Introducing MY IDENTITY
What does it mean to be African?
For some, being African is a state of mind, whilst for others, it’s determined by the colour of our skin or connection to the continent. MY IDENTITY series features the lives of everyday people, and their stories on identity. It’s a journey with several stop-overs for self-relation, and a safe space to debate and celebrate our varying interpretations of African-ness.
Browse ‘my IDENTITY’ stories
My name Khadija, I'm London born with parents hailing from St Kitts and Nevis and Sierra Leone. I'd always identified as West Indian. It wasn't until I began to reform a relationship with my African family as a teenager when I realised that there was so much more to me to explore.
Being born to a large extended family in Durban, South Africa surrounded by nature and beaches was a great place to grow up as a kid. Witnessing the democratisation of the country under Mandela was incredible and shaped my character, friendships and societal beliefs.
Before I turned 10, I had no real awareness or concept of race. I lived in Nigeria where everyone was black, so the delineating factors were tribe and wealth. I knew I was Yoruba and I knew that I was rich. those two categories gave me a lot of comfort as I grew older.
My full name is Daniel Cliff Onyango Osuga and I identify as both Ugandan and Kenyan. My father is a member of the Luo ethnic group in Western Kenya and my mother is both a Munyankole and a Mukiga from Itendero, Sheema and Mparo, Kigezi respectively.
I'm Felisa, from London and I identify as Black British Caribbean. As a result of the transatlantic slave trade, there isn't a country or ethnic group in Africa that I can point to and claim as my own. However, I do feel very black and therefore part of the African diaspora.
My name is Tina, I was not raised to fully immerse in the culture of my parents and have never been to their home land of Cameroon. But as I grow and evolve, I find myself longing for that connection and understanding of self which I believe I will only find back home.
My name Sinenhlanhla which means ‘we are lucky’ in my language IsiZulu. I love to travel and travelling has made me realise that very few people fit neatly and squarely into the identity classifications that society has created. And that sometimes identity is nothing more than a state of mind.
My name is Stephen, I come from a big town called Ògbómòşó in South Western Nigeria. I think the life we live is a continuous journey to demystify ourselves by discovering more about the world. I am an architect, a planner and a political economist.
My name is Louisa, and I would describe myself as ‘Ugandan Brit-ish Nigerian’. I’m proud of my Ugandan heritage, but I lost the ability to speak my mother tongue. The complex relationship between race in the UK has also made me feel hesitant to be British, hence the '-ish’.
My name is Areeg Emarah and I identify as Egyptian and Kenyan but also as a citizen of the world/ global citizen. I’ve lived basically my entire life in Kenya and so in Egypt I’m seen as not Egyptian enough and in Kenya I’m seen as the Egyptian.
In Africa, your name is a strong indicator of your origins, ethnicity, and at times nationality. When you’re asked ‘who are you?’, it’s a subtle demand for you to say your surname and address any questions concerning your family and ethnic identity.
MY IDENTITY features the lives of everyday people, and their stories on African identity. It’s a journey with several stop-overs for self-relation, and a safe space to debate and celebrate our varying interpretations of African-ness.