Spotlight on: Ntirampeba Joseline

Becoming a United States Citizen


Photo by: Midlo Scoop Staff

On October 13, 2017, Ntirampeba Joseline, a freshman at Midlo, officially became a U.S. Citizen.

On October 13, 2017, Ntirampeba Joseline, a freshman at Midlo, officially became a U.S. Citizen. Ten years ago, her family moved to America from Tanzania. Joseline and her sister, Marceline Habonimana, attended their citizenship ceremony at Midlothian Middle School, alongside forty-four other minors.

How does life in Tanzania differ from life in America?

I grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania, Africa. First of all, common people lived in stick or dirt houses, but the rich people got to live in the fancy brick houses. In Tanzania, children can play outside for as long as they want; there isn’t school. Also, only the rich and powerful people drive cars, not everybody, like in America.”


What was the hardest obstacle to overcome in America?

“I was really young when we came to America, but I remember the hardest part was the lifestyle. In Tanzania, kids can run around and play by themselves, but here, children can’t even stay home alone without an adult. Another hard part was the language barrier; I could understand a few English words, but I couldn’t speak or write it, so I had a hard time expressing my feelings.”


Explain your feelings regarding citizenship.

It’s really important to me because once I am a citizen, I can stay in America and get an education. Here, I can graduate from college without being deported, and when I turn the right age, I will be able to vote!”


Describe your feelings when you became an official citizen.

“I felt very relieved that it was over because there were a lot of eighth graders watching the ceremony; I got really bad stage-fright. I was also very happy because now I will not be deported out of America, and I can stay and go to school.”


What is your favorite part about America?

“I can’t choose a favorite because everything here is new and shiny! I really love the peace festivals in Richmond, and, of course, I love Midlo.”