HERITAGE: Ms Alabi
Ms Alabi shares the story of her identity through the incredible poem 'My name is.' In it, she explores all of the different images, senses, memories and experiences that have shaped her into the wonderful teacher we all love and admire today.
My Name is.
My name is the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria,
the naming ceremony surrounded by women praying.
My name is Indy, Indomie, bedbug and Emily,
an annoying cousin, the coil of my hair and the easiest to pronounce.
My name is ‘the joy that comes, I am happy because God loves me.’
My mother cries as she cradles me and the women still prayed.
My name is freshly cooked plantain wafting through the busy kitchen, a sea of green – my mother’s favourite colour.
The rough wax of the Ankara head tie is softened by my grandmother’s delicate but skillful hands.
My name is the amethyst, rose, canary, lapis lazuli, peridot and ruby bleeding into one another as you walk through the dusty clothing market.
The sound of giggling school girls in scratchy grey blazers and white knee-high socks, running down Southbank, trying to catch the 36 to Peckham high street.
My name is spicy Thai curries, crusty Neapolitan pizza and puffy white clouds of pounded yam.
The first bite of a piece of buttered toast releasing a symphony of crackle that makes my ears tingle.
My name is, Uncle Akin and Olawuyi. Because I was scared but I learned.
Another memory of laughter, tears, love and loss added to the history of me.
I wonder what my name will be tomorrow?