To put it simply Forenji.com is a collection of my thoughts: be they stories, poems, life lessons or anything else. Think of it as a journal that I’m putting out there for the world to read and engage with.

Take note though, what I write won’t be perfect: my thoughts, opinions and ideas are constantly evolving, but writing them down is exactly what helps me to do so.

What is Forenji?

Forenji is an Amharic word which means “foreigner” or “outsider”.

Who is Forenji?

Jonathan.

Born in South Africa, raised in Ethiopia and currently living in India, Jonathan is a true product of globalisation. He has traveled to 11 countries, 20 major cities, 30 plus towns and villages, and counting. He also speaks 3 languages and has been trained in fields of study such as, theology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, literacy development, conflict resolution, translation, leadership and management.

Jonathan has seen the world from a perspective few can lay claim to and it is from this experience that he draws much of his inspiration.

Why Forenji?

The concept of “Forenji” took root during Jonathan’s early years growing up in Ethiopia. This is what he was to everyone else, a foreigner, an outsider.

Rather than feel shunned or ostracized, he came to embrace his identity as a Forenji. He realised that being a foreigner gave him an outside perspective that many value. That being a foreigner meant he wasn’t bound to one cultural identity, but that he could bind himself to multiple cultural identities. Adapting to the surrounding culture became second nature to Jonathan.

The concept of Forenji was further solidified when after returning home to South Africa in 2006, having spent more that 10 years in Ethiopia. Jonathan realised that he was a foreigner in his own country. He thought different, behaved differently, had different values, views and perspective of the world than those in his home country.

Jonathan now resides in India, where he is once again seen as a foreigner, albeit now one who has learnt to adapt and thrive in new circumstances. He takes pride in the fact that he is not bound to one way of thinking and doing things, but able to take his experiences and apply them to a variety of new and exciting challenges.

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