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.