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Why I Had To Leave Wales To Find Where I Belonged

For 22 years, I lived in Wales. To be exact, I grew up in north Cardiff. Quiet, leafy and surrounded by the beauty of Caerphilly mountain. It is also incredibly white.

Wales is a fiercely proud nation with an incredible rugby team, a mesmerizing accent and a puzzling language. With a red dragon on our flag, Wales’ history is mythical and ancient. The landscape is punctuated by breath-taking castles and lush green spaces. I have a lot of love for Wales.

There are around 341,000 people in Cardiff, with 85% of its inhabitants classing themselves as ‘white British’. It’s not a diverse place and north Cardiff was a perfect microcosm of this. 

At six years old I was bullied so badly that my mum removed me from the school – fast! The teacher’s indifference to children calling me a monkey, telling me to get back on the boat, pushing and slapping me was infuriating for her.

My sibling and I found ourselves enrolled at a wealthier, religious school. The deeply devout headmaster was saddened by our experiences and readily welcomed us.