The young Gambian boy that made it to Italy at 14 years through “the back way” as they call it. Women and men but mostly young boys at different ages take the journey through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea to make it to Europe from Africa in hopes to follow their dreams. Unfortunately, many end up dead during this difficult journey
The lack of opportunities in the continent force many youths to take the back way. But many don’t have the opportunity to get to their destination. Some die during travel, some are deported back, and some get stock in Libya where they end up in jail or being sold to modern day slavery. Yes, many end up having to work for less than a $1 a day for promise to make it to Europe. For Musa Juwara, the teenage striker for Italian Serie A club Bologna, it was a day of celebration. Musa after taking his journey through the back way, amongst the few who make it, has said it was a “dream” to score his first goal on Sunday.
“I really want to thank the coach for showing me that trust,” said the 18-year-old who came on as a substitute. Musa has a remarkable story. Juwara arrived in the Italian island of Sicily in 2016 on a migrant boat at the age of 14. “I’m really happy to score my first goal, which I want to dedicate to my family and all those who have helped me on my journey. This is a dream for me and a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” said after Sunday’s win. His compatriot, Musa Barrow, scored the other goal as the 10-man visitors claimed an unlikely 2-1 win over Inter Milan.
Musa’s story is bittersweet. We wish him all the best and hope as his story inspires many, it is also a reminder that most youths don’t make it to Europe during the difficult journey. We hope the youths of Africa dream big but responsibly.