Neriah’s Interview with Mum
What is your first name? Ajibola
What is the meaning of your first name? Ajibola means “Wake up to wealth”
How old you are? 35 years
Where were you born? Ibadan, Nigeria
What is your earliest childhood memory? When we were younger, my grandma did not really like us playing outside of the compound and she did not like us having naps in the afternoons as it stops us from sleeping on time at night. So that we can go to play outside my sister and I would pretend to be sleeping. As she would prefer we had an early night she would then say “E lo se ere ni ita” which means go and play outside. My sister and I would be soo excited as we got our way.
When and why did you move to the UK? I moved to the UK in 1992 to come and live with my parents.
Have you lived anywhere else in the world apart from Nigeria and UK? If yes, please tell us where? No
Where are most of your family based? Nigeria, UK and America
Please tell us about your childhood home (What do you remember about the place you grew up?) Grew up in a flat in South West London with my parents and three sisters. My sisters and I shared a room until we moved to a bigger house. It was always lively in the house. I remember my dad always saying that no one would believe there are no boys in this house because we were always so loud.
Did your parents ever tell you about your family history? If yes, please share what they told you? Dad told us what it was like growing up in Nigeria. He would always say and sometimes joke that we were so privileged to have many things that he did not have while growing up.
What values and beliefs did your parents teach you? They taught us to respect everyone no matter their age, always be kind to everyone, as you do not know where you may meet that person again in life.
What did/do you admire about your parents? Their hard work and resilient nature. They always ensured that our needs were met and taught us the value of working hard.
Who’s the oldest relative you remember and what do you remember about him or her? My grandpa. I remember when I was 8years and he came to England to visit us. When he would ask, me to get his prayer water ready for him before prayers (he was a muslim) and I would sometimes say no. He will then say “o da na. O bow a gba 50p lo’mi” This means “ok, you will come and ask me for 50p next time but I wouldn’t give you.” Hahaha. I would then quickly go and do it, as I wanted the money to go to the corner shop on treat days.
Tell us a memorable story about your family. Christmas time and how everyone would either stay at home and watch seasonal movies together or go and visit family. Another memory was when we went on a trip to Atlanta America and my sister and I were able to visit the pilot in the cockpit.
What recipes did your mom or dad make that you still make today? How to make jollof rice and puff puff.
If there was any advice you could give your younger self, what would it be? Never be afraid to be yourself. You are stronger and more capable than you think.
This story was shared through a project by CultureTree supported by the Mayor of London.
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