Nouk Bassomb was born in Cameroon, Africa. At age twenty, he was arrested for distributing leaflets in support of a workers' strike and was held in a concentration camp for four years without trial. He subsequently studied in France, where he received a Ph.D. in anthropology and archaeology from the Sorbonne. After moving to the United States, he started doing fieldwork in New York City homeless shelters and was so moved by what he found there that he set up the Homeless Self-Help Program.
Dr. Bassomb is the author of a memoir relating his experience in the concentration camp in Cameroon and two volumes of plays on the political situation in his native land, all of which were published in France.
He is a storyteller who also writes on various subjects, including myth, tradition, and rites of passage. He is currently working on an account of the three-month initiation he underwent in the African rainforest in order to enter adult society.
Dr. Bassomb lives in New York City.
My work with the homeless is a message. In this Age of Aquarius, there shall be floods. People who are nowhere near a river shall wake up one morning to find themselves in the middle of a sea of water. They shall lose their homes. They shall become homeless overnight. I came with that knowledge so I studied the homeless, lived with them, worked with, and for, them.
The homeless situation in the USA is alarming, especially for African Americans. Depending on where you are in America, African Americans, 12% of the population make up between 60 and 90% of the homeless population and 70% of them are men. Homelessness already deeply victimizes people of African ancestry. Floods shall victimize them even more. But if they listen to my words, they shall transform themselves from victims to saviors. They shall become saviors of those who drown, those who lost their homes... They shall bring strength to all flood victims.
The First Fruits