Open the Borders

Open the Borders

Sep 26, 2022

Hi friends!!

Just before the start of the pandemic, I wrote a song with refugees from Burundi, Senegal, and Afghanistan. I was living in Brussels, Belgium at the time and volunteering at the Fedasil Arrival Centre, which is the first port of call for migrants seeking asylum in Belgium. Together with poet and writer Sarah Reader Harris, we offered weekly poetry and songwriting sessions for residents at the center.

The song "Open the Borders" began with words in Swahili from a refugee called Buddy, who was originally from Burundi.

He wrote the words that became the chorus of the song:

Hakuna Matata

Tushikané Mikono

Tutafika Salama

Nabila Silah

These words we translated into English:

Don't worry

Place your hand in mine

We will arrive safely

Without violence, we will arrive

The song communicates the idea that all people, like birds who fly, should be free to move anywhere in the world in search of a safe, happy life.

You can learn more about the writing of this song by visiting my website:

Here is a video so you can have a listen!

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