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Dawit Kifle


Why I chose to come to Burngreave

Colour photograph of Mohammed Mohammed holding a box of chillies.
Mohammed Mohammed from Dur Dur grocery shop with a box of Scotch Bonnett chillies © Carl Rose

When I came to England as a refugee from Eritrea, the first thing I felt was relief. I had become a free man and I could do whatever I wanted! My expectations were very high. I was expecting that life in London is going to be very easy and you can get anything cheaply and easily but it is very hard to get into the system. So you need some time and patience. I was in London for three months. Then there was the Dispersal programme for asylum seekers to send some to other towns so I went to Sunderland. After I got my status to remain in the UK, I chose to live in Sheffield.

When I came to Sheffield, I had three options for housing. My first choice was Burngreave, because it's very near to the city centre and it is a multicultural place. You feel as if you are at home. The shops are like those in my country. You can buy spices and injera (Eritrean bread).

Extract from an interview with Dawit Kifle, by Tesfay Sengal, for the Burngreave Voices oral history project, December 2004.