Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (born August 22, 1967) is a British actor, director, and former fashion model.
- It felt like a kidnap…and it rendered me mute for about nine months. I couldn't speak the language, and if I spoke English I was abused for it. It was quite a culture shock: brutal. I was so traumatised and afraid that I stopped speaking and my [birth] parents thought there was something wrong with me, thought I was possessed…
- On being taken back to Nigeria after living abroad for years in England in “Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: 'I didn't want to be black. So I joined the skinheads…'” in The Guardian (2012 May 13)
- I wanted to assimilate and go back to the abnormal normality I knew. I wanted to wash off the experience of Africa but obviously I couldn't because that's who I was. As much as I wanted to deny it, it was plaguing me, and I was reminded by the images coming through the TV, people on the streets and in the end my family in the house.
- On returning back to England and his subsequent identity crisis in “Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: 'I didn't want to be black. So I joined the skinheads…'” in The Guardian (2012 May 13)
- My understanding is that it derived from an age-old habit: in Nigeria – and elsewhere in Africa – it was common for parents to send their children from the village to a town, to an extended family member or even a stranger, because it was thought that child would have more opportunities. The problems began with people like my parents because it was a foreign country. I think it was seen as a status thing – and there was an element of ‘white being seen as right’. Mostly they wanted us to get an education and learn to speak good English.
- On the practice of “farming” in “‘Farmed’ out to a white family, I became a skinhead: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje on his first film” in The Guardian (2019 Sep 8)
- There was no way of getting love. If all you have experienced is humiliation and rejection, and your foster father forces you to fight back or get a beating from him, you look for any kind of lifeline. There were only two options: fight, or become a victim. I tried the victim option for a long time.
- On the rationale that eventually led him to join the skinheads despite being British-Nigerian in “‘Farmed’ out to a white family, I became a skinhead: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje on his first film” in The Guardian (2019 Sep 8)