My name is Ade, and I am a Data Journalist. I moved to the UK at the age of 10/11. I moved here to join my mum. She had lived here for 2/3years before. My experience as a migrant has been multi-faceted. I came here as a young child, so I have grown up and had a lot of my formative years in the UK.
One of the obstacles I faced as a migrant is always feeling like my presence is conditional on something, on you being good or non-threatening. There's a feeling of conditionality being an immigrant in the UK like they must be skilled and contribute to pay taxes.
I feel like my identity as a migrant (in as much as it's still contestable by the racists and the people who don’t classify people who aren’t white as British or English) to some degree, I can't escape the fact that living and growing up in the UK has made me to some extent British. The part of me as Nigerian is still there as well and I have that unique privilege of having both places as somewhere that I can call home.
I identify with both Nigerian and British culture because why not and those are the things that make up that river of my identity. It’s the places I know, things I have experienced. It is both internal and external. I am an individual. I am multifaceted. But that’s what makes it interesting. Even in this country, our home life is still very Nigerian, and we still hear and speak Yoruba, almost all the time. We don’t do the cultural things that British people do, white or black. We don’t have the same cultural traditions, so we are different from them in that sense. But there are lots of traditions that we do share, so it’s like, where does that leave you. The idea of trying to fix that into a position is where you get problems but if you think of it in a give and take way, it’s a lot easier to navigate.
The same way water can traverse any nook and cranny, it’s a lot easier to navigate the world if you don’t try and fix your identity in a specific position.