Where Are You From? Really...

We strike up conversation, omg that's so interesting and your accent is so flat! Where are you from? "Dublin" is my reply... But where are you from 'really'. 

Photo by Derek Kennedy

Photo by Derek Kennedy

Sigh... At least three or four times a day, I am requested to give up the whereabouts of my origins and frankly it is a little tiring. I have no active issues with race, race baiting, racism (casual or otherwise). I've stopped seeing people in relation to their color, religion or creed and even geographical location. It is 2015, why does it matter anymore?

Does knowing my ancestral origin somehow validate me in your eyes? Does it make me more? Or less? Does it help you categorize me? Put me in a box? Or perhaps you have some useless anecdote to add to the otherwise smooth conversation we were having. Oh no I have it wrong... Maybe your uncle was a missionary to my country back in the fifties? I've heard that particular one at least twenty times in the last couple of years.

Where are you from though? Really? It never crosses anyone's mind that maybe I was born and raised in Ireland?  Okay I admit I wasn't born here, but I was raised here and it is home. I'm quintessentially Irish and a Dub (according to my girlfriends father) but most importantly, I'm a citizen of the world. I'm from the same place as you or anyone you know and I'm fine with that. Our differences are skin deep, if even that deep.

So where am I from really? I guess the point of this is that it doesn't matter anymore? Does it? Or should it? Why does it matter which valley, island, mountain range or corner of this diverse world I am from? What does it add to a conversation between two or more people? Why does it matter what gods I pray to, how I do it or if I pray at all? Why does it matter what foods I eat and how I eat them? Why does it matter where I am from. Just in case you really want to know, I'm from Nigeria. I was born in Lagos and consequently made in Dublin, with many stops in between.

In the words of Rodney King (wherever he was from)... 'Can't we all  just get along?'

I am Timi