Jerry Angel engaged in a discussion with one of the project coordinators and decided he want to turn the discussion into a blogentry. This is the outcome...depicted without filter...
Jerry, you are a participant of Green light. Would be great, if you would tell something about you, and also maybe why you chose do this interview?
Well, hi, I am Jerry Angel. I am entertainer. I make movies and I am also a stage performing comedian. I am 22 years old, and I have been an entertainer for 14 years now. I am used to interviews, but only in the Nigerian or African community.
So you already started performing back in Nigeria?
Yes , in Edo State, Benin-City.
Did something change in how you perform, since you have arrived in Europe?
Yeah, a lot has changed. Travel is part of education. Before I was performing only in front of Nigerian community, but here most of time the foreigners , the Europeans join us, and then you have to change the mood of entertaining, so that you can carry everybody along.
Okay, like for instance, if I used to perform with my local dialect, now I have to try to speak a general language, so that everybody can understand, and before, if maybe I had to put on some clothes to look funny, but in the Western world you don’t have to do that anymore to look funny. You just have to do good and they will appreciate your appearance, then they want to listen to you, and they get your point. Even if it is just entertainment you have a message, you want to touch people, who are listening to you.
And in Nigeria it was not like that? Like having a point? Or dig into abstract, philosophical moral issues?
Yeah, sometimes in Nigeria when I performed, I was not think about how to impress, because I knew this is my people, and we would just laugh and laugh and laugh and they would give me standing ovation and that’s all. But know I have to think, I have to entertain people who are more lenant. I don’t say that in Nigeria we don’t have lenant people, entertaining white people is quite different than entertaining black people. So you have to do extraordinary things to carry everybody along.
You are known in the workshop for traveling a lot, because you rarely show up. You always tell how you have been to Frankfurt, Munich, or Salzburg
Travel is part of my job. I have travelled every single city of Italy and I have crossed the boarder aswe-a-ell [at this point he smiles and he starts giggling]. Maybe illegaly, because I don’t have the necessary things to permit me to. But due to my job I go to the boarder and I explain to the police man, that I am an entertainer, and this is my ticket, I am going to this country to perform and this is my job, the job that I’ve done so far and I am coming back and they said okay. You have to drop this, but you’re coming, are you sure. So then I come back
This is it. .
Do you also have something on you to rove that you’re an entertainer?
Yes I have CDs, I have my comedy show CD which I did in 2013. I have a movie I did in Nigeria, in 2006 or 2007, I found it here in Italy. One of my fans had it at home, and I asked if I can make a copy of it, and they said “yeeah no problem”, so I have all these things. For the few years, that I have stayed in Italy I have made also five movies, of which I have the CD’s with me, These are my evidences to prove them that I am a real entertainer now, I also have some clicks on my youtube channel on the phone to show everybody, who stops me
And it really works? You most of the cases just explain what the case is?
It worked for me at the airport, when I was going to Hamburg, so I was using the easyjet, so they stopped me, they said to me I can not travel, so I had to explain, and I had to bring all the evidence I have, and my ticket, and the poster of the show from the show of the place I am going, and to prove I will be back two days after the date of my departure, because I have to travel back to my country. So the security came and they said you are not supposed but just go, because they felt, they believed me.
What happened on your way back from Hamburg?
So, I went to Hamburg successfully and I came back, I went to Freiburg successfully and I came back, but when I went to Munich I did not came back successfully [he giggles], because I travelled by bus and when I was coming back I was sleeping in the bus, because it was a night bus, so all I see was a police man who tapped me for documents, so I gave him the passport, and he says sry this thing is not valid here, you don’t have the plastic, you have to come with us to the office.
When you say 'the plastic' what do you mean?
I mean, when I say 'the plastic' the electronic document, the Italian electronic document, for maybe two years, maybe five years, maybe three years…
How do the Munich officer that you as a German officer knew that you must have the plastic?
In the European world the security is very smart, I think they know everything about each other. Italian police knows the original documents of Germany, while the german police know what Austria is supposed to give you, because they were trained to do that.
So when he sees your documents, he will know that this is not the original, although what you have is original, but is valid within the country you get that document, so they have to give you the electronic one in order to cross the boarder. Not what I had was a fake document or an illegal document, it is an original document for me, but just not valid to cross the boarder, but it is valid to stay or travel within that country.
What happened then?
I went with them to the office. Getting to the office, the one who brought me there, and left again. The officer in the police station checks my ticket, and asks me for my mission here, they check me, they checked what I have with me, they see my CDs, check my name, and I explain everything to him, that I am an entertainer, and I gave him the address of where I performed, and they controlled and everything was true, and they said "wow, they’re supposed to let you go, but now you are at the station and are registered everywhere and I have to do my job, but if I were the person in charge, I would not have get you down..", but now they would do have to do the regular procedure and they prepared the papers and the pictures..
And after they took me to the boarder, and they asked me to go to Austria to get the train. But the place was just to dark and cold, and I asked, if they could get me a Taxi, and they said no they can’t. They are doing their job, and I can not to go back to Germany now, I have to track to Austria.
Because they can not bring you somewhere, because it is not part of what they do..
It is not part of their job. It was around 2:45, 3 am, the road was full of rock, and very dark, and it was very cold, you know, so I had to track, track, track, track, I walked down that night to Austria…
How many cars did you take, while you were tracking?
I was just thinking on how to get forward, not to count numbers of cars, but it was few cars, jut few, I think it should be less than 10, but I think few..
So I get to Austria, but I saw some police, so I thought okay, let me just go and meet them and either they take me anywhere, so I just hit on their glass and said excuse me, I would need to go to the train station, I am from Germany, and it is very cold, and they said: “okay, you have to goo straight “
Hahha I said, “but.. “, but he said “go straight”. I was going straight off the road, because he asked me to go straight and I go straight and straight and straight, and at 4 am I don’t find the station, and run into a person who fills his tank and ask him if he knows some English, and he says 'yes', I am looking for the train station and he goes “the train station! It is very, very far from where you are right now. Where are you going?”, I told him I am going to Italy and he said he is going to Italy aswell, so he asks me if I have some documents on me and I said yes and I showed to him my document, I showed to him my passport, I showed to him my carta identità, containing the resident with my address has been, that is how he drove me to Italy. He brought me to a city, from which I came back home. But it was the worst experience, since I have been travelling in Europe
So how did that make you feel?
So the german police said I have no problem, but I was supposed to go to jail, or pay some fine, but in my own case, I have no problem, but just for me to sign that I would not come back, till I have my own plastic
Don’t you think it is very brave of you that you still try to travel around in Europe? I know for a fact, that people in your legal situation they would not dare, and it would feel them more victimized, saying they would feel lke more in the position of victims, than they are already, right?
In my own case, I was brave. In Italy I was scared of doing it, because I always say I am not here in Europe to engage myself in any illegal business. I don’t partake in anything illegal, I focus on my entertainment job to improve it, whereby I try to employing people to work together in entertainment industry to pick some persons out of the street, out of prostitution and there are some persons who can try to bewash them to go out of drug business. But the illegal thing I have done is crossing the border without any necessary document, because they where so many calls of different countries “yo have to come and entertain us, you have to come and entertain us.. “ So I have been rejecting and rejecting and rejecting, and then I said I just try.
I need to ask: What was the reason you came to Green light
I came to Green light to first of all to meet with different communities, like in Green light it was a venue for me to understand that not every white people in this country are racist. Before of Green light my ability of thinking was very very low, I always had this mindset that these people are never gonna like us. I just have to do my thing, my own way, so being part of Green light makes me feel loved by people from Italy, people from Austria or Germany, or people from other African communities aswell. We stay together as one family, and coming to Green light means also to do a lot of different things…
Basically my origin of coming because I thought maybe it is a job opportunity, you go there, learn one particular thing, which you can use and work in the company. In the first day I was disaoppointed, this is what we are going to do, making sticks and all that. After two three days I fell in love with the project until now. I don’t want to lose any bit of it, so Green light, progressively was an opportunity for me to enlarge my cause, come close to a lot of people, and to learn that there are people who love us for who we are, not because we’re black, or because we are immigrants.
We were about to finish the on-record-talk, when Jerry asked me to ask him one more question... after sharing a laughter, how soon he grew into being interviewed, I was supposed to ask him this... His answer was a bit unexpected..
Jerry as a future black European entertainer, what are your plans in Italy?
My plans in Italy is to be an entertainer with a difference. I want to be a role model to all black Africans, rather all immigrants. I want to create an avenue for empowerment, being an immigrant, and being an entertainer I want to empower a lot of immigrants, who wants to be an entertainer, this could be a singer, a comedian, a stand-up-performer, dancer or a movie actor, because I produce movies aswell, so currently we are working on entertainment , which existed already before in Nigeria, so right now we try to register it with Italian government here and I have to 30 people already on ground who are working with me, among other things, there will be shooting, so tight now we want to make it legal, we want to break into the white community, not only the black community. We want to tell the Italians that the immigrants can create something to entertain, so basically I want to register in entertainment to start empowering young people on the street. There are a lot prostitutes on the streets, some of them talk to me on facebook and say “Herry please, I want to be an actress, if I will be an actress, I can leave this job” I say, don’t worry, but I can help you, but I can not be paying them, but I can give them an avenue to show case in the movies, but gradually gradually, gradually, like I told my members, we would do movies collectively. When we make the movies together we can start to preview it in Italian cinema, the people would watch, and they would leave money for us, we can create together a PR-buisness, and before you know it, see people starting coming out from the street. That is my plan, for now.