Discover the latest news on travel, tourism, books, music, health, and other miscellaneous feature articles THE READING HALL: BELGIUM, A HAUNTED COUNTRY? ASKS JOEL SAVAGEThe Reading Hall


I don’t have a third eye, neither I am a soothsayer nor a clairvoyant, but I believe there are thousands of Belgians who would agree with me that Belgium is a divided country with a bleak future, without any hope for rescue and success but only fighting tirelessly to survive as a member of the European Union.

Belgium’s Political Crime in Africa
Adam Hochschild, the author of ‘King Leopold’s Ghost, A story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in colonial Africa’ writes “In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian.

Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travellers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust.

In regard to the crime which was orchestrated by King Leopold, can one say is Belgium cursed? Are the ghosts of those massacred taking revenge on this country, which has led to the difficulty to unite its people? Is the blood they poured on the soil of Congo haunting them or simply is the restless soul of Patrice Lumumba whom the Belgians assassinated also taking its sweet revenge? Frankly speaking Belgium pretend to be okay but they know the troubles they are facing in everything from the rich man to the common man on the street.

The Negative Attitude of Belgium’s Media

Like few European countries, Belgium including Britain and Holland colonized African countries, but Belgium is entirely a different country. The common things one sees in Britain, Holland, United States of America etc, are not commonly seen in Belgium. As an immigrant, it took me five years to see the first black bus driver in the city of Antwerp and seven years to see the first black policeman. It's a country for the past twelve years I haven't seen any black journalist working for the electronic or print media. 

As a black writer and author of six books, I am still unknown in Belgium, yet when a white Belgian writes a book, the news over that author is flooded in every newspaper in the country. It came as a surprise to me when I was featured online in a newspaper in Brussels, after every media in Belgium failed to publish articles I sent. I sent a message of thanks to the editor who published “A Glance of Joel Savage’s Life and his Books.” This was her message "I appreciate your thanks but I'm sorry, I'm not a Belgian, I'm from Romania." What a shame to the Belgium media?

I have lived a very hard life in Belgium as an author, amidst discrimination, racism and subject of ridicule, yet my seventh book is coming out soon. Without the support of the Belgium’s media I have excelled in my career as a writer, even though I work as a cleaner. I have received many invitations to attend conferences which I couldn’t participate because of my work. 

I have an advice for anyone who has aim and objectives. Just be a conscious man, no matter the number of obstacles along the path; never allow anything to distract your attention. Be prepared to endure with trials and tribulations. At the end of the dark tunnel, there is a bright light of success waiting for you.

"Little Boygium, Wonderful Experience" reveals how Joel endures nearly impossible challenges while simultaneously juggling a forklift driving course and writing books. He calls these tough moments "the wonderful experience." A brilliant book written by a writer, an adventurer, and a storyteller, "Little Boygium, Wonderful Experience" is an incredible book of inspiration and encouragement to anyone who may suddenly find themselves in an unfamiliar profession.

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