Daughter of Decolonisation
Nadia Nsayi, born in Kinshasa, but raised by adoptive parents in a provincial town in Flanders after the death of her birth father, starts doing genealogical research into her roots while at university. With the help of the family tree sent to her by an uncle, she discovers that her family history is closely entwined with the history of Belgium and the Congo.
Although Nadia Nsayi has done her homework, this book is far from a dry account of the facts. This historical work is accessible to a general readership.De Standaard
Her grandfather, Arthur Clerebaut, was a colonial in the Belgian Congo who fathered a son with a Congolese woman. As a ‘métis’ (the commonly used term for children from mixed marriages), Marcel was educated in Catholic boarding schools. Marcel (who later had a daughter, Nadia) worked himself up to ‘évolué’, the term used to refer to intellectuals who adopted the Western model and were therefore able to climb the social ladder. The terminology alone points to the racial oppression inherent in colonisation.
In addition to this (family) history, the author looks at her own development and growing awareness. She also writes about the Congolese diaspora in Brussels and calls for decolonisation via an official apology for the colonial injustices and for decolonisation as restoration. This compelling book interlinks a personal family story with the relationship between Belgium and Congo.
This is no one-sided account that lumps all Belgians together. A book that can potentially reach new generations.De Wereld Morgen
This book could not be more topical.De Volkskrant