“Coming to Ireland was the first time I knew I was black. You see in Lagos, everyone was dark-skinned and so nobody had a label. I found it difficult to make friends and integrate into society. I felt I had a label attached to me here: not only was I black, but I was African and a migrant. I quickly learned to accept my new label and it became an intrinsic part of me. It has become better since I arrived, but there are still plenty of issues to take care of. Last December I became an Irish citizen and it was one of the most powerful and proudest moments of my life. Until I obtained my citizenship I had done as much as I could to be part of society, but I always felt alienated; especially during election time in Ireland. Even though I have studied and worked in Ireland for almost a decade I still didn’t have the right to vote and make my voice heard. It’s so important for young people to vote because then we can start to make real changes. Remember the marriage referendum? Hundreds and thousands of young people voted and changed the lives of millions. This shows how powerful we are and how we can bring forth major changes.”
‘Humans of the Election’ is a collaboration with Newstalk 106-108 FM, highlighting the real people behind the issues we face in Ireland today (4/7).