Nuehla’s interview with Dad

NUEHLA | CultureTree | London, United Kingdom | Global | Ivory Coast 

Nuehla’s interview with Dad

What are your names?

Stanley Ngangola Mukembala

What is the meaning of your first name?

I don’t know the meaning, but I asked my dad and he said he got the inspiration from Stanley Livingston who was an explorer. 

How old are you?

I’m 29 years old 

Where were you born?

I’m the Ivory Coast 

Earliest childhood memory 

It is in an airport in Russia, I was sitting with my mum and lots of other African ladies who were waiting to get on a plane. 

When and why did you move to the UK?

My parents moved us to the UK to give us a better opportunity in terms of education and social economic welfare. 

Have you lived anywhere else in the world?

When I was a baby we lived in lots of places I was born in Ivory Coast, from there we went to Nigeria. I think we were in Senegal for a bit too and eventually we came to England. So I was in quite a few places, but I was a baby so I don’t remember it. 

Where are most of your family based?

In Congo

Please tell us about your childhood home

We moved around a lot, the first house we lived in was in South Wimbledon it was a flat on the 4th floor - I think it was 2 bedrooms. After we moved to Finchley and it was on top of a shop so it was really big, it was like 3 floor ups and there was lots of space and there was an attic. It was a bit scary but we used to look into it now and again. Then we moved to Leytonstone, then Upton Park, then Camden. We lived all over the place. 

Did your parents ever tell you about your family history?

My dad told me about his grandparents and him moving in with his dad’s first wife when he was a little boy. My mum told me about her brother who was an engineer and her father the baker. They told me about their school life too. 

What values and beliefs did your parents teach you?

You don’t have any limits in life. That you should never rely on another person or thing you can hold with your hands not even then. Only rely on God. 

That you’re special, you’re important, your life is valuable you should be proud of who you are. 

What did or do you admire about your parents. 

I admire that at such a young age like 18 years old even though nobody in their family was doing it. At 18/19 they decided they were going to find a way to a better life for themselves and their children. They left by themselves, went on a crazy crazy journey that they could have given up lots of times but they didn’t give up and they eventually got to England. 

I admire that about them, they didn’t give up and even though no one around them had tried to do it, even though they were really young they stayed strong in their beliefs. 

Who is your oldest relative what do you remember ?

Oldest person would be my grandma’s sister and she lives in Canada. The thing I remembered about her is she treated my mum like a child. Even though my mum was probably about 35/40 when I saw them together to her my mum was still a little girl. When they crossed the road she held my mum and my mum was like why are you holding my hand. She still treated her like she’s my niece. That’s what I remembered. 

What recipes did your mom or dad make that you still make today?

Funnily enough I think I have a different palete to my mum. A lot of the food I like my mum doesn’t like. Nothing much you know, I don’t really like my mum's palete and Shey (Mum) cooks.  So nothing. 

It there was any advice you could give your younger self what would it be?

I don’t know. I feel like even though everything that happened to me or around me wasn’t perfect. I wouldn’t change the life I have now, because I know it can get better and improve and I wouldn’t want to not have my beautiful girls. I guess my advice is to be more calm. 

This story was shared through a project by CultureTree supported by the Mayor of London.

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Nuehla’s interview with Dad

Nuehla with Dad and Sister

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