The British Library

Ryan’s Story

My family immigrated here from Pakistan in the 1970s. My parents were very poor and my dad had a mental disorder called schizophrenia, which made it hard to live normally. They had to work at fast food restaurants many hours a day just to provide for themselves and couldn’t afford basic needs like soap and towels. When I was born, they started working multiple jobs to put food on the table and keep me clothed. My dad was at work 16 hours a day and my mom 14 hours. Growing up, my parents were almost never around, not for my birthdays, my graduations, or anything of the sort.

Now I am 18, and going into college next year. My parents, though never around, taught me to work hard so I wouldn’t have a hard life like them. I am ready for the real world.

-Ryan, London

© Yinka Shonibare, 2018 | Website by Hanna Sorrell