How did the idea to start this organisation come?
Well, actually, it started about 40 years ago …
As a little girl I always watched the TV series ”Roots” about ”Kunta Kinte”. I did not miss a single episode and still remember my feelings about it. This, I think, developed and led to my sympathy for Africa. Since then I have always dreamt about travelling to Africa one day. It took 20 years for this dream to finally come true. I had told some of my African friends about my dream just as one of them returned to his homeland for a visit. However, Africa is gigantic and has so many different countries. I knew that I did not want a typical tourist tour with dust free hotels, golden taps and artificial entertainment. I wanted to get to know the African people and spend my time in their company.
One of my good friends suggested travelling to Gambia, his homeland, as his brother would be able to find a room for me there – perfect! I spent all weekends working as a waitress to save all the money I could. On January 22nd 1996 I finally arrived on the African continent in Gambia, The Smiling Coast of West Africa.
Mamadi, my friend’s brother, picked me up at the airport. We drove to the capital city, Banjul, where I could rent a room just next to Mamadi’s family. Mamadi led me trough Banjul and showed me the Albertsmarked and the port. Here he told me that you could travel to the other side of the river by ferry to Barra and from there continue on to Juffure, the home of Kuna Kinte. “The home of WHO?” I asked and looked at Mamadi with big, surprised eyes. Even though I knew the story of Kunta Kinte ,I did not know what country he came from. “Kunta Kinte” Mamadi said, “don’t you know him?” “Yes, since my childhood” I answered.
And at the port in Banjul I got goosebumps all over my me …
I spent six weeks in Gambia, got to know the country and its people and felt very comfortable and safe. This was definitely not going to be my last trip to Gambia. So I came back in 1998, 2000 and again in 2015. At my last trip I visited my good friend Mustapha who after many years in Hamburg had returned to his homeland. I got to know his big family and have since then enclosed them in my heart. We spent a lovely time together. When I visited the school of his children and discovered under which poor circumstances they where taught, I got the idea to start this organisation which purpose is to support the school.
Home again I was met with lots of sympathy for my idea, especially from six really nice people amongst friends, family and colleagues. They helped with the foundation of “Nice to be Nice”.
A great THANK YOU to Matz, Peace, Sabine, Ture, Eberhard and Roland.
Half a year later all formal things are in order.