My Random Thoughts

Location: United Kingdom

A Naija Guy living (and loving) in the UK.

Monday, July 14, 2008

So...where are you from?

I disguise my temptation to burst out into full giggle mode every time I hear that question asked by an English man I've met for the first time in some social setting. We could have been talking in a group for a while but on hearing my foriegn sounding first name they feel the need to ask the question: So where are you from? Dependent on my mood I could launch into a monologue about living in South London and the advantages of being 'Sauf' of the Thames. Its rare that after a couple of minutes of this that they are able to summon the courage to really define what they really meant.

I read Aba Boy's Lost Nationality with interest. I was in a training group recently where there were a couple of Asians who expressed similar views to Aba Boy and they had lived all their lives in the UK (basically they identified themselves as being from Pakistan and Kenya - an Indian kenyan). Is it about lineage or where you identify with?

When you hear the name "Mario Balotelli" what image comes to mind? And what if you were told he is a 17 year old soon to be playing for the Italian under 21 national team, would you think for a moment that he is the black kid in the picture? Or that he would speak Italian as fluently as in this youtube video?

Mario was born in Sicily to Ghanaian parents Thomas and Rose Barwuah. He was adopted from the age of 3 by the Balotelli family and will be given an Italian passport on his 18th birthday next month. He recently refused a call up to the Ghanaian National Team that went to the Nations Cup and has been touted as a future Italian full international.

Aba Boy I beg to submit that the issue is more complex than you outline. My football mad cousin is married to a Brazilian and their 10 year old son is showing promising signs of developing real skills. If he were good enough, does he play for the Super Eagles (upset mom), Brazil (break dads heart) or hold out for England the only country he really knows?