African Britishness

In terms of identity, I do not feel totally African nor totally British.  I therefore call myself an African British.  I am a 2nd generation ‘African British’ of Nigerian parenthood.  I was born in the UK, brought up in Nigeria and then came back to settle in the UK.    This series is my way of recognising the dual culture that exists in me.  I will write many amusing nostalgic and sometimes serious musings about us.  


Both my African identity(Nigerian in this instance) and my British identity are very strong.  I just think words like diaspora and ethnic background, BME(Black Minority Ethnic) belong in the pages of dry academic journals or government statistical papers.


They do not describe the vibrancy of cultures that have come back to settle back to Britain,  the voluptuous roundness of a majority of African women, the proud gait and self-assurance of some African men.  Neither does it understand the colourful celebration of life and death, the spiritual hunger and yearnings that have sprung churches in every corner of the UK,  the homegrown irresistibly rhythmic music that compels you (Yes you! Booze and music!) to throw caution to the wind and jump on the dance floor.

Being British

At the same time, I love the British way of life –  my fish and chips, peace of mind instead of the chaos, clamour and sounds of the homeland and the ability to know that my privacy would be respected.  Even with the NHS in its current state – It is great to have the security of knowing that I have contributed to a health service that will, in turn, look after me were I to be ill(God forbid!).  

Also the love for a Queen that started reigning before I was born and so was always a part of my life. The rigid class systems that in no subtle way discourages you  to try and not transcend your position in life (hate that!).

I do not believe that I can please everyone so have actually written this more for myself and those that might recognise themselves in this.  I look forward to you going on this journey with me.

So what does it mean to be an African British?


  • Stella Oni

    Writer, Blogger, Speaker

    Stella was born in Clapham, London, brought up in Nigeria and lives in London.   She has a degree in Linguistics and African Languages from the University of Benin and a MSc in Information Systems and Technology from City University, London. Stella is a writer and speaker. She is the founder of the blog African Britishness where she writes on culture, travel, food, health and wellbeing, As an avid foodie, when she is not writing she is cooking up exotic cuisine or decorating cakes.  Stella’s  dream is to travel to different parts of the world to taste and experience food from different cultures. She believes that her experience of growing within two worlds has given her a unique perspective and she is happy to share this. Stella's crime manuscript, Deadly Sacrifice, a police procedural set in London and Nigeria, was shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize in 2016 and will be published by Jacaranda Books Art Music in 2020. Stella is currently working on the 2nd in the series, writing the first of an exciting brand new series as well as doing some non-fiction writing! Get my 20 best Podcasts and Blogs here