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If Youssou N’Dour plays Ethnic Music, then I am Ethnic Norwegian.

Simon Chilembo, Pres/ CEO, Chilembo EmpireEverybody loves a Super Star. The statement discounts snobs, fundamentalists, the ignorant arrogant, the uncultured, the uneducated, the primitive, the anti-social, the eccentric, the naïve, the narrow minded, the bigoted, the untalented, the gutless, the envious, and the jealous.

This posting is my message to 1st-Xst generation immigrants to Norway struggling with identity, as well as insecure sense of belonging in and to the country. These will be a mix masala mix of people from all countries of the world whose music Westerners refer to as Ethnic Music, collectively called The Third World. They will have skin colour tones divergent from the conventional European one, called White. These immigrants will have decided to make Norway their new home.  They will have adopted Norwegian citizenship, abiding by the laws of the land, and contributing to the growth and development of the country, each in their own ways in all areas of human endeavour. Singing Ja, Vi Elsker when and where appropriate will have become second nature to these people. Come 17. mai year after year, these people rise and shine in front of the King and the Royal family.

Those immigrants to Norway who are in the country temporarily in any capacity, here for 1- X years, need not bother to read this posting. However, reading it anyway, might help them with adjusting to the realities of their new national identity and its implications should they opt to stay in Norway, and become Ethnic Norwegians all the same, to live happily ever after. Addressing myself specifically to those who found refuge in Norway as they ran away from tyrannies in their own countries of origin, many in this category cherish the dream of someday returning to their non-functional, war torn beyond repair, and, in some cases, technically non-existent countries. These people are here but not here, leading miserable, eternally unfulfilled lives of bitterness and anger. Never satisfied with anything or anybody. Ever expecting, demanding more and more from Norway, giving little in return; only insults and insolence. Losers. Futureless. Living from day to day all days of their lives. No ambition. No drive. No success. Never could be Super Stars.

Ten years ago, in the middle of the night, I receive a phone call from an unknown person. It turned out to be a young man from another African country dismally failing its people. He had through various means found his way to Spain. However, his ambition was to come to Northern Europe, where he had heard that life and conditions for immigrants were much better. Could I help him come to Norway? No! “How can I be successful, and make a living in Europe, then?” he asks.
“Simple,” I say, “Just make yourself a Super Star!”
“But how, Sir? I have nothing, and I am nobody” he says.
I tell him, “Once you’ve settled down, make getting an education a top priority. Get yourself a skill, anything that can give you some documentation attesting to your training/ education, knowledge, competency, and experience. That way, it will be easier to get decent and well-paying jobs, or even start your own business, if you an entrepreneurial type like myself”

I went on to tell the young man that a good starting point would be to identify own inherent talents and skills, as well as interests and preferences, including strengths and vulnerabilities. Once that is done, it will then be easier to chart one’s own path to success and, by extension, superstardom. The secret is to be real good in whatever one finally settles on doing, aim to be the best in the field. Work and produce more and better than anyone else. Set standards, be a trendsetter. Be an example of, be a reference as the best there is in your field, or business. This is how Super Stars are made. And you get the rewards you deserve according to how you play your superstardom mind power games. Superstardom does not begin and end in itself. It is a lot of hard work. Maintaining and sustaining superstardom is much more work than getting there, actually. It takes a lot of pain and sacrifice to get there. When you are there, everyone wants a piece of you, for the good and for the bad. Everyone loves a Super Star. Superstardom is, also, intrinsically about values, ethics, and morals. Can you handle it?

At about the same time 10 years ago, an academic researcher comes to me to talk about the condition of being Xth generation immigrant sports Super Star child/ youth in Norway. She had come late for our scheduled meeting because, she told me apologetically, she had to sort out some unexpected ethical and professional questions with a colleague with whom she had another meeting prior to coming over to me. The colleague had expressed shock and scepticism at the thought and possibility of a Black African immigrant man having an office at Aker Brygge, the hub of Norway’s business elite, economic Super Stars.

The researcher asked: Are Norwegian sports Super Stars of mixed race parentage (particularly immigrant Afro – Norwegian) good at what they do because they are Norwegian? Or, are they Norwegian because they are good at what they do?
BOTH! was my answer. Norway has, by far, more and better resources, as well as conditions, making for successful grooming, growth and development of sporting talent and Super Stars across the board.

Norwegian sports Super Stars of mixed race parentage are, and will be perceived to be, Norwegians to the extent that they reflect conventional Norwegian values, both in and off the competition sphere. It’s never enough to be just the very best in the execution of one’s chosen sport, or vocation; one must be able to hold high the Norwegian flag with pride, dignity, and honour among nations. One must speak the Norwegian language. Broken to a thousand pieces, it doesn’t matter, just speak, it gets better all the time. And, above all, the Norwegian media must love our Norwegian sports Super Stars of mixed race parentage for them to remain relevant as Norwegians, both in real terms, as well as in the mainstream of thought and perception regarding who and who is not a true Norwegian in Norway by Norwegians.

The following are some of the cardinal rules by which any Super Star becomes, and remains a Norwegian in Norway (random order):

  • Fair play
  • Work, work, work, …
  • Total commitment to, total focus on winning
  • Killer instinct cultivation and sustenance
  • Do it right all the time
  • Never give up
  • Be methodical
  • Set priorities, and get them right
  • Humility
  • Manage scandals well
  • Marry, or at least have a long-term romantic liaison with a Norwegian Norwegian, or recognized Ethnic Norwegian. Make those sweet, chocolate babies fast
  • Kultur: Books, literature, kino, festivals, OBOS, Frognerparken, Sognsvann, dugnad, går tur, hund og/ eller kat, theatre, kunst, cappuccino, pils, rød vin, cognac, mat, ski, båt, fjell, hytte, jakt, Se & Hør, Vi Menn, Dagbladet, Cupido, Color Line ferry, Syden, osv.
  • In case of a fall, rise with dignity. You are only human like all Norwegians
  • Generousity: Social responsibility, philanthropy
  • Take a stand on pertinent local and global issues: Faith, religion, right of association, Human Rights, wars, politics, the environment, etc.
  • Join some mainstream special interest/ Civil Society organization/ -s
  • Be principled
  • Be tolerant
  • Be transparent without selling your soul to anybody. Be yourself
  • Never forget where you come from
  • Use social media: See and be seen
  • Skavlan is cherry topping. Skal Vi Danse? never hurt anybody either. Neither has a Reality show appearance or two on Norwegian TV

You want to thrive anywhere you’ve decided it’s your new home? Just be a good, decent human being sensitive to, and respectful of, the ways of your hosts, even if some of the ways may conflict with the fundamental principles of your own life and belief systems. For goodness’ sake don’t ever want to impose your own ways in your new homeland. That’s imperialism. If you cannot change, cannot adapt; if you and the things you do are not easily adaptable to, you cannot be a Super Star here. Better for all if you move on. The world outside Norway is big enough for all kinds of ordinary people. Some do the weirdest of things, including the belief that murder and suicide are express tickets to global superstardom, if not in a place called paradise somewhere in the realm of the dead. They say it’s in heaven above, and yet when we die, they bury us down below, as if to feed us to the belly of the earth. Genuine Super Stars are for the living, add value to life, inspire the living, give hope, and rekindle lost faith in the good of humanity. For the open-minded, liberated souls, Super Star opportunities in Norway abound. Feel at home, the sky above the country has no limits. I am a Super Star. I am Ethnic Norwegian. I know.


Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 10, 2014


1 Comment

  1. […] President Chilembo, what are you in this regard? Ahh, who? ME? Ohh, ja, ahh…, I am an Ethnic Norwegian citizen of the world with Zambian roots from South Africa! […]

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