In a recent episode of the “Tea with Tay Podcast,” singer Yemi Alade candidly shared insights into her upbringing, shedding light on the unique experiences of growing up in a multicultural household.
Reflecting on her background, the performing artist, with a warm smile, recounted her life as a member of a blended family, where her father hailed from the Yoruba culture and her mother from the Igbo culture.
Yemi described her childhood home as a place where the distinctions between cultures were harmoniously blurred. With a simplicity that comes from innocence, she referred to her parents simply as “mum and dad,” emphasising the unity that prevailed within her family.
Despite the cultural differences within her household, Yemi Alade characterised her upbringing as “shielded,” indicating that she was largely unaware of the cultural disparities that existed between her Yoruba father and Igbo mother.
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During those formative years, Yemi Alade confessed that the cultural differences between her parents didn’t register with her. Her understanding of home was rooted in the comfort and love provided by her family, shielding her from the external details of cultural distinctions. It was only as she grew older that she became aware of this difference within her familial background.
“I didn’t know that there was a difference growing up. First of all, I just had my mum and my dad. We were one of those families that had uncles, aunties, and cousins living with us. My dad was that kind of person, so we had people around.”
Continuing her statement, Yemi Alade recalled encounters where people from the outside attempted to categorise her into any of the ethnic groups, and regrettably, not always in the most considerate or positive ways.
“I was not aware of the cultural differences until later, especially when people started arguing if I was Yoruba or Igbo. Some people would say ‘Omo Yoruba’ or ‘Omo Igbo,’ and it wasn’t said as a compliment. That’s when I noticed that there was a difference in cultures, and being born into a Yoruba and Igbo family isn’t so common. But one thing I got to enjoy about being in a multicultural family is the food. I get to eat both Igbo and Yoruba delicacies,” she added.
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The singer’s interest in cultures and Africa stems from her blended family background.
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