African Festival

“I’m from Ghana. It’s in West Africa. I’m here on official business, to find investors who would be interested in helping develop my country. We’re rich in agriculture. I’m also here to visit family. My sister is married to a Japanese man. She’s been living here for 29 years. I hope to build ties with Japan more. Ghana is still a long way to go so I hope we can find partners for development.”

“People don’t believe me when I tell them I’m Nigerian. That’s because my ethnic background is from India. Punjab to be exact. But I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, so I speak one of the languages there. Japanese people seem to have a bad image of us because the touts in Roppongi give us a bad name. So I usually don’t reveal my nationality right away. But I want Japanese people to know that most Nigerians have legitimate businesses here in Japan. Today, I’m helping out at the African festival, where we showcase African culture. I’m even dressed in this shirt that’s actually Nigerian design.”

“We’re brothers. We come from Angola and we’ve been in Japan for three years now. Dad’s a diplomat, that’s why we moved to Japan. Little brother here is still in junior high school. Me, I’m training to be a professional soccer player so I can join J1 League when I graduate from senior high school. We’re attending the African Festival in Yokohama today. It’s just upstairs.”

“I’m from Ghana and I do part-time acting and some modeling. But I also have my own apparel shop online, which I’m working on right now. These clothes I’m wearing, I made them myself. I’m trying to introduce African culture and traditional African fashion with a Western twist to Japanese people. We like bright colors where I come from, and Japan also likes bright colors. Japan is my second home now and I love it here. People are extremely nice and kind. We’re all people after all.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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