Aisha Alfa splits her time between Winnipeg and Toronto.
I am half Nigerian I’ll tell them. I’m just as white as I am not though, which is hard for people to believe - difficult to see through the afro I suppose.
—Aisha Alfa, comedian
People always ask me about my background because I look a bit ambiguous I guess. It's funny how I can tell them til the cows come home that my mom is from a small farming town in rural Manitoba and all they do is anxiously wait for the other half.
They want to know about my "dark side"!!! When I start to tell them about punching that kid in the face in kindergarten for no reason other than to see what if felt like to punch a kid, they stop me and clarify.
I am half Nigerian I'll tell them. I'm just as white as I am not though, which is hard for people to believe - difficult to see through the afro I suppose. When it comes to backgrounds, people are far more interested in my black-ground.
I've been mistaken for Brazilian (when I had long hair), Dominican, Jamaican, Trinidadian and even Chinese...yes you read that correctly! The last one came from a secretary in small town northern Alberta where I was traveling through schools to organize an anti-racism initiative. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me.
Being a mix, you never quite fit in fully with any one culture which is frustrating and beautiful at the same time. And in a totally different way you kind of fit in anywhere which is a lot of fun, but it can be frustrating when someone tries to put a label on it.
A girl I knew once asked me, "what do I call you?" I told her she could just call me Aisha, but she pressed further, "yeah but I mean when I describe you, what do I say, brown? Mixed? Mulatto?" I tried to end the conversation with this, "mulatto means mule...you can just say Aisha and if someone asks which one you can tell them the cute and funny one with the afro."
I'm a mix of a black Nigerian father, a white Canadian mother and years of confusion. Sometimes black and white doesn't make grey, or brown or mulatto, it just makes a great story on stage!