Nigerian | Swiss
I identify myself as both black and mixed race, the way you can be English and European. I don’t have a problem with having more than one identity. My primary identity is Swiss Nigerian, but I would define myself as mixed-race, if you look at the broader definition of that I would define myself as black.
My mum is Swiss, and my dad is Nigerian She came to the UK to learn English and worked as an au-pair. She saw a Nigerian lady struggling with her suitcases at Oval tube station and offered to help. It just so happened they were walking the same way, so she helped her with her bags to her apartment. The lady was so happy that she had helped her so asked for her number, so she could invite her over for a thank you meal. It just so happens that this lady knew my father, she called up my dad and told him she had just met his future wife and he had to meet her.. They start dating and soon she knows this is the man she wants to marry. She decides to go back to Switzerland to tell her parents, strangely her father had a dream the night before that she was going to marry a black man and God had told her it was going to be fine. Based on this her father accepted the marriage.
My father came to the UK to qualify as a barrister, similar to many Africans at the time.. He then met my mum and had kids, but he always felt pressure to go back as he had been sent here. When the time came that he was qualified he felt it was time to go back, but at this point he was married with 4 kids. He then went back to set up his law practice and mum stayed in the UK to raise all 4 kids until we were older enough to leave the home It didn’t quite work out as expected but they were together until he passed. She retrained as a teacher after we grew up and then taught in a school in Tanzania for 12 years.
My wife is from Fiji She felt very strongly about her culture & heritage and found in her time in the UK black people in particular did not share this.
I feel I am black and mixed-race, I’m comfortable with that identity. Black is kind of a political definition as you get older and learn a little bit about the history you start to connect that to the black history