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Picture: Bama Saba 1998


Some of you know I'm engaged in Africa for a long time, exactly since 1993 when I set foot here, at the time as an employee of a Swiss firm to install some computers and teach people on IT in Bamako, Mali.


So, in time, I learned to love Africans, because they showed me their unconditioned tolerance the same way I was encountering them - with curiosity and wonder about their life, their way of living, their cuisine, whatever.


I was the only white guy around, but I did NOT NOTICE it. Nobody made me feel I was different, ok, the occasional question of "can you help me out a bit", but it was never in a way I thought because I am white, but because I could afford a can of coke and the guy next to me couldn't...and so what ?


In 1999, I was broke. Because I broke my left wrist which I needed as a lead guitarist in our band Bama Saba. Means job lost. Man, I was the attraction of the band. A white guy playing all the clubs in Bamako, even Salif Keita came around to see me. Gigs for 6 days a week, 200 $ a month, which was GOOD pay back then.


And then....fuck. No work, no pay rent, massa broke, Insh'allah, next month. I had 300 $ debt with the Mauritanian store owner on our street who sold us rice and spices, and he said: No problem, Lassana. We know you.


Imagine a "rich white guy" in a country where people are poor and they tell you, ok, no problem. That will work.


People always tell me: When you're a white foreigner and you end up poor in a society that's poor, they will fuck you.


I was poor in one of the poorest societies in Africa. And they supported ME. They did not look at my skin color or my country or past. They saw me as a human being. And, regarding back, they saved my life...somehow. Because when I came back to Switzerland I was close to a depression......and what kept me from it was that I knew I could always go back and feel at home.


What more is there to say ? Maybe you understand my love for Africa now. If not, forget it and be happy that our "rich" countries bomb around the planet bringing hope and justice to the "underpriviledged", poor, innocent retards which need to be "civilized".


Thanks for reading.


Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 12, 2018 - 6:12pm
There ain't a thing wrong with Africa, and I don't have a problem with Africans.  Native Africans have been some of the nicest people I've worked with in business.  It's too bad their American cousins aren't more like 'em.
I don't think that White people are superior per se, I just don't look at it that way.  We do, however, have our strengths and weaknesses like all other races.  Our greatest strength might be expediting the advancement of the human species...development in a wide array of applications...civilization itself is only a well-oiled machine in predominantly White countries.  That's not an attempt at a racist stab, it's just what happens time and again.  The browner the community gets, often the dirtier, messier, poorer and crime-ridden it gets.  Not always, but most often.  The most prosperous and crimeless societies are White and protect their borders.  Not the richest societies, not the most advanced necessarily, but just look at Norway and Holland (has Holland been refugized yet?). 
On the other hand, African natives/Black Africans have other strengths.  It's not like someone like me would join a tribe, find success and be useful.  I'd probably be like a fish out of water on the Serengeti with a spear in my hand.  I might be able to throw a football or baseball at a lion but it wouldn't help, would it?  By the same token, a spear-throwing tribesman wouldn't do so well in American Universities either.
The point is, difference.  Cultures went different directions and one doesn't supersede the other necessarily.  But I'm proud of mine, I'll stick with mine.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 6:27pm
Thanks. I never understood why some here call you a racist. We Whites developed our capabilities out of NEED because the climate we live in forced us to do that.
That's ok and logical.
But the human feeling and understanding should be non-dependent of climate and environment. And no race ever has the right to call itself superior. 
That alone tells me: The one who feels superior has not experienced the whole variety what makes us humans. Our alphabet has 26 letters. The Chinese have an average of 2000 for general use.
There is NO superiority of any race or nation or whatever. Why ? Because nothing that is subjective can be a measure. And one human life can never be long enough to ever be objective to all those cultures and ways of life that exist. Therefore: We can never be objective. That's a non-word.
We can only learn and get as much as we can to tell our kids: I THINK. Not....I KNOW ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 6:31pm
BTW: I only have difference with that.
But I'm proud of mine
When you're proud of your own achievements, I say, sure. Me too. No hashtag :-) But when you say I'm proud of my heritage, I say no. Why ? Because one's heritage needs no EFFORT. I'm pretty strict on that. What I achieve by my own work, I can be proud of.
But nothing else.
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 12, 2018 - 6:42pm
I'm proud of my heritage/ I'm proud of my ancestors.
James Travil Added Apr 12, 2018 - 6:58pm
There is only one problem with Tom's assessment of dark skin people. Ancient Egypt. It was one of the most advanced (for it's time) and long lived empires the world has ever known. Only comparable to the likes of ancient Indian culture and the Chinese dynasties. Ancient Egypt was none of the things Tom mentioned that a society of African people supposedly becomes. It only fell into decadence when the Romans brought their culture and customs to Egypt. Those are just the facts. 
Nice article Stone :) 
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:01pm
The Egyptian Empire was impressive indeed.  That was a long time ago though.
Pardero Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:17pm
Nice article. It is a good feeling to be accepted unconditionally.
I have an African friend where I deliver sand. We talk only in brief exchanges. His accent is strong.
We always grin and wave when we see each other on the job. A lot of people don't make friends, but he does, and I guess I do, too. I agree with Tom, that the black people from Africa seem friendly.
Hello James Travil!
Hello Tom C. Purcell!
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:20pm
Hello Pardero!
James, also the Mayan Empire, and that was more recent.  Very similar to Egypt actually, in many ways.  And like I said in my comment, "The browner the community gets, often the dirtier, messier, poorer and crime-ridden it gets.  Not always, but most often."
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:21pm
Thanks ! You see, unlike many here, I don't care about color. When you cut anyone's skin, blood is red. So what ? I'm too old for such shit. But I know what you mean, and Tom knows it too.
The way I understand Tom, is, that, unlike in Europe, Whites in the US are more and more being marginalized. I can't judge it.
I try to compare it with white settlers in South Africa (boers and consorts), which have been there for centuries, built up the country, and now they are told to fuck off and leave all what they have lived for - maybe generations.
Agreed they were slave holders, stole the land, they were TOLD AT THAT TIME THAT THEY HAVE A RIGHT FOR IT. They acted according to the Zeitgeist of the time.
They didn't know better. But we can NOT make their grand-grand children responsible. As we can not the young Germans on what supposedly happened on WWII. 
When we continue OUR youth, wherever, to remind constantly of the faults of their ancestors, we fuck them up.
We have to tell them: This is YOUR world now. This is year 0. Do what you want with your future, but never forget which mistakes WE made. Try not to repeat them. That's what I tell my kids, ever since. And I'm proud that my kids consider what I tell them. They don't tell me: He, old man, you're out.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:25pm
For some reason, I'm reminded of Timothy Treadwell. As documented in the excellent Werner Herzog film Grizzly Man, Treadwell lived, for several summers, among wild Grizzly Bears in Alaska. He believed he communed with the bears by sticking his hands in their droppings. He was the bane of the locals and the Rangers, who continually expressed amazement that Treadwell survived for as long as he did. It all ended in 2003, when Treadwell and his girlfriend became an appetizer and a main course for...a Grizzly bear!
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:25pm
BTW: Does Trumpy Dummy Dumpie listens to his kids or can he advise HIS kids on something other than looking ready for a 69 ? Shit. I guess I expect too much LOL
James Travil Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:33pm
Yes the Mayan Empire, I forgot about them Tom. They were in the same area as the famous Naca Lines which can only be made out from the sky. That means it's highly possible they had mastered the power of flight.
And I agree Stone, color doesn't matter to me either. I'm for fairness for all. 
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:43pm
Thanks for stopping by...I've got Grizzly in my head.....too much Southern Comfort for now.....gotta crash out now. Jeez (no, not Jesus. This one has left 30 minutes ago, Mr. Alzheimer told me).
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:43pm
I've got all possible colors in my family, believe me :-)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Apr 12, 2018 - 7:52pm
Stone, not to poo-poo your whole experience, but from what I've seen, people everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, seem to be hard-wired to suck the asses of rich people, whether they are really rich or perceived to be. Could it be that you are being seen as an "investment"?
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 8:28pm
That was the case for sure. But after some years they found out that there's more to that. In fact, from 100 people I knew in all those years 2 were left who I could really rely on. But I paid my shares on creeps for sure, Everybody who starts in Africa pays at first. These guys are clever out of need. Most of them stop after that first experience. I didn't. That's why they respect me now. I've learned ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 8:31pm
BTW: I've lost 40'000 $ in all because I was naive. Then people told me in Switzerland: Forget it. I told them NO. I go back and this time THEY will pay me. And, after 18 years (!) it has started. Why ? Because they have found out that I'm not as stupid as I was in 2001....
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 8:34pm
You see I'm Swiss. And we are VERY STUBBORN. Whatever happens - we never give up, no matter how long it may take. Why ?
Because WHEN you give up you have LOST all those years. And we don't like that :-)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Apr 12, 2018 - 8:37pm
OK, I'm stubborn too, so I guess I can accept that, lol!
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 8:40pm
If ever you think of coming down to Senegal: Just pay your ticket and share the food. We have nicely furnished rooms for free. As I said: All of my WB friends are welcome.
Might curb tourism as well LOL
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2018 - 8:49pm
Sorry I changed the title. I know it bores people so I prepared them to not read it. GN8 :-)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Apr 12, 2018 - 9:22pm
Stone, thanks for the invite! Never say never, and if I had a lot of time and money burning in my pocket, I would probably show up! In a weird way, I think that you are a practitioner of what may be called "tough love", in the sense that maybe you see a certain group of people saying and/or doing things that you think are stupid, but all the while leaning back and thinking to yourself, "They'll come around eventually...they HAVE to!" I get the impression that Americans and Africans have a lot of similarities with you, lol.
James Travil Added Apr 12, 2018 - 11:02pm
If I ever take a trip to Africa I'll definitely look you up Stone! Thanks for inviting us all. 
Mark Hunter Added Apr 13, 2018 - 2:58am
There are good and bad people everywhere, but I think in the more technologically "advanced" countries people tend to be too hurried and stressed all the time. That in turn causes all sorts of other problems, from health difficulties to road rage.
Flying Junior Added Apr 13, 2018 - 3:13am
I always enjoy reading about your adventures in Senegal.  Your friendship with Purcell is hard for me to understand.
It's too bad their American cousins aren't more like 'em.
That isn't a good enough reason?  That's prejudice, Stone.  The very thing that you oppose.  WTF am I missing here?  Maybe you are not so aware of racial politics and dynamics in the U.S. today.  I am.
You are an enigma, Stone.  Switzerland was the only nation that was neutral in WWII.  Maybe you can explain that as well.
opher goodwin Added Apr 13, 2018 - 5:33am
Hi Stone - that was heartening to read. I always found Africans very friendly and welcoming though I'm sure there's good and bad like there is anywhere. The culture is so much more based on support and social interaction than it is in the West. 
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Apr 13, 2018 - 9:47am
Friendly correction there FJ. In addition to Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland were also neutral during WW2, although all of them (except Ireland, for obvious reasons) traded extensively with Nazi Germany, ESPECIALLY Switzerland.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 12:41pm
Your friendship with Purcell is hard for me to understand.
I understand that. I don't agree with Tom on all accounts, but I honor his tries to see and analyze all sides. Each coin has 2 sides. I try not to judge persons according to their articles and comments as good as possible, because I KNOW if I would meet them in person I would get a different image of them.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 12:49pm
I never said that we Swiss are neutral. We are not. We are, as every fucking body on that planet is, looking for profit and advantages. 
I don't consider myself being Swiss on many aspects. I see myself as a simple human being on that planet who doesn't make differences about races, -isms or any ideology.
I simply try to do what my heart tells me which is right, and the rest - fuck it.
Because all that will stay from me when I'm dead is the memory of people of me - who knew me. I can only speak personally, and all I can do is trying my best. And for me it's ok. As long as I can say to myself: I tried not to be an asshole, that's enough.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 12:51pm
Come on over. I'm sure you'll have a good time. The problem with many people is that they LIKE to do something but then hesitate for n reasons.
Life is too short to hesitate.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 12:56pm
Many people don't come to Africa because they think they will get sick and will die without any medical care.
It is not so. We might have less Western pharma (profit), but believe me: Malaria for example can be cured with HERBS, and so many other problems. I had skin problems in Switzerland and tried n drugs against that.
In Senegal I used traditional medicine and it is - GONE.
I'm all else than an esoteric barefoot vegan new hippie. I rely on FACTS. And this is a fact.-
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 1:00pm
For sure. I don't know what "road age" means but our lifestyle is all other than normal. Humans are social animals, and when you take that away from them, they will get frustrated, into drugs, die prematurely, often without realizing it.
And our society does tend to that.
opher goodwin Added Apr 13, 2018 - 2:18pm
Stone - so many people have the idea of Africa as a primitive place. It's got all sorts.
I love the vitality of the place.
Did your wrist not heal up well enough to play again?
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 5:22pm
It did not heal because I had no possibility to operate it in Mali. I did it afterwards in Switzerland, break it again because it grew together crooked, but after the operation I had only a restricted radius so I couldn't play barré chords anymore. But I tried and tried again to play them until the metal stuff they put in my wrist to keep it straight broke. Then my wrist was as before, crooked - but I could play again.
And it's been the same since. Fuck it, it doesn't hurt, and if I would, I'd have a good reason to panhandle :-)
And I don't even notice that broken piece of metal. Never did. It has an advantage: I have always some spare screws with me LOL
Mark Hunter Added Apr 13, 2018 - 6:32pm
Road rage, Stone, when driving habits turn people into homicidal assholes on the highway. It mostly starts when people are in too much of a hurry to use common courtesy on the roads, although some scumbags set out to upset other drivers.
Katharine Otto Added Apr 13, 2018 - 10:13pm
Nobody has mentioned it, but I believe music is a great equalizer.  It crosses all cultural, racial, and age lines.  If you played in a band, that gave you its own credibility.  I've noticed on WB that the music aficionados have a special bond.  I'm glad you can play again.
Dale Murrish Added Apr 14, 2018 - 6:19pm
Good article, Stone! It gives an insight into living and working in Africa that most people will never know.
Could have done without the f-bombs, but otherwise a good, well-written article. Thanks for posting it!
Stone-Eater Added Apr 17, 2018 - 10:03am
Thanks Dale !
Stone-Eater Added Apr 17, 2018 - 10:04am
Thank you too !

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