From Ghana to London

July 18, 2019

Collage by Jaden Okyere; original images from Pixabay

Jaden Okyere finds out about his dad’s heritage and experiences coming to London

As part of Exposure’s Celebrating Difference, I decided to interview my dad, Abdul who is a Ghanaian immigrant, about his heritage and experiences living in London for many years. I wanted to learn more about Dad’s culture and deepen our relationship.

Outside my house, children were screaming with joy and running. It was street party day, an annual event where people from all different backgrounds come together to share their food, drink and music.

Inside, my mum’s Ghanaian blue Kente scarf was hanging on the door in the living room. I was filled with nervous energy. I didn’t want to offend or hurt anybody but at the same time I was eager to find out more about my dad.

I’ve always wondered, why Dad decided to come to London. He gave me a really interesting answer. “The main reason was because there are more opportunities here then there are in Ghana. I came here for educational purposes. I studied computer science at university,” he said.

This surprised me. I thought he would have studied sport science or something along those lines but it also makes sense. He is very good at fixing computers and tech in general.

Living here wasn’t always easy for Dad. There were so many barriers he had to face.

However, my dad ran into an obstacle. “I had to quit my university to get a job and survive.” School become a side thing for two years.

“London is a really nice place to live,” he added. He sighed with contentment, “I love the diversity. Everybody is from different countries here in London and that keeps things interesting. I love the openness here. Everybody is very welcoming and friendly to immigrants.”

Ghana is also very important to Dad. His face lit up with joy when he started to talk about his homeland. He loves Ghanaian culture.

Living here wasn’t always easy for Dad. There were so many barriers he had to face; one of them was a visa problem. “I stayed in London for too long and my visa expired.”

He also found difficulties finding a home but he eventually won these battle with help from God.

Finally, Dad gave some helpful advice to people who may need support because they are from a different background. “If you need help, just ask somebody. Tell them what you need clearly and they can see what they can do. There is always someone who can help.”

I learnt a lot about Dad and his background. Now I have gained inspiration to live my life to the fullest. Thank you again Dad for making the time to talk to me about your heritage. I’m extremely grateful for what you have done for me and our family.

Jaden has an interest in writing, reading young adult/middle-grade novels and listening to Indie Pop music. He took Creative Media Production at City and Islington. In the future, he would like to write about music or books (or both!).

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