Who I Am

Tiajna Amayo

12:19 AM Jul 26

As I was born in England and have a British passport culturally I sometimes feel I identify more with the British culture, in terms of the way I deal with social situations. However, when it comes to the complex workings of my home and my relationship with my mum and older brother, the expectation is that I very much identify with Nigerian beliefs and ways of thought.

In my community, never has my culture and who and what I identify with come more in question then after eth Brexit vote. After one scary incident involving a man screaming at me from a car to go home, I suddenly realised that even though I saw myself as very much English, there were others in the country I was born in who didn’t think this was the case. To these people, I was just a good impersonator at being English, my dark skin however, gave me away as being different, or as one man commented in my local supermarket, as being exotic. Knowing that your culture does not stem from one lonely island but actually from a beautifully warm country in Africa has its perks. It always meant that when I was younger for show and tell my grandmother would have a bit of coral or some other treasure to show to my awe striken friends. As I grew up, the idea of my family heritage and wanting to be connected to it became stronger. I would beg my grandmother and mother to teach me the language of my home tribe and also to tell me folk stories. Now at the age of 20, I have learnt to accept who I am, and where my family comes from and how this impacts on who I am.

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