…but I still put it down, as ‘this is where I wanna be’. It’s something I’m learning now; that our hopes and dreams and God’s hopes and dreams don’t align. That’s something that I am still to accept.
Dami’s interview took place in Costa on the last day of August as we drank Caramel Ice Lattes. I love his personality and enthusiasm for so many things, and I find that our interests cross on many levels, such as social justice, music and faith. Talking to Dami is always fun because he is so open to ideas and discussions about anything. It’s refreshing to not wonder if the topic is too random or broad. He’s the kind of friend that you want to stay in your circle forever.
Here is his response:
Hi, what’s your name?
How did you feel when you turned 18?
No different. There’s no difference in how you feel; it’s just the same.
Did you feel any kind of sadness? Like ‘I’m getting older’, or do you not mind getting older?
I didn’t really feel it until about last month, when I started buying stuff. Like there’s no free NHS in some areas… you’re an adult now. Even the way people would look at me, I’m not that child or baby boy anymore, you’re not that 4 year-old that I saw growing up. I’ve had to accept that.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Um, (He sighs sharply) I wanna go into banking. Yeah.
Who do you miss?
Who do I miss? What do you mean?
(Smiling) Is there a person that you miss?
Expatiate, are they dead, are they…?
Dead or alive, someone you don’t talk to anymore…
Um, I don’t think there’s a person but there’s… I miss Barack Obama. (I laugh) Which makes no sense at all, but –
That makes sense. I miss him too.
When he was there, things just fell in place and the problems we had weren’t as big as the ones we’re facing now. We’re not facing like, um, the problems we saw – even though he wasn’t that good a president, but the problems weren’t that big. Compared to now, where we’re dealing with potential world war, and so many things.
(I stopped the recording to make sure it was picking up his voice as it was quite noisy around us. Then we resumed.)
Next question. What do you miss?
What do I miss? I miss… I miss year eleven. No why am I lying? I miss year nine. It was probably the most care-free time of my life. When I look back, we had no responsibilities. I wish I was a bit more inventive than I am now.
Okay. What will you miss?
I’m gonna miss… what am I gonna miss? (He thinks). I’m gonna miss the comfort of knowing the people that I have. Does that make sense?
The people around you?
Yeah. I’ve always known them. In primary school, I knew people there. Secondary school, I knew the people there. It’s not until now – Uni, that I’m going in not knowing anybody, or anything that’s gonna happen. So I’m gonna miss that comfort of being able to sit back, knowing that I know somebody that knows someone.
Okay. That makes sense. Is there anything you get carried away with?
Um, probably music, and talking.
You mean listening to music?
Yeah. I think it’s an addiction sometimes. (He starts smiling) If I’m not doing anything… I can’t have more than five minutes just sitting without either putting my headphones in or I’ll start tapping or something.
So you always have music playing in the background?
That’s cool. (Pause) Can you use an analogy to describe love?
Ok. (A happy sigh) Oh, wow, wow. Love is like (he thinks for a while) love is like the moon. Oh wow (we laugh). I hope this works. Love is a bit like…yeah, I’m gonna say the moon. It’s there when we need it… but even when we don’t need it, it’s always there. Does that work?
You can’t –
You can’t see it, but you know it’s there.
(Excitedly) You know it’s there. Ooh, that did work, I’m happy!
(Giggle) What is the thing you look forward to?
I’m looking forward to actually resting properly, and being able to say that I’ve done this, and I’ve done that, and I’m just able to tick things off.
Is that like, after university for example?
Nah. After life.
After life! (He laughs) You mean when you’re dead?
No no, just before that.
You know, when you’re reminiscing in the last couple of days you have. You get what I mean. And it would probably be a continuous thing.
But that’s with the hope that you’ve achieved everything you’ve wanted to achieve?
Do you have a diary?
(Smiles) I don’t – my life’s not that interesting to have a diary.
You should have a diary, I’ve had one since like, year seven.
So do you look at it often?
Yeah! And it’s funny, because the things I used to write about are so ridiculous, but now it’s a good way to see how I’ve developed as a person. It’s interesting.
Do you believe in God?
Yeah I do.
Um, because there’s too many things that have happened where I cannot but believe in God. There are too many thing that we see around us that there has to be a higher being of some sort. They can’t have just happened randomly.
Do you think your belief is by choice?
Now, yes. But before I would have said no.
Yeah. It’s the same with me. Um, define expressing yourself.
Expressing yourself is being able to do what you want to do (the first thing that comes into your mind) without thinking of anything else.
How do you express yourself?
Um, through music.
How are you?
Now? I’m great. (I laugh)
My was hope to see patterns in how everyone responds to certain questions, but after hearing Dami say this, I realised that there are also similarities in people’s answers. Eboni and Femi both said that they don’t have any regrets. Dami and Jonathan both express themselves through music, and at the time of their interviews, they both felt ‘great’. Although we are respectively different, we are still quite similar to each other.
Pink or white?
Black or white?
Black. (We both laugh, but I don’t remember why).
Have you ever been told that you’ve changed?
Yeah I get told that a lot. I don’t like it.
For the worse or for the better?
Um, both (laughs)
Aw. That’s sad. So if you’ve been told that you changed for the worse, what do people usually say has happened?
Apparently I talk posh –
How is that changing for the worse?
I don’t know. I think I’ve become a bit shut off. And, apparently I’ve become a bit more “woke”. So that’s for the worse.
It used to be for the better though.
Yeah. I don’t really like the word “woke”. Anyone can be woke, but there’s always a section where if you go past it, you’re no longer “woke”, but instead you someone with an opinion. So it’s not a good definition.
What I realised is that with “wokeness”, people turn opinions into fact.
So it just becomes a bit blurry. Are you aware of the crisis in Syria?
What do you think of it?
I think it’s a shame. And I think that there’s a lot more that western nations can do in order to help them. We should also help refugees; it’s the least we could do. We bring them in, and people complain that they’re ruining the country, but the demographic that complains make up 90% of the whole nation. So there’s no point in complaining.
Are you interesting in travelling?
Yeah in the future.
So what’s your top five? Where do you wanna go?
First, I wanna go to the Vatican. Also, I wanna go to Thailand. I don’t know why, but it sounds good. I wanna go to California, just for culture reasons. Where else do I wanna go? I want to go to Edinburgh as well.
What was your least favourite part of school?
Exams. I just feel that they’re not built for everyone. It’s just a memory test to be honest, and it’s about who can apply it the best. That doesn’t really test anybody. But, the issue is that there can be a suitable way to test everybody – meaning that whatever method we choose, there will always be someone that will lose out. But that’s life anyway. There has to be a loser for someone to be a winner. That’s the only thing I hate about education.
Wow. Um, (he sighs) wow. Define what?
(I smile) Define yourself.
Yeah but what do you mean? (He smiles too)
Who are you?
Who am I? I’m Dami.
People I’ve asked so far have been like ‘I’m awkward, I’m funny…’
You don’t have to list it though, I didn’t ask them to.
Define myself. I am… I think I’m two-faced, because I feel like certain people get different things out of me. If I’m not comfortable around you, there will be a certain part that you won’t get. I think I’m very interesting. Yeah.
I find this funny, because when I asked him if he has a diary, he said he doesn’t have one because his life isn’t interesting. However he sees himself as an interesting person!