English | Nigerian/Sierra Leone/Equatorial Guinea
Both of my parents were born and grew up in the UK. However, my maternal grandfather is from Nigeria and my maternal grandmother was from Sierra Leone on her mother's side and Equatorial Guinea on her father's side. They met at a house party in Brighton. My mother had just finished her degree in French and my father had just finished his post graduate degree in art history.
If I had to tick boxes, I would put myself down as mixed Afro-European. However, I don't really like putting labels on myself, I am what I am. I think that's what I like most about being mixed-race. No one can ever guess where I am from or define me as this or that. I can define myself.
I grew up in Bath, UK. Although I spent a wonderful and very formative year of my childhood in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. My father is a university lecturer and secured a job setting up the country's first school of architecture there.
I've always understood I was of mixed heritage. My parents made every effort to ensure I grew up knowing and experiencing the cultures of both sides of my family. One of my first trips out of the UK as a baby was to visit my family in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
My friendship circle is predominately White, straight and atheist. That hasn't happened consciously, I suppose it is just a consequence of where I grew up and the environment I now work in.
I am fortunate in that I've never experienced racism in my life. If I'd grown up ten, twenty years earlier, I imagine that would have been very different. I think, if anything, people are intrigued. I get asked where I am from all the time. I'll say I am from Bath and people get very confused and ask me where I am from again. That used to annoy me, why can’t I simply be ‘from Bath’? However, I think people are just interested.
For me, the best thing about being mixed-race is being able to fit in and feel a part of so many different backgrounds and cultures. Often when I travel outside of Europe, people think I'm from that country, and it's great. The negative side comes part and parcel with the positive – I can feel a part of so many different cultures, but I don't feel like I belong to any particular one 100%.
If I was to be born again I would want to come back exactly the same.