As you know moving into a new home or neighbourhood is not the easiest thing to do… but imagine coming from a WHOLE new  country, now that is definitely going to be a lot more stressful.

    “I was very, very reluctant… but I wanted a better education for you guys” says my father. According to him sending us to private school in Nigeria was a financial strain. “Public schools in Nigeria are terrible! They are NOT what they used to be.” He was prepared to give up his job as an Engineer and start a new life here in the UK. “The most difficult thing was having to live your mother because she could not get her visa… but I still pray earnestly, but of course having British citizens as children and being one myself was at our advantage.” This therefore made it easier for us to come into “our” country as my dad calls it, leaving our mother was the hardest thing to do as a family, but her latest visa application may be accepted…

     “Coming to Southall was… very surprising, we planned on staying at a Bed & Breakfast called Pay and Sleep Hotel in Southall… it was the cheapest we could find with our limited finances.” It cost £30 a night to stay at the hotel; it wasn’t the best place for a family of four staying in one room, and having to share one bathroom with at least ten other people.

 “I remember calling my Mummy and saying it felt like we were in Little India!” The population in Southall was mostly dominated by Asians which was mostly dominated by Asians which was quiet interesting for me and my siblings. “I had worked with a lot of Indians in Nigeria and I was very excited to see so many of them! Even my boss was Indian.” Of course there were much more different races. In my family we found the Legendary Southall Broadway ever so fascinating, it had this rush and excitement oozing out of it.

“I loved socialising with them and they were genuinely very friendly and nice.” Going into a local shop my dad got into a deep conversations with them and I occasionally caught him trying to “bob” his head in the manner which the Indians are known for my country Nigeria.

“In 2010 of April, we moved here with all of our belongings which we didn’t carry very much of… it was very hard for me because my best possessions (my wife) back at home alone… but I will never give up.” Looking after three kids was tough but with the encouragement of his new found friends whom he confided in, he is still able to be strong.

“The funny thing is I was extremely hesitant going into the hotel and I wasn’t even the person who had discovered it, your Aunty did.” Pay and Sleep Hotel wasn’t our first choice but we ended up there anyway.

“It’s been a year now, and we are making progress step by step, even though we haven’t lived here that long, it’s still a big story of how we ended up here.” You can fall in love with the erotic smells and excitement in Southall but if it’s not your cup of tea… then too bad.

“I remember when the Black Cab Driver dropped us off and said that it was not the ideal place for tourists… for tourists maybe not but for us its been good… na wa o!”

“Being in Southall was an experience… now we have our home here in Green ford but Southall will always be our first home in London.” It’s amazing how just one year can bring an innovative story. Southall has a very vast history, including the riots and all… but one the significant thing is how much it has grown over the years and how much history it has buried in it.

Good or Bad, Southall always brings memories to our minds.

Leave a Reply.