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African Francophone Oral History – Minding African Hidden Memories



Come and volunteer at African Community Heritage Hub






Minding African Hidden Memories is a narrative of histories of members of the Francophone African community in Birmingham.

This intergenerational project is training up to 15 young people and equip them with the necessary skills in order to research and document migration and resettlement experiences of French-speaking African community in Birmingham since the 1970s.

This Heritage Lottery Funded project that has been running from 2015 to 2017 is creating an oral history record of migration and resettlement experiences of French-speaking African community.

Young people including; Yannick Botanaka, Aristi Manunu, Varley Loussoukou, Jackina Bita, Pavi Bemba, Ronaldo Nzombo and Nyapaka were trained in Oral History Interview Techniques with the aim of collecting life stories, or as we phrase it to potential narrators, stories of what it has been to be us in Birmingham city, and create a unique audio that captures the memories of the people of French-speaking African origin who have come to settle in Birmingham since the 1970s.

This Oral History Archive will provide an insight into the part that the French-speaking African community has played in shaping socio-economic and cultural environment of modern Birmingham.

This project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

African Night of Culture, Arts & Cuisine.

Over the last several weeks, African Community Heritage Hub Ltd has been interviewing the members of the Francophone African Community in Birmingham to capture their personal stories, memories and experiences.

The project focuses on the history of migration and settlement experiences; exploring their migration journey including experiences on arrival, subsequent settlement experiences, achievements and contribution to the life of the adopted land and future aspirations.  The project also, exploits issues of integration, cultures shock, general health, identity, sense of belonging and community resilience.

On its way to closing out the project, African Community Heritage Hub Ltd will host an African Night of Culture, Arts, Music and Cuisine on Saturday 2nd September 2017.

The event will take place at the Baptist Church Community Centre, Conybere Street Birmingham B12 0YL.  The Night will includes key note speech by the chair of African Community Heritage Hub Ltd, poetry reading, African fashion show, music, dance and food.





Welcome to the Francophone African Oral History and Archive project.

This archive is a unique collection of french speaking African in the West Midlands. Recording began in August 2016 and still ongoing and the collection captures the distinctive life of people of African origin, told through their own memories and voices.

The recording give details of their migration journey, birth, life before coming to the UK, education, past occupations, past times, customs & traditions, events, arriving in the UK, coming to the West Midlands, meeting new people, barrier & opportunities, further education, employment, state of their mental health, integration.

Reading the transcripts of the recording allows you to discover how Africans here contributed to the life in the West Midlands and impacted the lives of other people.