Nigerian Singer Adokiye Kyrian Recounts Racism Experience At JFK Airport New York
Excerpts of singer Adekoye’s tell-it-all chat with Sunday Scoop reporter Joy Marcus.
What’s the most memorable trip you’ve been on recently?
I have been to a lot of places but I had a horrific experience in Kingston, southwest London, not too long ago.
What happened there?
I did a bungee jump where they tied me to a strong metal and I jumped. It was a very scary experience for me. It was just like sky diving. It was very daring but I enjoyed the experience. At some point, I thought I was going to fall. It was mind-blowing. I must say that being in Kingston was so much fun and they had lots of food as well.
Why did you choose Kingston?
I went there on vacation but I travelled alone. My cousins live there; so, I knew I was going to enjoy myself.
Did you notice anything peculiar about the place?
I noticed that there are not so many black people over there. There was a time I was scared because most places I visited were full of only white people. However, it is an exciting place and the serenity is divine. Also, I noticed that there were a lot of elite there.
What places did you visit while you were there?
It is a residential area; they don’t really have tourist sites. You cannot compare it with Greece which has lots of tourist attractions. That is why I am planning to go there (Greece) for another vacation.
Which of their meals excited your taste buds?
Mostly, they served English continental dishes. I also noticed that they ate a lot of meat, vegetables, pastas and cheese. I think their meals are very nice.
What can you say about their fashion sense?
It is in the United Kingdom, so, they dress well. Their men and women are conservatively dressed, unlike the Americans.
How was the weather like when you travelled?
It was snowed when I visited; everywhere was very cold. There were days I regretted travelling because I could not move around and visit places as a result of the weather.
How were you able to pay for the things you bought?
I had my dollar card and any time I bought anything, I paid with it. I also withdrew money from automated teller machines.
Do you think Kingston is expensive compared to other countries you have been too?
There are things that are cheaper there and some that are expensive. Some clothes there are sold cheaper than in other places I have visited but their shoes are quite expensive.
Since the area is dominated by white people, did you experience any form of racism?
Kingston is populated by white people so I was careful because I didn’t want to be exposed to racism. However, they are quite receptive people. They are welcoming and nice. But I experienced racism when I was connecting from John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, to London. We had to stop at the airport for checks. I was the only black person on the queue. So, some policemen and other law enforcement officers asked me to leave with them. This made me so scared because I thought someone had planted an illegal substance in my bag.They asked for my passport and took me to a special room where I was detained for some minutes. They asked me questions about where I was going and some other irrelevant things. I wasn’t even allowed to be on the same queue with the other white people. To me, that was racism at its peak.
What other country do you have in mind to visit?
I am planning to go to Santorini, Greece, where most of the buildings are painted white and the water is sky blue. The place is romantic; so, it is advised that you visit with your partner. Also, I will like to visit Seychelles and Zanzibar.
What would you tell someone who wants to visit Kingston for the first time?
Travel and have fun but remember you are going to another country; so, you have to be careful. Try and get as much safety tips as possible so you won’t run into trouble.