Oral History: Dauda Ladejobi
Food, it’s always food. That grilled meat, Suya especially, like it’s basically barbecue food on the roadside all the time. Scotch Bonnets, I remember just that kind of burning smell you get in your nose when you smell something really spicy and that cough is coming, but you know it’s going to taste so good.
Dauda Ladejobi is an actor, spoken word performer and poet. He is the voice of The Barking Stink animations, and part of cultural groups in Barking like Studio 3 Arts and the White House.
He got into drama and poetry as a teenager and now runs workshops for other local young people in Barking and Dagenham. Dauda moved to the UK from Lagos in Nigeria when he was 8 years old. He describes his school memories and how he discovered his passion for drama and history. From chicken shop to scotch bonnet smells, he talks about favourite food odours that are unique to both Barking high street and Lagos.
Dauda reflects on the concerns and potential of regeneration he has experienced in the area. Plus shares who are the emerging poets in Barking and Dagenham’s thriving cultural and arts scene who inspire him.
I feel like the worst of it has happened when displacements have happened and people have been moved out now… those are the moments where community can very much lose itself and people can feel a bit defeated and not; feel like they don’t actually have the power. That’s something in Barking when such big changes are happening.