Kids & Parenting · Musings

Blame Culture

I shared this on Instagram as my contribution to Make Motherhood Diverse and got some really positive feedback that I wasn’t expecting.Β  Apparently, lots of you feel exactly the same way, but for slightly different reasons…So, I thought that I would share it here too.Β  Let me know what you think…

Sometimes I worry that my girls will lose their cultural identity and that it will all be my fault πŸ˜”

I am, for want of a better descriptor, β€˜Nigerian-British’, that is, I was born to Nigerian immigrants who came to the UK to study and start a family, who intended to eventually return, with said family, to Nigeria.Β  This intent was so strong that my parents didn’t bother teaching me or my siblings their mother tongue, Igbo, on the one hand not wanting to jeopardise our ability to speak English fluently, and, on the other, believing that we would be able to pick up the Igbo language upon our return to Nigeria.Β  This intent was so strong that I was made to sit the Common Entrance Exams for secondary school in Nigeria.Β  I remember the sinking feeling when I found out that I had passed.Β  I was gutted.Β  However, for one reason or another, my parents never did end up returning to Nigeria.Β  I appreciate the sacrifices that they have made in order to stay.Β  But, the one thing that I will continue to hold against them is that they never did teach us their mother tongue, Igbo 😑

Roll the clock forward 30-odd years and I’m still here, still not speaking Igbo, and complicating matters further by marrying a guy from a different part of Nigeria, whose parents speak an entirely different language , which he does not. Well, not fluently anyway… And, now, I’m scared that if I don’t learn, or at least ensure that my girls learn, their connection to their homeland will be broken or replaced by something else, who knows what. This is one of my major worries. So, why am I telling you this? πŸ€”

Well, because it’s a part of my motherhood that I don’t often share. It’s not as obvious as my skin colour, but my culture and heritage influences who I am and the decisions I make πŸ’›

There is a diversity among Black mothers that is often ignored when a single representative is chosen (by who? πŸ€”) to speak for us. And that is why I am here for this “campaign”. Through it, we can work to direct the narrative and speak for ourselves, sharing stories and having “yaaaaas!” moments πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

Cos some things go deeper than skin colour…πŸ’›

Cee x

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