The New Londoners The New Londoners

Aja Marenah, her two sons Aziz, 3, and Lamin, 13, and her mother Fatou Marenah.

In her life, Aja Marenah has lived in four different countries. Born in Newcastle, she moved with her parents back to their native Gambia as a child. But at the age of 14 she again moved with her family, this time to America, where she continued to live for 20 more years.

“When I had my oldest son I decided that I wanted to get closer to Africa,” says Aja. “I wanted to experience living in a different country, instead of just always being in the States. That’s why I came here, to the UK.”

But she has missed her family, with most of her relatives, including her mother, still living in America.

Nevertheless, Aja says she has stayed here with her two sons for the sake of their education – something very important to her as a teacher herself.

“The education is better here, that’s why we’re here right now,” she says. “We kind of wanted to move back last summer but then Lamin just started his GCSEs, so we don’t know whether we’re staying or going. I’m not quite sure yet.”

What Aja is sure of is the prospect of moving again – to be with her mother in her old age.

“I’m going to have to be there for her,” she says. “Hopefully we’ll be in Gambia. The dream would be to live in Gambia.”

Other Families from the USA are the Perez & Khan Family, the Adolfsclottir & Goldberg Family, the Buschmann Family, the Glavan & Robinson Family, the O'Sullivan Family, the Wickware Family and the Garcia Family