I recently finished reading Americanah by acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and it was one of the most inspiring books I have read in a long time. Adichie is a truly phenomenal human being with an exceptional talent for writing and has, I must confess, become my new obsession. But more on that later. I had been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for a while now and had a million and one topic ideas. I have such varying interests ranging from fashion to gaming so settling on one particular subject matter proved to be extremely difficult. Reading Americanah really helped to me give some perspective. This incredible piece of literature gave me the necessary impetus to finally get this project off the ground so here we are.
I decided to write about IDENTITY which is undoubtedly a huge part of being human and soemthing I’ve always been fascinated by. Not only does the need for love and belonging feature on Abraham Maslow’s famed hierarchy of needs but the need for self-actualization can be found at the apex of this hierarchy. I don’t just take his word for it though, I believe wholeheartedly in the significance of defining who you are as a person and the profound impact it has on your present and future. Having been born in Europe to African parents and having had the privilege of travelling to different countries has made me accutely aware of how different my life would have been had I grown up in the ‘motherland’. We’ve been back on the continent for a number of years now but we still live outside our country of origin. We do occasionally visit the extended family there but for me personally, I’ve never really felt like I belonged.
Now that I’m in my 20s I have embarked on this path of self-discovery and for the first time in my life I have finally come to accept myself for me as opposed to trying to be who I think I should be if that makes sense. I’ve adopted a take me or leave me attitude and I’m so much happier for it. I intend for this blog to be a space to share a few experiences and anecdotes on growing up in the African diaspora. Significantly, what I’m looking to get out of the blogging experience is a chance to make some connections and hear from other people with similar experiences. I would also love to know the thoughts of those who may not necessarily relate to or agree with everything I say.
This is the Diaspora Baby – developing a sense of identity when you grow up outside your country of origin.