African Gang smashes Australian 800m record
WARNING: Do Not Under Any Circumstances Read this Article if:
- You have a preconcieved notion of what an African Gang is
- You don’t want that bubble to burst
I warned you not to, but you’re still reading! … If you continue reading this article, I won’t be held responsible for the terrifying consequences — a shift in your perspective!
To give you a quick background, the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull recently said and I quote
“There is real concern about Sudanese gangs” “You would have to be walking around with your hands over your ears not to hear it” “I have heard people, colleagues from Melbourne say that there is a real anxiety.”
One of those colleagues is Peter Dutton who had this to say about African Gangs
“People are afraid to go out to eat at night times because they are followed home by these gangs”
After Joseph’s great victory recently, I was excited for him and when I went to read the coverage about him, the first line read
‘Australian Joseph Deng has broken the 50-year-old Australian 800m record at the Diamond League meet in Monaco.’
After hearing the PM and Dutton’s comments, I will prove to you why Joseph Deng is not an Australian but an African Gang. I will also give you the true definition of what an African Gang is.
Here I go:
When I used to be an athlete at Queensland Athletics back in 2012–13, Joseph and I used to train together. Same place and time. He had a different coach and so did I. I was around 15/16 years old. Joseph is one years younger than me. Training was usually two to three times a week and the events were on the weekends.
At that time I was too young to drive and so was Joseph. So what my friends Adam, Barasa and I used to do was usually go after school straight to the training venue arriving around 5. Training usually started around 5:40–6pm. But because the venue was more than an hour away from our home and we didn’t want to be late, we would go and start training before everyone. Training finished around 7:30pm.
Again, during this time we couldn’t drive. So what our coach usually did was dropped us off to the train station after training. We would then catch the train arriving at our station around 8:30pm. Sometimes later due to delays. We used to live in Kingston, right next to Woodridge which has an infamous name. We could have gotten off at either Woodridge or Kingston. Woodridge was closer. Though, if we were getting picked up, we would get of Kingston.
However, because of our circumstances, some of our parents had to work during night times and there was usually one car in the family. Most times, our parents will tell us not to go training because it is dangerous and they won’t be able to pick us up. But no! We had a dream. I would say to my mum
“Mum I’m going with Adam and Barasa so I will be fine.”
We would leave our mothers at home worrying about our safety to go chase our dreams. We knew it hurt them. But we were chasing this dream for them. For all they have done for us. We were from refugee backgrounds including Joseph. So we knew how hard our parents worked. We just wanted to make sure it paid off.
So during the days, our parents couldn’t pick us up from the station, we got off Woodridge because it was closer. Woodridge is known to be the most dangerous suburb in Queensland. From 8:30pm when it was all dark, Adam and I would start walking home. Staying close to each other. Barasa got off the station after Kingston and walked home by himself. It would take Adam and I from 20–30 minutes to walk home always staying close to each other. Less than a meter apart. It was dark and scary. We were less than 16 years old.
Adam and I lived 10 minutes apart. We would depart in the middle so we both had 5 minutes to get home. Once we depart, Adam would start running home and I would start running home. Faster than I did when I was at training. The 5 minutes run was what took forever. Never looking back. Tears would cover my eyes because I was scared. But I was running with a sense of quiet desperation. That one day this dream would help my family.
I always had the key. But before I entered the house, I would stay outside for more than a minute to collect myself and wipe off the tears and make it seem like there wasn’t any problem or as if Adams parents dropped me off near the house. Because I knew that my mum would stay up late waiting for me to return. I wanted her to know that her son is okay.
Now here is where the PM and Dutton’s comment hurt me the most.
According to them, if someone was to see Adam and I walking at that time, we would be considered an #africangang and “people would be scared to go to restaurants because of us” not knowing our circumstances.
Now, this is just my experience. I didn’t know about Joseph’s experiences or circumstances. Whether he caught the bus, the train and if someone dropped him off or if he had to walk. But what I did know was that Joseph lived further away from the training venue then I did.
And now if he was to walk, according to the above comments, I guarantee you that “people would be scared to go to restaurants because of him” and he would be an #africangang!
But now after all of the lonely nights and quiet desperation and working hard and making his mum proud and achieving what he worked for, what he deserves, he is considered an ‘Australian Joseph Deng?’
Although we have all went on our own different roads, we have all worked hard and still achieving our dreams. Still making our mums happy. Adam is an Actor, Barasa is a professional Footballer, I am an international speaker inspiring the world and Joseph is now holding the country’s 800m record.
And now we are Australians? What about before? What about those kids who chased after their dreams putting their lives on the line?
Malcolm Turnbull, you were the one who was supposed to make the station safer for us to get off at, to make the night safer for us, the one to make sure we were not scared at night. We were relying on you. But it seems like you turned your back on us.
Well, you know what? We don’t care what you think! Because despite what you say, we will still continue to chase our dreams. Adam will continue becoming one of the best Actors in the world, Barasa will continue becoming one of the best to play the game, I will continue becoming one of the greatest speaker to walk this planet and Joseph will continue breaking the records. The world records.
If we were #africangangs then, we are still an #africangang now!
Because an #AfricanGang is someone who chases their dreams. Regardless of the naysayers, regardless of the critics, regardless of the fact that “there are people out there who would be scared to go to restaurants because of them.” They will continue to chase after their dreams because they know that there are people who believe in them, people who look upto them. They will continue risking their lives because they don’t want their parents to suffer any longer.
I am 21, Adam is 21, Barasa is 21. Joseph is 20