Documentary on One

Athy Is The 'Hood, Man

Being young, African and Irish - where is home now - where will it be in years to come?

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3.7/5 (82 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Derek O'Halloran

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Athy Is The 'Hood, Man

During the St.Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin 2012, radio producer Derek O'Halloran, noticed a group of African-Irish teenagers in the crowd - they were dressed to celebrate the day and seemed to be having great fun.

He was curious, though: how are they managing in Irish society? Tough enough being a teenager but what if you have to negotiate two different cultures too?

He headed to Wolfe Tone Square off Jervis Street, in Dublin, a popular hangout for African Irish. There he met some rappers who talked about the difficulty of talking like Irish children to African parents who assume you're being cheeky.

He also visited those rappers in their home town of Athy ("Athy is the 'hood, man", they told him.).

One man, Kunle, recalls being the only black student in class when they were reading 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. When the word, 'nigger' was mentioned, everyone turned around to look at him. It didnt bother him, "it's a natural instinct".

In the Phoenix Park, Dublin, Derek, met a young South African/Irish teenager, named Gugu a talented soccer player. ("South Africa is luxury; Ireland is reality", she says.)

She left her last club when opposing players subjected her to jibes of "monkey" and "black bastard". Gugu reacted to that experience by mentoring young players at intercultural, anti-racism soccer tournaments.

Also, at the football, was Abdi, a Somali/Irish young man. "There are bad people in all societies, but good people compensate for them." "Kids point to me and say, 'Africa man'. I don't mind. I'm an Irish citizen but I'm also an 'Africa man' ".

In Dundalk, is a young gospel singer, Nigerian/Irish, named Glory who wants to be on 'X Factor' ("Beyonce's songs speak to me.") She didn't audition for 'X Factor' because her mother wasn't enthusiastic about it - she's going to concentrate on singing in church and on her studies instead.

Derek spoke to these and other African/Irish young people to see how life is for them here. Do they feel African or Irish or both? Do they want to go 'home' to Africa or are they already 'home' here?

Music Used:

"Fugee L'afrocentric", Highgrade H

"Ish is like", Deji and Highgrade H - (Prod. DJ Premier)

"Vanglorious", Buff and Kronik

"Bimbos" - Nathan Thoughts, Buff, Square head and Kronik (Prod. Calzone Kelly)

"Aliens", Buff

"You've Got The Love", Florence and the Machine (XX remix)

"Each One Teach One", Kokolo Afrobeat

Produced by Derek O'Halloran.

Production Supervision by Ronan Kelly.

First broadcast 16th March, 2013.

'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story'

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