I am from Johannesburg but now live in the countryside outside Lucca in northern Tuscany, where my mother was born and lived before immigrating to South Africa with my grandparents and her sisters in the late 1950s. I grew up with colorful stories about their shenanigans in a working-class, multicultural part of the city among their Jewish, Greek, Portuguese, and Italian neighbors, so different from the stuffy private-school upbringing my father experienced. I think the warmth of an Italian family is part of what made him fall in love with my mum. While it seems silly nowadays, entering into a multicultural marriage was a brave move in the solidly conservative and highly stratified society of 1970s South Africa. Despite my decidedly British surname and my highland looks, my italianità has always been very important to me. I studied Italian at school and university, majoring in Italian, French, and Linguistics. I completed my PhD in translation studies with a thesis on Italian Postcolonial Literature in 2016. After working at the University of the Witwatersrand as a lecturer for ten years, I decided to move to Italy in 2021, where I now freelance as a translator and editor. I joined Segmento as assistant editor in 2023. My personal story as a 2nd-generation immigrant, and now an immigrant myself, helps me relate to the stories we showcase in the magazine, and helping bring the best out of our amazing writers is a highlight of the job.
Former Consul General of Italy to Melbourne, Marco Maria Cerbo, spoke to Segmento about his new role in promoting the Italian language and culture abroad as Head of the Italian Training and Education System in the World.