Sharing Cultures

A young Nigerian woman sings on board a MOAS vessel after being rescued by our crew

So often, the MOAS crews have to ask the people we rescue difficult and sometimes deeply personal questions about what has prompted their journey, and what they have experienced along the way. This month, we took the opportunity to ask some of the people on board the Phoenix about the things that everyone enjoys; about their favourite food, music, singers, hobbies. Some of the answers took even us by surprise

Raymond, Nigeria

I’m now talking to Raymond. How old are you? 19, I’m from Anambra State.

What’s your favourite food? I eat Jollof rice. With meat or fish? Meat or fish, any one is OK, especially meat.

And what’s your favourite music? I like listening to relaxing music, like Enya, really calm relaxation music because I like to meditate and think a lot. So instrumental music? Yes. Nigerian music has too many sounds! When I’m listening to music I like reading books: adventure, Christian and some motivational books.

What’s your favourite hobby? Soccer, that’s my hobby and that’s what I do. So what’s your position, midfield, striker? I just graduated from my school team, I was just about to get in the local club in my area before the problems came, and the threat came, and my mum decided I should travel. Who’s your favourite football player? Cristiano Ronaldo, but I’m a defender! I support Real Madrid as well, I’m Spanish. Oh that’s great! Will you watch the final? I’d love to.

John, Nigeria

I’m now talking to John, who’s 31. What’s your favourite food?

I like eating rice you know! I eat rice like no-one else can eat it, because my grandma all of her life, you know, eats rice every morning, so we used to go through that process to learn how to eat rice: rice every morning and every evening a bit, with stew and chicken, and sometimes with yam sauce.

What’s your favourite music? I like Nigerian music, and some Christian music.

And your hobby? I like playing ping-pong and basketball, before now I played basketball a lot.

Samba, Gambia

I’m talking to Samba from Gambia, and he’s 18. What’s your favourite food? Benachin, which is rice, fish and oil, and at the same time potato and tomato, and we put there eggs. That sounds delicious! Yes, it’s so delicious.

And your favourite music? My favourite music is slow jam. Can you dance to this music? No, I can’t dance, but I’m trying. It’s music from America. And do you have a favourite singer? My favourite singer is Celine Dion. Ah, Celine Dion! Yes, I like the music very well.

And what’s your hobby? I like sport, volleyball. Are you good? I’m trying! You play at the beach? Yes, at the beachside.

Sonny, Nigeria

I’m now with Sonny, who’s 32. What’s your favourite food Sonny? I must confess it’s swolu, and when I say swolu I mean like semolina, you know? You know fufu? Have you heard of fufu? It’s a kind of swolu extracted from cassava.

What’s your favourite music? I love hip-hop, and I also love gospel.

What’s your favourite hobby? I love listening to music, that’s my hobby. Do you like dancing too? No, I’m not good at dancing!

Mousa, Gambia

Here we have Mousa, who’s 18. What’s your favourite food? It’s rice. What’s your favourite music? Jamaican music, reggae music, I really like Bob Marley.

And what’s your hobby? I play football. You’re a defender? Yes, a defender

Serifa, Gambia

I’m talking to Serifa, who’s 24.

What’s your favourite food? Rice! With meat and fish, rice with stew, and sometimes gallou stew.

And what’s your favourite music? Sometimes I listen to music a lot, because when I feel sad or stressed and I listen to music there is no problem on me. That’s great, music helps you feel better? Music gives me hope, it makes me feel OK.

What’s your hobby? What do you do in your free time? Me, I always liked work. Since my childhood time, I have not watched football: I’m from a poor family, so only work I know, only work and sleep. Some of them they like music and dancing, some like football. Me, my game is work.

Please sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page for all the MOAS news and updates and support our rescue missions by giving whatever you can to help us save lives at sea.