The British Library

Ornella’s Story

My name is Ornella. I was born in South Africa and moved to the UK (via The Netherlands briefly) at the age of 7.

My parents and extended family are all from South Africa but with roots in Europe, predominantly Italy.

My parents saw an opportunity to give me and my brother a better life and a strong education by moving to the UK and giving up their established lives in SA. A selfless act for their children. Tumultuous politics and a broken society in SA during the late 1990’s being a key driver.

I am forever grateful for the life I now have, seeing my personal identity as a mixture of cultures, each country I’ve lived in, an important facet of my life story. The UK is very much home to me now whilst equally still never losing sight of where I am from and my origins.

- Ornella, Bristol

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