Officially I don’t exist because my mother gave away my identity

Officially I don’t exist because my mother gave away my identity
Officially I don’t exist because my mother gave away my identity

Phew. As an adult woman you eventually try to regain your identity. How did you do that?
The first thing I did was contact my mother. I have tried for years to get my papers through her. I didn’t know then that she gave away my identity. My mother was constantly lying about why I couldn’t get my papers. For example, she said, “As soon as I’m married to your brother and sister’s father, I can give you your papers, because then my papers will be in order.” For years I believed all those excuses.

On Christmas 2015, a cousin from Ghana called me to tell the truth. I immediately confronted my mother, but she denied everything. She said my cousin was crazy, she got mad at me and blocked me from contacting her. I went to the Dutch police, but they wouldn’t do anything for me. That’s why in 2017 I went to Brescia, the city where I was born. But nobody wanted to help me there either: the municipality, the police, the immigration service… I was sent from pillar to post. I was completely stuck. Everyone shrugged off responsibility.

At one point someone from the Italian consulate says in your documentary ‘that this takes a lot of time and that if someone had to solve this for you, they should do it voluntarily’. In other words: unpaid and in his own free time.
Yeah, that’s almost laughable, isn’t it? It’s so frustrating. I also have to deal with systematic racism. I have often heard from people that I should “just be happy that I can live in the Netherlands”. That’s purely based on how I look. As if, because I look the way I look, I have to accept that I don’t have the right to vote in my own country.

The article is in Dutch

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