Interview with Ify Egesi and her family
George and Ngozi, Emeka (15), Ify (12), Uche (9) and Arinze (7)
What do all your friends at school think of you having carried the torch? Are they all very proud of you?
My friends are really pleased for me and my school are really proud. All my friends are tagging me in their Facebook statuses.
Where did your family watch you run past from?
My family watched from Bankside. We didn’t know until yesterday which leg I would be running, so lots of my family are watching in Camberwell.
What are you going to do with the torch?
My school are going to frame it and there is going to be a picture of me next to it in a display case. They are all really proud of me for representing them. I was chosen to carry the torch because I have shown I am very responsible by balancing playing netball and picking my brothers up from school.
How did you feel holding the torch?
It was scary when I first held it up. It was really heavy to hold. It was like carrying three cans of baked beans in one hand. I started running towards The Globe and I ran faster than the people who were supposed to be running with me. It was really nice to hear so many people cheering for me.
Have you ever been to the Globe before, either with your family or with your school? If not, would you like to come back to find out more about the theatre where you’ve already played a starring role?
No I hadn’t been here before, but my brother has been here (‘To see Macbeth’ he interjects) I would really like to become an actress one day. How old do you have to be to be on stage? (We tell her about our Youth Theatre Work and encourage her to apply.)
How did it feel walking into the Globe with the fanfare playing?
It was amazing. I didn’t know there would be so many people in the theatre so I was amazed how much noise everyone made. I thought there would be only a few people in there. (She laughs when we tell her there were hundreds of people watching her.) I could see people in the audience who I didn’t even know cheering and crying.
How did it feel walking on the stage with the torch?
I was really nervous, but I had been told where I needed to go before I was given the torch.
Do you have a favourite Shakespeare play? If so, what is it and why?
I haven’t seen any Shakespeare plays, but I have read King of the Shadows (this is based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream) We haven’t looked at much Shakespeare in school yet, but I would like to one day.
How do you feel now?
I am really tired because I have been up since 5am. (Emeka interjects that he and the rest of the family have been up since 5am too!)
Mum: I read a lot of Shakespeare plays at a child and I really love his work.
Dad: I am very proud of what [Ify] has done representing Nigeria and Great Britain. She has been a part of making history.
Emeka: I am very proud of her. She looked very calm and composed and I couldn’t believe that it was my sister holding the Olympic torch!
We ran a competition inviting our Twitter followers to win a place to witness the Torch come to the Globe. Read the audience responses and see their photos in our dedicated Storify here. Ian Barnett wrote about the event on his blog here.