Maria’s Story
Written by
Yolanda Mercy
Story by
Maria
Performed by
Asha Hassan

Maria’s Story

Maria is worried about University. She hears echoes of assertions from her family in Somalia that education will set her free. MARIA’S STORY explores what it means to be educated and how one woman is determined to help other refugees like her – there is a lot riding on the creation of the world’s first vegan no-sugar white chocolate.

Story
Audio description – performed by Kayla Meikle
Map
location
Story
Transcript
Story transcript

Characters

Maria, 24 (must be able to speak Somali). She has a warmth to her voice.

Setting

A bedroom which doubles as a living room, work space and relaxation sanctuary. The room contains all of Maria’s possessions, so the space should feel warm and slightly dense.

Maria’s Story
 

Maria

 

My education has always been at the forefront of my mind…

 

Beat

 

You see back home in Somalia my brother in law would teach us extra lessons before we started school. We’d wake up at 7am and study, whilst my sister was making breakfast or cleaning the house. My brother in law has always encouraged me to learn. I guess it’s because of him that I’ve got this desire to keep learning, and a passion to take my education seriously. He would always say….

 

(in Somali)

 

“When you are educated you can go anyway in the world.”

Cause education is a key to opening a lot of doors… which is why I’m always studying. Even now during this lockdown, where all of my lessons are online… which I hate…It’s not the same being in front of a computer and trying to listen to the teacher. It’s better when we are all in the classroom learning together. There is more of an energy… an atmosphere, where you can actually have discussions and not have to navigate the awkwardness of online pauses, which could just be a lag from someone’s computer…. Or even a glitch. I hate glitching.

 

Beat

 

But I guess… I guess the world has changed. And we all have to adapt…. Which means doing my lessons here. It’s like I live at this desk. I spend most of my time in lessons, then preparing assignments like my recent assignment… It’s a presentation where I have to share a product that I have made. My imaginary product is a Vegan no sugar white chocolate bar…I came up with the idea because most Vegan white chocolate bars have a lot of sugar… but I don’t like sugar… I know I know… I guess most people do but I don’t… Also I’m allergic to diary products…So I thought… hmm how can I come up with an idea that marries the two…. Then I created this… My very own Vegan White Chocolate Bar. I hope the presentation goes well because there is a lot riding on it. You see the final marks for this presentation determines which university will accept me in March. I’ve already had one offer… I mean I don’t know how they have offered me a place yet, because I haven’t received my final grades…. But they’ve given me a place, which I haven’t accepted yet because I’m holding out for my 1st choice… Which is Kings College London… I really hope I get into Kings.

 

She exhales a heavy breath

 

Even though Kings is in London, and London is very busy and loud… which is so different to what I am used to, especially compared to back home in Somali and the first place I moved to in the UK, which was Brighton. London is always buzzing, whereas I am used to the quieter places where I have space to walk and clear my mind when I get stressed. Like in Brighton I can breathe in the sea air and relax. Where as London…I don’t know if I will get used to the noise, but relocating so I can attend Kings is worth it.

 

(in Somali)

 

“When you are educated you can go anyway in the world.”

Kings college will open up a lot of doors for me, and in a way start a new legacy… because I will be the first person in my family to attend university. Which is a huge responsibility, but I feel like I’ve been preparing for this for a long time, cause remember back home in Somalia I used to wake up at 7am and do extra studying before my normal school day began. Being at university is something I have always dreamed of because I will be able to meet new people, and study a lot. All in the hopes of changing the world.

 

(in Somali)

 

“When you are educated you can go anyway in the world.”

I want to change the world and help people like me. People who are refugees. I will be able to support other people who might have a similar story to mine, or have experience as a refugee. So when I’m studying and working relentlessly, it’s not just for myself. It’s for other people like me. Because my story and journey can help them too. So hopefully Kings accepts me because I cant wait to learn more about accountancy… But until then I better finish off my college assignment and promote these Vegan no Sugar white Chocolate bars. Do you want any?

 

End