Student Spotlight: Nneka Iroha

Nneka+Iroha+converses+with+her+cousin%2C+junior+Ogechi+Nwaopara.

Nneka Iroha converses with her cousin, junior Ogechi Nwaopara.

Nneka Iroha converses with her cousin, junior Ogechi Nwaopara.
Nneka Iroha (right) converses with her cousin, junior Ogechi Nwaopara.

For many families, cultural traditions died out generations ago and aren’t a part of everyday home life. However, for Nigerian senior Nneka Iroha, that is not the case.

“We constantly have Nigerian music playing,” said Iroha, “whether it’s in the car, at home, or at parties. My culture is a big party culture because we celebrate literally everything so there is always something going on.”

Iroha’s parents left Nigeria in the 1980s in order to pursue an American education. Some of her family still lives there, including her great grandmother, whom Iroha saw on a visit to Nigeria.

“It’s pretty cool so see my family there, especially my great grandmother,” said Iroha. “She speaks no English but is determined to have conversations with everyone.”

Closer to home, Iroha has three cousins who also attend Mercy.

“All of them are juniors,” said Iroha. “I am really close to my cousins. We do almost everything together. I practically live in their house because we live less than five minutes
from each other.”

At home, Iroha’s family keeps their culture alive through language.

“At my house my parents speak Igbo and pigeon English,” said Iroha. “My grandmother speaks Yoruba and Igbo to us a lot, even though she knows English just fine. I don’t speak the languages but I can translate ok.”

Her passion for cultural food is definitely one thing that every Mercy girl can relate to.

“The food is always amazing because everything is fresh. I could eat for days. I can’t stress the food enough.”