English/Welsh | Ghanaian

James Sharpley.jpg

I was born in London but have benefitted from exposure to different cultures, including several years in Ghana. As a result, I can speak fluent Twi. I am a barrister, and my areas of interest are soft Intellectual Property and Music. I’m also a singer/songwriter. 

My mother is Ghanaian, she came to the UK to study at university, and my father is English. My parents met at a charity fund raising dinner in London.

From a young age I could understand and appreciate the cultural differences between Ghana and England and adapt accordingly. I have fond memories of my childhood. I recollect racing car tyres with other children with my bare hands and running around barefoot in Ghana. I also remember ice skating at Alexander Palace in London and long walks in North Wales.

Race has no bearing on the people I am able to make connections with. There are people who are culturally similar to me that I could never get along with because of different values and moral outlook.

People’s attitudes towards mixed race people are strongly influenced by where they live. Having spent most of my life living between Ghana and England, I have largely avoided discrimination. I am fairly assertive and will challenge things I find unacceptable.

Prejudice isn’t easily uprooted because ignorance continues where education and horizons are limited. What I find interesting is that most Caucasian Brits have mixed heritage/ancestry and don’t even know that they do. For example, my father has Canadian, Welsh, Anglo Saxon and Viking heritage. An increasing number of young people in the UK are mixed race and many British towns and cities have a very positive multicultural outlook. To that end, I perceive that there will be more interracial and cultural marriages/relationships due to globalisation effects - people will become more accepting of mixed race people.