Hi, I’m Juliana, but you can call me Seyi.
Although, I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria and grew in in a Yoruba household, I was raised in the UK from the age of 1 and I had never fully explored my African history until a holiday to Accra in 2011. I was amazed about how welcomed I was made to feel in other people homes, and how unlike Ghana is, from many of the stereotypes – living in the UK it’s all too easy to believe the bad press, if you are not careful. Of course the Accra sun, beaches and the clubs are great too.
So I guess I can say, that that trip to Ghana inspired me to further explore my Nigerian history and from then on my Yoruba/Ga story has accelerated and I visited Lagos for the first time last year and I had an fantastic time.
“As a child, an assumption would always follow me regarding my origins; many would assume that I was Caribbean. I seemed to blend in with those children who were referred to as Black British; the descendants of those who had come to Britain on ships such as The Empire Windrush. To my young mind, blacks were either African or Jamaican, and the latter definitely seemed to be the “cooler” option.
It’s funny how time changes attitudes. My mentality today is the antithesis of yesterday. Today I’m quick to correct people when they assume that I’m Caribbean; quick to boast of my Ghanaian heritage. I’m so proud of my homeland; proud of Ghana’s rich cultural heritage, proud of Ghana as Africa’s shining example of democracy, proud of Ghana’s reputation for its warm spirited people. I was born and raised in Britain, but Ghana will always remain home. I’m not British and, despite my love for the country, I’m definitely not Jamaican: I’m Ghanaian; and proud of it.”
Alex Tettey Aplerku