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SOTD: If you don’t mind me asking, are you Nigerian?

A mother and her daughter came to open bank accounts. I knew their nationality before they even spoke to me. I attended to them as they sat in our open-plan office.

The teenage daughter needed inspiration before her next trip to the hairdresser. They examined and critiqued the hairstyles and makeup of my female colleagues in a language which I understood.

I listened to them as I fulfilled their banking needs. They finally chose the hairstyle of my colleague who sat next to me.

“Nice choice,” I told them.

Their eyes widened in surprise. Now they saw me for the first time. The mother had an embarrassed smile. The daughter turned away her face.

“You’re a Nigerian?” asked the mother. Not just a Nigerian, but we also spoke the same language.

“Oh dear,” she said. “It’s a good thing we didn’t say anything bad about you.” She thought I was from Trinidad because of my accent which sounds like that of her neighbors from Trinidad.

I’m a Nigerian. I have lived in Canada for a couple of years and I still love my jollof rice.


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