LIVES IN AFRICA (KINSHASA), BRIGITTE 6 YEARS OLD, WANTS TO LEARN ENGLISH!

A TRUE STORY.-  My friends, this true story is fascinating and I will share it with you now. It had been reported to me by the father. The story concern a child, we will call her Brigitte, she is 6 years old and lives with her parents in Kinshasa in  Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Why is this story interesting? The story is interesting because it’s about a little girl who asks lots of questions about English to her father and who also wants to speak English language right now. The real disavantage is that her family lives in a French-speaking country where French is the official language and the Lingala, the national language. We can already ask ourselves questions: “Where did the desire to speak English come from? knowing that nobody in her family speaks English. In the family, it is Lingala language that iis usude extensively – the French not much, not to say not att all, and why that young daughter insists to discvover many things about English language? Now, listen to the story.

BRIGITTE  6 YEARS OLD.- One day, Brigitte approaches her father and asks him not only one or two questions but a series of questions, disturbing and suprising questions for a girl of his age. She begins:”…dad, when I grow up  will I have to learn English? – Do boys only have to learn English? – Dad, what’s English? – Dad, where do the Englishmen live and who fonded the English language? “…dad, you can speak English? – Like all children of this age, Brigitte is used to asking questions to her father and often. But that day, his father was very surprised to see his daugher asking questions about a surprising and mature subject. To tell the truth, I was very annoyed by this cascade of questions and also because I did not know what to answer. In order not to disappoint her, I had to lie to save my father’s honor. Why? Because for children in general, all dads are super guys, they know everything and to say that I don’t know, what disappointment for her and what humiliation for me. I felt compelled to answer because she insisted and always came back to the charge. And when I answered, I saw her satisfaction. But to be honest, the only question I had trouble answering with sincerity was when she wanted to know if I too spoke English like other dads in general? Always to defend my honor and especially not disappoint, I said “yes, of course, I can speak English”. She said “…ouaho!my dad is super man, he knows all”.

A FEW DAYS LATER. Yes, a few days later, my child Brigitte saw television on a channel, a short advertisement on the children’s toys that spoke and sang in English, it was very nice and she was very enjoyed. This sequence came back several in the day. On the third pass of the same advertisement, my daughter calls me with eagerness: “dad, dad, come, come and see this doll, she is very nice and well dressed, besides she speaks, sings and dances, tell me dad: which language she uses?” – “ah, I see, she is very nice et beautiful, I replied”. No, dad, she said “this is not what I asked – in which language and what does it mean,”? “excuse me, I said – it’s English language and it is said: “she is the most doll in the world and she likes dancing and singing a lot”. She was looked satisfaited and one more, I saved my honor. In truth, it was wrong answer, I had simply inveted a respons because in fact, myself, I did not understand what the doll said in advertising.

I WAS ASHAMED. Yes, ashamed of myself because on the one hand I lie to my daughter and on the other hand because of not being aware of deepening my English while I could. Quickly, I did an examination of conscience and I decided to get back to learning English without delay because I thought it was behavior worthy of a father. Decision made, I enrolled in English evening class where I started taking lessons for beginners because I had lost all notions of English school. Surprise! Thinking to be myself the only one adult, I met other dads and women of my age and even older than me. It reassured me. Back home, I told my wife to keep secret for the moment not to disappoint my daughter Brigitte and not to think that I lie to her. What would be my shame? My wife understood my position and promised to keep this secret. Besides ,she supports me and encourages me to continue and don’t give up.

I’M PROUD TODAY. Yes, as of today, I am proud because I’m able to express myself in English fluently after taking these evening classes for 2 years. Indeed, at first, it was a bit difficult but patience, determination and help from my wife, I’m proud. I can also say thanks to my daughter Brigitte, indirectly who kept challenging me somehow, I made the decision to return to school in the evening. Now, I’m proud of no longer lying to her. She is 8 years old now and proud of her. I decided, when the time comes, I will push her to learn English in College and maybe send her to study in England, and when one day I’ll tell her the whole truth, we’ll lauhg together, it will be said: “That was a beautiful family adventure”!

OPENING DOORS. The knowledge of the English language opened me a door throught my Entreprise. I work in an airline company with Americans and thanks to my English Speaking, I have been assigned to a technical service. With the Americain staff, I pratice every day and my English improve more and more. Let me tell you a truth, when Americans come to Africa as Technical Assistance, they make no effort to learn your local language, they don’t care, not even French. This is not their problem. For me, I will say, it was a big advantage because it was for me a field of effective practice. I thank those Americans who came to Kinshasa at the time of Air Zaïre. I advice everyone to learn English because it is truly a universal language. My story, thanks to my daughter and I will never forget it. Good luck. God bless everyone and give you strenght to learn and practice English.

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