“Happiness is when you are surrounded with people that you like, and you are content with yourself. You have self-peace.”
The first person I interviewed was my friend Eboni. We’ve been friends since year 7 and it’s safe to say that we shaped each other’s sense of humour. I was excited to interview her because we don’t have serious conversations all the time, so I wanted to find out things that aren’t casually mentioned. This conversation took place in a gallery. It is long, but so good.
Here is her response:
Hi, what’s your name?
What did you eat for breakfast?
I ate – well this is quite interesting, are you ready?
You know when you go to the shop and you can get Cod that’s in breadcrumbs, I had that with an omelette.
Ooh. (She laughs)
Well, I was supposed to have my dinner from yesterday but I left it in the oven instead of putting it in the fridge so I couldn’t eat it anymore. I also had jollofrice.
Was it nice?
Yeah, I put it in the microwave but it all stuck together.
Do you like your hair?
Why do you like your hair?
It’s friggin amazing, that’s why.
(She laughs again). What’s one thing you wish you had done?
That’s a hard question. I don’t know what you’re trying to aim at.
It can be a small thing or a big thing.
I wish I started dance earlier, because now, I’m at the university stage and I have to take a gap year to actually do what I want. There’s more opportunities for kids as well.
What is one thing you regret doing?
Um… I literally don’t regret anything, I won’t lie. To be honest, I don’t really do bad things, and I’d like to think that I always do the right thing.
Do you find politics interesting?
Because it controls your life whether you like it or not. You can say ‘I don’t like politics.’ But either way, it’s gonna affect you.
Interesting. How did you feel when you turned 18?
I didn’t feel anything. I just thought ‘I need to do my exams’, because my exams were like the week afterwards, so I didn’t actually get to have a fear about being 18.
Did you realise anything?
You mean when I was turning 18?
Or did you come to any conclusions about life?
No, because my whole life was just focused on exams at that moment. It was quite stressful. I felt overwhelmed about my party as well.
Oh yeah, your party. A good overwhelmed or a bad overwhelmed?
Both, because I was thinking that I should actually be doing work.
On the day of your party? It was one day!
I know, but exams were so soon.
At this point, we had walked into another section of the gallery.
Is there something that makes you happy?
Erm…when I get a dance routine.
Does it take long to master one?
You get an hour and a half.
Is there someone that makes you happy?
Probably my parents, I guess. When they’re happy to give me money! But no, my mum probably, the person that makes me the happiest.
What do you like about your mum?
She’s a joker, she’s funny.
Ok. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. If you want something go for it. Which statement do you agree with the most?
They both work together.
You think so?
Yeah. Cause if something is meant to be, it will happen, but you’ve still got to work for it. That’s the thing, when you pray to God for something, you can’t just wait for him to do it. You’ve got to work hard for it as well. You need to do something about it, and it will happen if it’s meant to happen.
Is there something you don’t like about yourself?
It took her a long time to answer this question.
Um, maybe when I meet new people, I feel like I shy away. I feel like I’m not who I really am when I meet someone new.
But do you become yourself as you get closer to them?
I think I’m the same
Is it? It’s not a bad thing though…
It’s not a bad thing.
Some people just don’t care and they go for it straight away; I wish I was more like that.
Why do people like the Spice Girls so much?
(We laugh) Do you care for 90s Rnb?
I love it. It brings me back.
Back to 1999? (Note my sarcasm)
Yeah, cause they were still played after the millennia!
Is there anything you think about on a regular or daily basis?
Um, I think about dance, every day. And different goals that I have to achieve. And ‘What class should I take today?’
There are different classes?
Yeah, every day there are loads of different open classes.
Which ones do you usually go to?
Well there’s this guy called Andy and today is one of his last classes in England. He does hip-hop.
Happiness is when you are surrounded with people that you like, and you are content with yourself. You have self-peace. Actually you don’t always have to have self-peace, because sometimes you can be depressed then go outside and be with people that you like. When you have a good time with them, you forget about being sad.
When that happens though, are you no longer sad or have you just been distracted from it?
You’ve been distracted from it.
Hmm… I think joy is like a short moment of happiness. Say you win the lottery, or it’s New Year’s Day and it’s just reached 12 O’clock, you’re like ‘Yay!’ and overcome with joy.
So what’s the difference between happiness and joy then?
I think happiness lasts for a long time, and it’s… ok, joy is like an explosion, like when a bomb explodes and suddenly it’s over.
Like a firework?
Yeah. But then happiness is like a sunrise, and it’s beautiful and lasts for ages.
That’s interesting, because I think it’s the opposite.
Yeah. I think joy is really really hard to acquire, because joy never leaves. I think that very few people in this world would have joy.
Is joy when you’ve reached a goal?
I just feel like joy is happiness in spite of circumstances; like a happiness that never ever goes away.
I don’t think of it like that; it’s crazy how people think of it differently.
Can you spill your heart out to me?
I knew this question would cause people to make a double take, it’s basically me asking them to become completely vulnerable with no good reason to do so. I’m interested to see if anyone will take the leap and actually do so.
Do you often feel lonely?
You know what this sounds quite sad, but I have my phone on me, so if I feel lonely I just go my room and go on my phone. It makes me feel like I’m connecting with people when I’m not really. I’m just looking at their photos.
What do you buy when you’re treating yourself?
I buy clothes. I don’t even buy them to be honest – my mum buys them for me. But yeah I like to buy clothes. But now that I’m working, she’s not gonna buy me anything!
How old are your parents?
My mum is 51 and my dad is 55. What about you?
My dad is 54 and my mum is 50.
So it’s like a 1 year gap.
Yeah. Name one thing that everyone but you seems to understand.
The thing that really annoys me at the moment is black people not loving themselves. I mean, I understand how it happens cause it could be because your parents haven’t taught you how to. But I surround myself with people who love that they’re black, basically. Also that light-skin and dark-skin thing. Oh my gosh, I hate it so much. As a race we’re already separated, and if we just stuck together, how powerful could we be?
When I was doing my hair this morning I thought of something. I felt one part of my hair and it was soft and I felt another side and it was kind of rough because my hair is different textures. I thought to myself ‘I like this feeling’, then I thought, what if we were taught that a rough feeling is nice as well? Black people would probably love their hair more. I don’t know why I thought of that!
Ok, last question. Is there something you want people to know about you?
Hmm… I’m a cool person if you come and talk to me.
No, not really. Oh, back to something about myself. I think that I try and do too many things at once, like I wanna dance, I wanna skateboard, I wanna have a YouTube channel as well…
What’s wrong with that?
I wanna do so many things, but I have to focus on one.
No, I think you should try and do as many things as you can. You’ll fail at things that you aren’t supposed to do and you’ll succeed at things you are supposed to do.
That’s true. I just wanna do everything and be the best at everything. I don’t know.