Reverberate is an oral history project developed by Éireann and I in collaboration with members of Galway’s African diaspora. The project invited Black migrants settled in Galway to recount their journeys to Ireland, their relationship with the city, and to reflect on whether they have developed a sense of belonging.
Reverberate documents the legacies of migration as they happen, giving narrative agency and equal centering to each perspective. The testimonies gathered here come from eight individuals of varying age and origin, whose stories touch on parenting, politics, the effects of the asylum system, and the communities and organisations they have built, among other topics.
The narrators share obvious commonalities but, in between each story is woven more implicit threads of connection that make evident the ways in which we are all affected by the same global and local tensions that cause people to leave where they are from and build new lives elsewhere.
“I am Esther, from Nigeria, a native of Yorùbá. I migrated to Ireland in 2017. My journey to Ireland was tough but I am happy I find myself here, for my safety and that of my family. Music is another part of me that influences my way of living. I have written some music and performed in Nigeria/Galway. As a Christian, my faith also influences my way of life. I would like my kids to also follow the steps and keep our culture even as they live their life here in Ireland.”
Benjamin Enow Oben
“My name is Benjamin Enow. I speak English, French, and Kenyang language. I do music part-time and I’m currently chasing a career in Medical Science. Here, I spoke about my culture, the political atmosphere in Cameroon and the right to protest, life in Direct Provision, and my engagements and integration in Ireland.”
“I am Noma Mapoma, I am a South African who enjoys music and nature walks. I have been residing in Ireland for 18 years. Here, I have spoken about my journey to Ireland, cultural differences I have encountered while growing up here, how I’m raising my kids with both South African and Irish heritage and my hopes for young Black kids in our community.”
Wally Nkikita & Precious Martyn
Wally Nkikita and Precious Martyn are father and daughter. Wally Nkikita is originally from Congo and has been based in Galway since 2010. He is a founding member of Galway African Diaspora which promoting Afro cultures in the City. Precious is an Assistant Youth Group Leader. In their interview they spoke about growing up in Congo and their experience of navigating xenophobia in South Africa, the social differences they encountered in Ireland, including the living conditions in Direct Provision centre, the Galway African Diaspora community group, and their hopes for the future.
“My name is Zibusiso Brandon Dube (Church). I am a photographer and a DJ residing in Galway. I am involved in the advocacy of the African community through music, dance and arts. During my interview I spoke about my life growing up in Zimbabwe, how I navigated bullying in school and the relationship I had with my grandmother and grandfather. I also spoke about the reason I migrated to Ireland and how I find the Irish community.”
“I’m a cultural producer of Congolese heritage and was raised in Galway City. My work centres on using memory work and the archive as tools for community engagement. During my interview, I spoke about my family’s history of migration, the diasporic experience of having fragmented a cultural identity, and how I navigated some of these experiences as a child growing up in Galway City. I also spoke about my future desires for the Éireann and I archive.”
Islammiyah Saudique – Kadejo
“I am Islammiyah Saudique-Kadejo and I am a social entrepreneur, media executive, a social justice and migrants rights activist and the CEO of GoCom Radio. Here, I spoke about growing up in Nigeria, my journey into broadcast, settling in Ireland and founding Amdalah Africa Foundation (AMDAF).”