Reggie: Who Do You Think You Are?

16 Sep 2014   /   Share

Reggie was born in London in 1983, he has an older sister Cerise and half-siblings from his parents’ later marriages.

Reggie wants to know where the name 'Yates' come from, thinking that it might be Dutch. His complicated family tree holds some unexpected surprises - his grandfather was half English and his great, grand-father George Yates, was English and worked in the Gold Coast as an accountant for a British gold mining company.

“Relationships and marriage are very much in the front of my mind now," explains Reggie. "In Ghanaian culture there’s this whole thing of a ‘knocking’ where my family turn up at the family of my partner and literally knock on the door and say, “Hi, we’re the people that are taking your daughter'. As I’ve been with my girlfriend for two years, my mum has literally started knocking on my door going, 'When are we going to knock on hers?'"

“I was raised almost entirely by my mother. My mother and biological father broke up when I was about four years old and my mum remarried when I was around 11. I know a lot about my mother’s side because I grew up with that side of the family, but when it comes to my dad’s side, I don’t know a lot."

“My father has been a very small part of my adult life. It sounds really ridiculous and actually kind of sad, but I’ve never met my grandparents. I don't know whether they’re alive; I don’t know where they live. They could live in the next street. I know nothing."

“The logical starting point for me is with my dad. His family history, it’s mine too: that family history is something that I want to investigate. My father Jojo is an incredibly talented musician, which I think on some level has informed a lot of my passions.”

“I know very little about my family. Both my mother and father were born in Ghana and my father is mixed race, but that’s about as far as it goes. I know that there is a European part to my history, hence my complexion, but beyond that I don’t really know much more.”

Catch Reggie's Who Do You Think You Are, 9pm, Thursday 25th September on BBC One.

Reggie: Who Do You Think You Are?