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  • Rhianna Ilube

Selma: "It was a weird welcome to Nigeria" (2008)

Selma was training as a nurse in London when her friend dragged her along to a medical ball. That's where she met (and very nearly rejected) Roland, her now husband of over 20 years. They dated for five years, got married, had two sons together and settled into a house. Then Roland got a job in Lagos and the whole family, including a new-born baby, had to move. In the extracts below, Selma talks about the flirting politics of 'dance-cards', the racism she endured whilst living within a Lagos 'expat' compound, and how she coped with the passing of her mother, the arrival of her third child, and the move to Nigeria - all at the same time.

Extract 1: "You can have dinner with him, it won't cost you anything"

In the extract below, Selma describes how she met her partner Roland at a medical ball in London, and how he eventually convinced her to dance.

Selma Extract 1 Transcript
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Extract 2: "It was a weird welcome to Nigeria"

In this extract, Selma describes the circumstances around her move to Nigeria. Her mother had sadly passed away, and she had just given birth to her third son. She moved to Nigeria with her mother-in-law Eileen, who introduced her to the Nigerwives.

Selma Extract 2 Transcript
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Extract 3: "I experienced the worst racism living in a compound"

For 3 years, Selma and her family lived in a luxury 'expat' gated compound in Lagos, where she experienced a lot of racism from her neighbours. Here she speaks about the experience, and the solace she found from the few other black women living there.

Selma Extract 3 Transcript
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Extract 4: "Nigerwives saved my life"

For Selma, being a part of the Nigerwives was one of the best things about her life in Nigeria. In this extract she reflects on the friendships and community she built within the network.

Selma Extract 4 Transcript
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Extract 5: "It was like a community raises a child"

Here Selma reflects on all the things she loved about Nigeria during her time living there, from the community spirit to the fashion.

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