- Rhianna Ilube
Sherese: "I stayed in my suitcase for two years" (2008)
Sherese Ijewere is from Jamaica and moved to the USA at the age of 16. She met her Nigerian husband at the age of 23 whilst working at a hospital in Florida. She moved to Nigeria in 2008 with her husband, ten suitcases and four small children. Sherese has now been married for 21 years. She has lived in Nigeria for 13 of those years, where she works as a clinical nutritionist and is the current President of the Nigerwives Lagos branch.
In the extracts below, she talks about living out of her suitcase for the first 2 years, discovering a traditional Nigerian bathing ritual for newborns, and why she eventually decided to call her (to-be) husband back the first time they met.
Extract 1: He told me we were going and I was like: "Are you serious?"
In this extract, Sherese talks about meeting her to-be husband for the first time in a hospital ward, and why she eventually decided to call him back.
Extract 2: "I stayed in my suitcase for two years"
In this extract, Sherese talks about why she lived out of a suitcase for the first 2 years she lived in Nigeria. She also reflects on advice she received from older Nigerwives: “in Nigeria, the children are your husbands, not yours.”
Extract 3: My husband said, "The bathing didn't kill me."
In this extract, Sherese talks about watching her newborn child receive a tradition bathing ceremony by her mother-in-law. "I was in tears everyday...but by the last baby, I was like: let's do it".
Extract 4: "It was a community of women"
In this extract, Sherese talks about the ways she made herself at home in Nigeria, from joining the Nigerwives, to getting a job and trying to persuade Selma to start a smoothie business with her.