THE UNBULGARIANS: KONE YAKU, CÔTE D'IVOIRE

interview by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff

The 30-year-old car fitter Kone Yaku arrived in Bulgaria from Abidjan in 2012. He is applying for refugee status and has won two cases in a Bulgarian court, but after a "no" from the Supreme Court he is still in limbo.

Kone Yaku.jpg

After several months working in a call centre, Kone Yaku is now a model at the National Academy of Arts.

Why did you chose Bulgaria of all places?



I chose it because it looked as if it can be the solution to the problems I had in my country. My all hopes are in Bulgaria now. I trust that the things will turn out in the best possible way, I believe in my bonne chance here. I won two cases in court, so...

Have you experienced special treatment in Bulgaria because you are a foreigner?

I haven't had any big problems in Bulgaria. I love the Bulgarians, the friends I made here. People are very friendly with me, and eager to help. I made many friends here – the friends of my girlfriend, the students in the Academy.

Can you single out something which is typical for Bulgarians?

Everywhere in the world, there are good people and bad people. I don't like to generalise.

Did Bulgaria surprise you when you arrived, and how?

Here I saw snow for the first time in my life. And the food. I love Banichka and Shopska salad.

Do you celebrate Bulgarian feasts?

Yes. I love wearing Martenitsa and tying them to trees. With my girlfriend, we coloured eggs for Easter, and went to church on Good Friday and on Easter.

Can you describe Bulgaria in three words?

For me, Bulgaria is a good country. And the people are good.

Do you plan to stay in Bulgaria?

Of course. If everything is good for me here, I will be happy to stay. I like the country, I feel good here.

 

EEA GrantsThe UnBulgarians is a project of the Free Speech International Foundation and the Multi Kulti Collective, sponsored by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014

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