Home Oral History Interview - Susan Fajana-Thomas

Oral History Interview - Susan Fajana-Thomas


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Audio recording of an oral history interiew with Susan Fajana-Thomas, born Western State, Southwest Nigeria 1963.

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Photograph copyright Emma Davies.

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"My home is in Hackney. I’ve lived half of my life in Hackney and half in Nigeria but the crucial time of growing up in my twenties and thirties and now in my forties was here. I’m happy to go home to Nigeria to see my family but I see Hackney as my home; my son was born in Hackney and knows no other place.

But my roots are not Hackney. I know where I come from and that makes me proud. I can trace my ancestors back at least four or five generations. We’ve got some of our heritage from America from my great, great grandmother.

She was believed to be one of the liberated slaves who decided, after the abolition of the slave trade, to trace their roots back to Africa. She would use her Benin, or Yoruba name to trace her ancestors to a town called Ifon in the South west of Nigeria. We are light skinned in my family, that’s part of my mixed heritage and my history and that’s very important to me."