Clermont full-back Vital N’Simba on fleeing Angola as a child and settling in France

In speaking to Sud Ouest, Clermont defender Vital N’Simba discussed the incredible story of how he and his family arrived in France when he was a child after fleeing Angola. The N’Simbas were able to stay in France due to his brother’s need for medical care due to a disability caused by contracting meningitis as a baby. The 28-year-old explained:  

“In 1999, my father had problems in Angola. He was part of the presidential guard and he lost a shipment. They thought he was part of a conspiracy, when he had actually been robbed… We had to leave the country in a hurry because he risked being imprisoned, or even killed. We went to Italy for a few days, then we went to my uncle’s house in Toulouse for about ten months. Then we joined a home for asylum seekers in Villenave-d’Ornon for five years… Finally, we were lucky enough to be naturalised and we were able to find a small house in La Bastide, Bordeaux.”

“My little brother was in a special medical centre. Expelling us would have made the situation very complicated for him, he risked dying in Africa because he wouldn’t have been able to receive the appropriate care there. Many people helped us and our case arrived on [Bordeaux major] Alain Juppé’s desk. He decided to take care of us and he did everything to ensure that we received papers and accommodation.”

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