12 Sep G Day Story: Comfort
Comfort Ero is a presenter at G Day Vancouver (October 2015). A teacher, award-winning author, director and master storyteller, Comfort uses her many artistic talents of drama, storytelling, and writing in English and French to discourage discrimination and bullying in schools and to share her African heritage. Her stories are very participatory, interactive and inclusive of audience participation. We thank her for sharing her G Day Story with us!
What was life like for you as a 10-12 year old girl?
Life for me as a 10-12 year old girl was as fun as it was scary. I learned a lot of communal African values from my parents and my peers. I had a lot of responsibilities, which in those days was the norm, but today can be regarded as too much on a 10 or twelve year old girl; responsibilities like fetching water from a river, going to help parents on the farm and helping to do the household chores as well as caring for junior siblings. We also had great fun telling stories, singing, dancing and playing games under the village bright moonlight night.
Why are you participating in G Day?
Canada is a multicultural country and we learn from one another. I am participating in G Day to share my experience as young girl and adolescent in my part of Africa. Like the saying goes in my country, “Many roads lead into the market.” All cultural values from all parts of the world must have, at a time in history, taken/shared something from one another. I hope the young girls who will listen to the speakers will have something positive to learn and take away from our presentations.
What pieces of advice might you have for your adolescent self?
For my adolescent self, I needed to listen more to my parents instead of peer gossip.
Be a friend of your parents and ask questions on issues that bother you instead of taking action by yourself on such issues.
Have lots of fun because adolescence only happens once in a life time.
Take advantage of your education to get very enlightened. This helped me greatly in my later years
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are today?
I was born the first daughter of a Benin chief and village head of Udo (Benin is a city in the South West of Nigeria, West Africa). I was the first girl to go to school at a time when it was very unpopular to send girls to school in most parts of Africa.
I have an M.A. in French and an M.ED., and was a teacher and principal in Nigerian High Schools. I relocated to Canada in 1996 and became a BC-certified teacher – I taught French and ESL and worked as a Settlement worker. Now I tell stories learned in my adolescence with immigrant youth.