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The Peaks and Pressures of Running A Black Owned Business

"Can you speak Igbo?" 

As I replied no, disappointment took over their face. "Your mother should have taught you", they confidently retorted, knowing nothing of my upbringing. I, having had this conversation multiple times, was still not used to the alienation it made me feel. And I wanted to scream in my mother's defence, "My mum couldn't have taught me because she doesn't speak the language herself". 

"Do you travel there often?" Another loaded question - I hesitated to answer knowing full well my interlocutor wasn't going to give a second thought as to whether it was actually financially feasible for me to do so, with the assumption I had the money for regular flights and the family there to welcome me home. I had neither. It was clear that in their eyes I was a failed Nigerian. This was an identity I carried with me into my early twenties. And had you told the younger version of me having this conversation that in years to come I'd be seen as one of the torchbearers for Nigerian cuisine and culture in the UK, she'd have laughed and repeated what I'd been implicitly told most of my life: "but you're not Nigerian enough".