INTERVIEW: Wadzi, Paivapo meetup organiser

Sign up for our newsletter




Tell us a bit about yourself:

​I was born and raised in Southern Africa and have lived in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa before settling in Berlin.​ I am passionate about amplifying African voices, wherever they may be found and that is part of the reason I started the Paivapo series. I founded a policy and democracy organization called the African Democracy Experiment, I am always looking to meet new and interesting people, and I am beyond excited that ice-cream season in Berlin is back!


What does Paivapo mean?

​Once upon a time in Shona (Zimbabwean language)​


What is the African Story Series and was your motivation to start it here?

​The African Story Series was started as a way to share stories of Africans living in the European diaspora, and to create a safe space for this diaspora and people with ties to Africa to share experiences from home, Germany, and the world. I started the series to help build a better understanding of the African diasporan experience and create a language of compassion for the challenges this community faces. The story nights are held monthly in Berlin and they are open to those who are also open to listening.​


The topic of your first meetup was “finding home”. What does it mean to you and how do you think we can find this feeling of being home in increasingly globalized society?

​The topic of Finding Home is important to me because I have strong connections to my home country and I think of it often. Yet, I live in Berlin and this too is becoming my home. There is a tension that I think most people who move to this city feel, as they try figure out their place here, and how to thrive in such a diverse and complex city. There is a lot to be learned from Berlin, and so many people to learn from and with. I guess, I just wanted to know how other people felt and if this process of making Berlin a place we too could call home is a familiar feeling for other people as well.​ ​I have found this feeling by trying to meet as many diverse people as possible, learning German of course, and making sure I push my self to do something different every so often. ​​


Which story from the last story meetup “finding home” touched you most or stuck with you?

​There was an impromptu story about how the different ways in which Africans reach Germany potentially shapes their entire experience here. It made me think of the  challenges that people overcome for an opportunity to make something of their lives, and the importance of compassion in understanding the different sacrifices that they have had to make to be here.

Wadzanai Motsi