people are yovo at one point or another. And for many this
experience is quite an eye-opener. For some, it changes their
life. Others just cannot stand it.
Maybe you once showed up at a party and realized too late that
it was a costume party. Or, maybe you realized too late that it
was not a costume party. Maybe you joined the Peace Corps
and found yourself in a little hut at the end of a dirt road,
surrounded by a gaggle of curious children. For one reason or
another, many people end up in a place where they are the weird
|When children throw rocks at you, total strangers
want their picture taken with you, and when people start talking
to you veery slooowly and louder than usual, you know that you are
|People have many names for the weird strangers among
them. Some call them dang for'ners others call them Ausländer,
étrangers, or @$%^(#&^%. In West Africa
many people call them yovo, which means "talking dog."
I was yovo many times. Deep
in the West African bush, pouring palm wine libations for the
ancestors of the village or haggling with my taxi passengers,
I learned the true meaning of yovo. On this website, I've
begun to document some of my experiences in Africa.
|In January 1990, I left Germany for
a 6-month journey to Africa. On my bicycle
I crossed France, Spain and Morocco. There,
I joined a another German guy with his dog and snakes. I loaded
my bike on his pickup and together we crossed
the Sahara (together with some French car traffickers) and traveled
across West Africa. Eventually we got sick, and sold the dog and
the truck to get the money for the plane tickets back home.
In early 1991, I returned to Yikpa, a village in the mountains in southern
Togo, where I had left my bicycle. I found
my bike and all my possessions where I had left them, and I decided
to stay for a while to learn more about Africa. My hosts were pleased
about this decision and allowed me to ask their ancestors for a
piece of land where I could build a house. I also bought a small
Toyota van and started working as a bush taxi driver.
"yovo - yovo bon soir
ca vas bien - merciiee"