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16 October 2014
BBC NI - Eyewitness

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Femi Olayisade is a member of a Nigerian Royal Family who was working with Christian Aid in Belfast at the time of the racial attack in May 2002 Image of Femi Olayisade

A Nigerian family living in Belfast is packing up and moving out, following sustained racist attacks on their home. Femi Olayisade, a member of the Nigerian royal family and an employee of Christian Aid in Belfast, says he simply can't take it any more. He can't risk putting his family through any more attacks in the loyalist 'Village' area in the south of the city.

Now it's getting worse because now my house, my property is being damaged - bricks, stones are being thrown through my windows.

So when you first arrived in the Village a couple of years ago, there were some racial attacks? (Yeah) Small children (Yeah) - but now fully grown adults (Yes) are throwing bricks through your window.

Yes, and I am being called names, being taunted, my children are being taunted.

You're a member of the community in the Village?

Yes, yes.

Not everyone there is racist?

No, we have a lot of good people there, lots of good people there I must say, and they've been quite supportive even in this situation. Some people have sent cards to me, to sympathise; some have knocked on my door to talk to me and offer their support.

What's been the worst attack so far?

It was the day they threw a brick through my window and the whole window was shattered, and the brick fell on my, on my own seat in the house, I put it…and this is the seat I was on until about 1.30am - so I was really shocked. Suppose I was sitting there - what would have happened to me? Would I now become another statistic for enquiry or what?

How many times have your windows been broken?

About three times.

Three times in the last…?

Four weeks.

In the last four weeks.

Yeah.

You've put your house on the market?

Yeah.

You can't take any more?

I think enough is enough, because it's affecting my children and even my dog. My dog is a premium dog, but now he is so scared he will not even go into the garden to pee. He's peeing inside the sitting room, and I think everybody should realise a point where even an animal knows what is going on, people should know that. Even me, as head of the family, it's affecting my job, it's affecting my life, it's affecting every facet of my life and I just think enough is enough.







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