NALLIEKAH

 22 – Jamaican, Monsterratian, Guyanese

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I grew up in Tottenham, I came back from the Caribbean to live with my gran. There were issues with my mum, so I grew up with my gran and I had that “old school” Caribbean vibe growing up. I went to John Loughborough, a Seven Day Adventist school, and I grew up in Church, in the choir and then the childhood stopped when I got pregnant. I got pregnant at 15 and from then, everything I do is for my son. Whether that’s GCSEs, Degrees, College, Music…everything I do is for him. 

Growing up to be honest, until I came to Tottenham I never really knew about other races but my own race. At Primary school, there weren’t many Africans and even if there were, they would say they were Caribbean. Everyone around me, I thought was from the Caribbean until I went into year 9 and I saw other races, like the English, Whites, Asians. It didn’t really affect me, I embrace my blackness, I love my blackness and before anything else, I’m black.

I’ve never really cared about other people’s opinions on me. I do whatever I want to do regardless of my colour, regardless of my background. Regardless of what anyone thinks I’m just gonna do me. The only person’s opinion that matters to me is my son’s. I’m living my life for me and to better my son’s life.

In my culture, I’m proud of the strength; we’re just strong people. Caribbean people as a whole, they’re very strong. We’re made out to seem like we’re not that strong, but we are, physically, emotionally stronger than a lot of other races. Maybe that’s because a lot of us have grown up without dads, growing up with our grandparents, so maybe that’s where we get it from. And obviously from our ancestors; from back then to his generation we’ve had to be strong, and I think that strength is just in our DNA. 

Right now I’m working on IBIM, which is “I’m Black, I Matter”. With that movement along with #BlackLivesMatter, a change is gonna come. My first step is to being African and Caribbean culture together, because we see a lot of the time, apart from when police are killing us, we’re against each other. But I want us to come together as one people, because we come from the same race. Like Jamaican motto says, “Out of Many, One People”.

 

NALLIEKAH

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