Congolese | Turkish
I identify as mixed-race, Christian & heterosexual. My mum is full Congolese and my dad is full Turkish. They met in Belgium. I grew up in London, England.
My mum moving to Belgium from DRC wasn’t a drastic change for her because of the colony between Belgium and Congo. My dad was born in Belgium but him being a Turkish Muslim and my mum being an African Christian had an effect on their marriage.
I first began to acknowledge I was mixed-race at a very young age, roughly around the age of 6/7. Luckily, I haven’t had to experience any difficulty with my race. Growing up in London was pretty easy because of how diverse it is. I don’t think my mixed-race heritage has had an effect on my work/personal life.
Most of my friends are either mixed or Black, I think my upbringing has a lot to do with that, it’s also what I am used to. I do have a few Caucasian friends and I believe it also has something to do with the area I live and grew up in. I like to say I am open to any race when it comes to marriage, but I know what I would be more comfortable with especially because of my family. What happened to my Parents is something I always want to avoid.
I believe mixed-race people are misunderstood and I have been my entire life. A lot of my mixed-race friends could say the same thing. I do not speak Lingala or Turkish, but I speak French. Congolese people speak French as well and being raised in the Congolese household, I had no choice but to understand French. I was born in Belgium as well and my father speaks French, that’s his main language. My mum isn’t so comfortable with Lingala and I believe that’s why I was never taught Lingala. Not living with my dad my whole life, I’ve missed out on the Turkish culture but not everything. I connect more with my mother’s Congolese culture.
When asked ‘Where are you from’ I explain I was born in Belgium and I am a Belgian citizen living in the UK. But my heritage is half Turkish and half Congolese.
I appreciate the mixed of cultures I experience, and I am always proud of who I am because of where I am come from. Being misunderstood because of the way I express myself to others it can a problem.
Life as a mixed-race person is not difficult for me but and I believe it’s something most people have come to accept.
If I had the opportunity to be reborn I wouldn’t change a thing, I am proud of who I am and where I come from, my mix is very different and unusual, it’s made me the person I am today.