Marcus Fränzer and Christine Adelesui Arnheim

Living in Two Worlds?

Marcus Fränzer (Lippstadt, Germany) has interviewed sixteen-year old Christine Adelesui Arnheim, who is living in Münster (Germany) as the daughter of a Bulsa mother (Margaret Lariba Arnheim) and a German father (Fridenand Arnheim)


M.F.: Have you ever been in Ghana and experienced African life there?

C.A.: I have been there very often and I like it very much. Compared with Germany many things are quite different: the towns and the people. Life in Ghana can be as hectic as here in Germany, but more in a positive sense. Everything is done with a smile. A journey from Accra to the north may be very exciting because the bus may be late or it has a puncture or is delayed at a police barrier or because of the Tamale curfew, but people in the bus take it easy and nobody complains.

M.F.: Is life easier in rich Germany as compared to Ghana?

C.A.: This is a difficult question. In either country life can be easy or not so easy. A great disadvantage for most Ghanaians is that they cannot afford expensive medicine or luxury articles. It is also a pity that school education is not a matter of course for young people.

M.F.: Have you ever experienced the effects of racism or hostility to foreigners here in Germany?

C.A.: No, I myself have never come into contact with it. Of course I know that something like that exists here, but I am not afraid of it. Fear will be of no use anyhow.

M.F.: Have you mainly German or non-German friends?

C.A.: Here in Germany my friends are mainly German, but my best friend here is half Ghanaian. In Ghana I have Ghanaian friends. Often my German friends have completely wrong ideas about life in Ghana. Many of them think that life there resembles the jungle book with elephants roaming about and people sleeping on the bare ground. Of course there are elephants in Ghana, but they live in the zoo and people live in ordinary houses.

M.F.: Where would you like to spend your life after finishing your education and where will you look for a marriage partner?

C.A.: I will certainly live most of my time in Germany, though I would like to spend longer holidays, say of a few months there, but I will not live there for good. - As for marriage partners... well, love is unpredictable. I would say that in Germany a German partner will be more probable and suitable, in Ghana a Ghanaian. But as I said before, it is difficult to say. I am still too young.

M.F.: Have you ever had any contact to the Bulsa and the Bulsa area?

C.A.: Yes, as a child I lived for one year in my grandfather’s compound in Gbedema and I had to speak Buli with everyone. When I came back to Germany, I had forgotten all my German and I could not even talk to my father. In later years I visited Bulsaland several times and I was even baptized in Wiaga [by Fr. Kirschner]. Also in future I am looking forward to visiting Bulsaland again.