Alec Lomani’s Story
Congolose-American rapper Alec Lomani has received substantial hype the past year – both for his style, his music as well as for his intriguing immigration story. And it is quite a story:
“Born in Belgium but not eligible for Belgian citizenship, raised in Kinshasa but denied citizenship by the Congolese government. Lomani went to visit family in the US in 1998, right as the civil war back in the DRC reached new proportions. This meant he was better off staying in the US and applying for asylum, which was denied to him. Thus began almost a decade of stateless living, which ended in an American prison.
But this is America, land of the happy ending. Lomani’s situation was eventually sorted thanks to his mom, who did obtain political asylum in the US, got her green card and filed for her son’s green card. And Lomani’s stint in jail gave him plenty of time to think and write. “I’m somewhat of a vagabond,” he says, “or a cultural bastard of some sort, but I’m a proud Congolese nonetheless.”
Photo credits: Shako Oteka