If my childhood was shaped by Sunday morning Nickelodeon cartoons and Little League baseball games, then my adolescence was defined in the shadows of smoke and destruction of war and combat, of a bellicose millennia that awarded my generation no respite from it all. Eleven years after the suffocating vulnerability of black fumes rising from the ashes, there’s not much I can say, except that we will never forget everybody lost on that day – all of the fathers, mothers, friends and co-workers, the husbands and wives and children, the firefighters and policemen.
Spending my first 9/11 away from the tri-state region, away from New York and the United States, the commemorations and remembrances, the candle light vigils and moments of silence, I didn’t think much about the significance of today. I ate mbuzi choma and kuku choma, drank a few Kili lagers and enjoyed the company of my Australian and Tanzanian family. But at the end of the day, I know who I am, what I’ve been shaped by and where I come from. Home is what defines you as a person and manifests who you will become.
I grew up in the shadows of terror, yes, but will never, not for one second, permit it to scare me into overcoming the next challenge or cause. Hope always finds its way to willing participants, to people unafraid of accepting the past and submitting to a brighter future.