The British Library

Beatrice’s Story

My mother had met an Irish soldier who was visiting our small village in the delta state of Nigeria. They fell in love and I was a product of it. However, my father had to leave so was unaware of my existence. He came back to find my mother and was surprised to find a mixed race child with his eyes. He then dedicated himself to look after us and put me through nursing school before helping land a move to a hospital in London as a nurse.

I then gave birth to six children and like my father did to me ensuring they all received a strong education.

My children and I still visit Nigeria, making the trip back to the same village in Delta state where I grew up with my mother. Bringing with us stories on spoils from London and on our return we in turn take with us the rich Nigerian, culture and embed it in our London lives.

-Beatrice, London

© Yinka Shonibare, 2018 | Website by Hanna Sorrell