. He got his chance to show, that he is capable to host groups of tourists.

“I have never dreamed of getting so much. All I wanted is being loved by others”

For a bit more than two years, he was guiding tourists through Dar Es Salaam and other areas. “I have never dreamed of getting so much. All I wanted is being loved by others”, Kizito says. Therefore, one of his best moments was in 2014, where he was with a class of British pupils on a 3-week-safari in Tanga. “It was a very great moment”, he says. “They appreciated me and my work. Everyone enjoyed the trip.” Working with people has helped the young man to cope with the missing father in his life. Interestingly, Kizito does not seems to be angry with his dad. Although they barely see each other, he has accepted that he and his dad are different. “But he is still my daddy”, he says. And smiles again. Since November last year, Kizito is now building up his own small company. “I want to give back something to the people”, he says. He offers tourists city-tours around Dar Es Salaam, as well as camping- and trekking tours in the Morogoro- and Tanga-area.

He does not yet run a website, nor does he have an email-account. “But I will build up soon some structures”, he says. As he did in his previous jobs, he is going small, but steady steps towards his goals. By the way it is his fourth moment in his life, where he starts from scratch again.

Zuerst erschienen in The Citizen vom 10. Oktober 2016:

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