My Story as an African Immigrant:Part three

Before you read this make sure you have read: Part one and Part two of my story as an African immigrant

Poor African


Second Half 2003

At times I am a very dramatic, loud,flamboyant and entertaining person. Did a few plays back home. Decide to try out for the school production. Get the lead part because the only other person who tried out is in the final year of high school and they don’t want to give him heavy workload. Great vote of confidence there.

My life, without friends and energy of people to feed of, is an empty void. I decide to fill this void by studying and actually trying to pass at school. Begin developing study habits such as reading a paragraph of a book, closing the book, rewriting the paragraph as I understand it and seeing if the two ideas correspond. Some of these habits stay with me to this day: Defining moment.

Studying isn’t enough though I am doing a lot better at school. The loneliness and isloation makes me feel like dropping out again. Drama teacher tells me, “If I want to drop out and live like an adult, then I must be man enough to see the production through.” Decide to stay.

Put myself mind, body and soul into the rehearsal. Hide behind the characters and the music and the play hoping I never have to come out. Begin to shape up into a very focussed actor who can assume a character and ‘become him’.

Write out a business plan for a school cafeteria that I will run and profit from. The school principal quickly shoots the idea down.Darn it!

We perform the play: Some of the best days of my life. I do a much better job than I ever expected. People actually admire and respect me. The audience likes what I am doing. I matter! :D I discover one of my greatest passions in life: Defining moment

Begin watching ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ and begin to love understanding how actor’s work.

Buy my first self-help book by Tony Robbins. The book has great ideas. I am looking for a quick fix and so don’t put any of the ideas in the book to practical application for many years.

Buy more meditation books, this time from the hippie days. Fail to meditate and achieve Nirvana, again.

Still working out obsessively and getting no results.

Still trying to live a life of significance and feel like I’m getting nowhere physically though I mature tremendously psychologically.

Go through a phase where I am ashamed of my race. Visit the dermatologist and he tells me it is in my genes: Accept it and decide to make the best of my race from then on.

Steal money and pay to be taken through a private meditation session. Relax for about an hour and feel pretty chilled afterwards. Use the rest of the of the stolen money to watch Charlie’s Angels in the cinema’s gold section.

Try working in the church audiovisual department. Great job, but loneliness and isolation gets to me and I leave.

Begin to dream big about being one of the greatest creative minds and servant to my home of Africa: Defining idea.

Drop out of school a couple of months before the end of the year. Run away every school day to the local bookstore where I read books and magazines all day long until my parents and principal discover I have been running away.

Parents don’t put too much of a fight. My father visits Africa and I decide to follow him.

Kenya is fantastic. Missed the feeling of actually being able to talk to someone and form a connection. Talk to everyone I meet and have a fantastically, simple, agenda-less holiday in Kenya. Return to Australia fresh as a battery.



Transfer high schools and end up in a mid-performing high school where on first day we find people smoking outside the school office.

In my first week (again!) get voted in as captain of a sport’s house for the entire school. Don’t show up for meetings! Play sports like I’m paid to be bad! Don’t really care! Hand over my captain badge to a friend of mine who wants to be captain real bad!

Take up five subjects for my final year of high school: Drama, Psychology (only boy in the class), Further Maths, English as a Second Language (it’s my first language but as an immigrant I can take the subject and it’s easier so……) and Dance (only boy in the class)

Quickly realize that by Dance they don’t mean the rhythmic movements of Papa Wemba and Awilo Longomba but instead mean ballet, jazz and contemporary (you ned a tutu for all three).

Take dance lessons in hip hop to see if I can catch up and maybe even get an A+ in the dance exam. Realize that short of a dancing-queen-John-Travoltaesque (you see girl africana, -esque it’s catching on) miracle, passing Dance is never happening. Drop out of dance class and end up doing the minimum subjects allowed in Melbourne schools: 4.

So energetic from coming home that skate right through this year with a nice, steady, comfortable work/study routine.

Begin hanging around other Kenyan immigrants my age: Feels good!

Discover that there is a professional wrestling school – WWE style- right next to my home and I’m in the same class with one of the referees. Referee promises to set me up with training to become a wrestler. One of my Kenyan friends disuades me telling me that one day I will meet an angry man who will knock me upside the head with a chair and make my mind slower than a tranquilized snail…decide to put my WWE plans on hold.

Do well in high school but worse than expected especially in Drama where I expected a pefect score for my one man performance of a South African Freedom figher that moves people to tears. Content but not elated I accept my mark and best student award in Further Maths.

Join a theatre group where I take on the role of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. I take playing the melodramatic character seriously. Nominated for a theatre award ( I lost) and sign up with a casting agency. They give me extra work on a TV show and an ad and I get to do a modelling gig on the ourtskirts of the city- the picture at the top of the blog is from that modelling shoot.

Join the Young Australia Broadway Chorus at the semi-advanced level. The Chorus is meant to train musical theatre performers. The training is fantastic. Just like in my first high school production I learn to my dismay, “ I was blessed with a good voice but no skill on how to use it.” The loneliness gets to me and I don’t enjoy the dances we are learning so I drop out after one term.

Realize yet again that I get a lot of admiration and female attention when I perform. Crave that feeling even more.

Try out for the church choir. Again….got’s the talent but no skill. Tell me to come back when I have the talent thing worked out.

Spend my weekends with my Kenyan friends just bumming around and talking. Feel very safe and very comfortable with my friends. In spite of that deal with some minor issues such as mutal friends who decide to slit their wrists when they are in a bit of a bad mood and drunk Maori who gate crashes our party to show us a tattoo where he remembers all the people he has killed.

Watch a friend of mine have more women throw themselves at him than a trampolene. Disgusting to watch as some of us have to work hard in the corner singing, “Can I be your tennis ball,”, to every white girl we see.

If you haven’t make sure you read: Part one / Part two/

Continued on: Part four /Part five




No Comments

  • By Daniel, March 25, 2008 @ 5:27 am

    After reading your blog, I have decided Australia is not really a good place to raisse black children. In the US, you will find Black professionals, and their children and there is a community, besides the Kenyan community and the African community.

  • By Mwangi, March 25, 2008 @ 5:32 am

    As per my understanding of the two countries, I would suggest someone come to Australia over any other country on Earth any day. My story only occurred because I was isolated. Now there are a lot more of us and there are blogs such as this one to guide the way.

    The professionals here indeed do exist as do families and Uni students and the opportunities are in abundant supply. I strongly encourage Australia over US and UK. In spite of all my trials, I honestly believe I would have fared much worse in the UK and the US.

    My two cents

  • By kip, March 25, 2008 @ 5:36 am

    nice picyou got overthereeeeeeeeeeee!!

  • By Mwangi, March 25, 2008 @ 5:47 am

    @kip: thanks bro! and the best thing about the pants is they aren’t too long to cover my multi covered socks.:P Australian modeling, gotta love it!

  • By Ken, March 25, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

    Mate great blog, you had me laughing all the way in Sydney and yep, Australia is a great place, plenty of professionals and best of all quality of life….

    Reason I read your blog is to hear and get a view of a person getting and integrating in Australia…so far kudos!

    Holla when you are next in Sydney….

  • By Mwangi, March 25, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

    Thanks bro, I really appreciate that. Will send an email along next time I decide to return to the absolutely lovely beaches of Manly or the weirdness of Kings Cross

  • By gal africana, March 25, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

    You really have a “thing” for being the only guy in the class lol And you’ve had quite the runaround…verrry interesting!

  • By Mwangi, March 26, 2008 @ 4:07 am

    @gal africana: I can’t explain it myself, it’s like when I enter an educational institution I am drawn to estrogen!

Other Links to this Post

  1. My Story as an African Immigrant:Part Four » The Displaced African — March 26, 2008 @ 2:00 am

  2. The Displaced African » Blog Archive » My Story as an African Immigrant:Part two — June 7, 2008 @ 2:44 am

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