Listen to Chidi's story as part of The Making of Black Britain oral history project

ChidiThe Making of Black Britain

This is Chidi.
Chidi is of Nigerian heritage.
She was born in Britain.
The pandemic brought Chidi’s tight knit family even closer together.
Chidi was interviewed for The Making of Black Britain on 9th September 2021.

Chidi (2022)The Making of Black Britain

Chidi talks about life during the pandemic

It's important that my family know that I'm here.

It has been really nice to have my brother pop in or my my mum pop in, or my granny pop in or my sister pop in. And you know, get that kind of conversation that I had been, I hadn't had for three years that I was consistently working in the office, because I would get up at six, go for my exercise class in the city. And then sometimes not come home until the AM. 

The whole family at Cristiana's daughter Nwakaego's graduation (2013)The Making of Black Britain

The whole family at Chidi's sister's graduation, 2013

Chidi (2022)The Making of Black Britain

Chidi discusses colourism and skin bleaching

A lot of my family bleach.

It's an African thing. I definitely think it's a diaspora thing. So I knew that in Jamaica, they bleach quite a bit as well. And then Ghana had the right idea and completely banned bleaching products. So I think like that has helped them in terms of that, that pandemic. But Nigeria hasn't yet. And I don't know when they will, because they need to. It’s just that ‘closer to whiteness’ thing.

Traditional wedding of Christiana's niece in Nigeria. Christiana, her niece, Chidi and Chioma (2017)The Making of Black Britain

Traditional wedding of Chidi's cousin in Nigeria. Christiana, Chidi's cousin, Chidi and her sister Chioma, 2017

Chidi (2022)The Making of Black Britain

Chidi talks about going to Oxford University

So before that you hit like 21 your post is their post.

I was really fun at the time. And then you got into Oxford, and realised that getting in was easier part. Because then you have all of the pressure that Oxford has. And you're dealing with, as I said, all of the kind of race issues that you have, then also the fact that you're 18, 19, 20, and the fact that you're going to do it in a very intense environment to study a subject.

Chidi and her mum Christiana at her law degree Graduation Ceremony at Oxford Univeristy, 2013, From the collection of: The Making of Black Britain
Chidi's graduation, 2013, From the collection of: The Making of Black Britain
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Chidi (2022)The Making of Black Britain

Chidi discusses institutionalised racism

You could be a princess and still experience racism.

When you’re brought up in a system that favours you, you don't even realise that there's any sort of racism or any sort of caste system, because there's privilege for you, right? And you just think that that's, you know, your day to day life. 

Chidi talks about having important conversations

I'm not looking to convince you, at this point.

And so once you put it in that perspective, I think people start to realise how important is to have these discussions, so that you're not having individuals, so we don't get to the point where people are like, “go back to your country, slavery, reparations,” and all that kind of stuff.
Because that's not helpful. That's not a helpful conversation to be having

Chidi discusses Black Lives Matter

For me, I think it's definitely the spirit.

I think that Black Lives Matter is exactly that. I think it's that phrase has transcended the organisation at this point. It's just a recognition that black lives haven't mattered. And we need to do things and put systems and things in place to allow that to be true.

ChidiThe Making of Black Britain

Diane and Chidi, after recording her story for The Making of Black Britain, 2021

Now listen to Chidi's mother, Christiana, tell her story for The Making of Black Britain.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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