Interview with Dayo Adeneye (British Nigerian Me)

  • Who is Dayo Adeneye? Let us know more about you and your family background


Answer: I am 23 years old young man and a recent graduate who studied Media Technology (BSc) at Kingston University. I was born and raised in New Cross, South East London by my Nigerian parents who both immigrated to the UK in the early 80’s where they met. I am extremely passionate about film and scriptwriting as well as music.


  • What was growing up like for you?


Answer: I had a “normal” childhood for the most part. But obviously having Nigerian parents kind of differentiated me from the English children around me as my parents are very traditional in their values and how they raised me. I was always aware of my Nigerian heritage but was not proud to admit it and would often demand that my mother speak English to me instead of Yoruba.


  • Why did you do go into making of the video? What is the idea behind the video?


Answer: I first got the idea to make this documentary after going to Nigeria on holiday. It was my first time there in 18 years and was an eye opening experience. While there, I met an elderly auntie of mine but was unable to have a proper conversation with her as she only spoke Yoruba. This experience saddened me and got me thinking how it is that I never learnt Yoruba. It also made me wonder how many other people there are who are in a similar situation and I wanted to shed some light on this issue.


  • What is next step after this video? What are the plans you have next in search of helping you know more about where you come from?

Answer: I plan to travel to Nigeria more often in the future as being there is the best way to learn more about my heritage. I also plan to take some Yoruba classes as well.


  • What have you done so far in terms of learning about your culture and language?


Answer: To learn more about my culture and language I have had discussions with my parents about Nigerian history and asked them to speak more Yoruba to me as opposed to English. I have also bought a few books such as Beginners Yoruba which teaches basic words, correct pronunciations etc.


  • How do you intend to use what you know about your culture in the future?


Answer: Hopefully, if I have children one day I would like them to know about Nigerian culture as well as the language. I wouldn’t want them to grow up not having much knowledge about their identity as I once did.


  • How can you sustain and pass on what you have learnt or learning presently about Nigeria and the Yoruba culture and people?


Answer: I can pass the information that I am learning unto my friends and sisters, and change their perceptions about Nigerian. I may even later on make a follow up to the documentary.


  • What are your intentions about learning the Yoruba language?


Answer: Learning the Yoruba language would be the best way to truly understand my history and there is so much wisdom in the language, such as proverbs that are difficult to translate into English. The Yoruba language is extremely rich. Learning it would enable me to converse with my family as well as other Nigerians and would allow me to pass down the language unto the next generation.


Thank you so much for taking time out for this interview.

You can watch Dayo Adeneye’s Documentary here:


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