An SAS rookie: Who Dares Wins has opened up about her struggles with racism after being voted the most untrustworthy rookie in the cohort by her fellow rookies.
The series follows the intense physical challenges recruits face, as well as the mental battles they face individually along the way, in the grueling heat of Jordan as they battle through the Special Forces training course.
Number 18 rookie Shylla has shared a touching moment with new DS Remi Adeleke in a powerful interview in the Hall of Mirrors where she confronts a life of racism that has affected her.
Mirror rooms typically allow recruits to open up about their emotional trauma to DS, showing another side that may not be explored during challenges, and often reminding recruits why they put themselves through the course.
The 33-year-old semi-professional footballer became emotional after fellow recruits voted her untrustworthy, however, it caused her to open up in a way she never had before, sharing how his social anxiety and hiding his emotions were affecting him.
“Growing up as a black girl, I used to be stereotyped as the angry black girl. And I was always bullied, slapped with emotions,” she shared with DS Remi and Rudy Reyes.
“So I just found it easier not to express myself, to gradually shut up and not react to things. »
“Because every time I react, it’s like someone telling me to calm down before I’ve even said two words.
“The naughty black girl was such and never trusted me,” she said emotionally.
Rémi replied, asking him to reach out and show that they were both the “same color”, and explained how being Black had affected his life.
“The last thing I’m going to do is let this affect the rest of my day. Because when I do that, I let racism win. Do you understand that?’
“Here, it is not a question of race. It’s not about sex. It’s a question of performance. And you played on top,” he encouraged.
According to Shylla’s SAS:Who Dares Wins profile, she was always described as “shy and quiet” and suffered from selective mutism as a child.
However, although her “crippling shyness” is mistaken for rudeness and sometimes referred to as an “angry black woman”, Shylla’s experience as a rookie allowed her to show her true self without the nerves she felt. used to be afraid that people would misinterpret her.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk and other publications about the Hall of Mirrors moment with Shylla, Remi shared: ‘She was voted the least trustworthy person and she had a very, very big crisis and I was there watching and I decided to pull her aside and just say, “What’s going on? and she started telling me a bit about her past and being rejected so much.
“I was able to relate to her on so many levels, one obviously I’m African American, she’s black, so the connection was obviously there, but also after being rejected so much in my life…”
“I was born in Nigeria,” he explained, “and the Nigerian government stripped our family of everything. »
“So I got rejected,” he added, “and I could really identify with her. »
Rémi continued, “Fast forward to that hall of mirrors, I was just able to capitalize and double down on what I said there, and you could see she had the connection.
“She felt like this guy was just sharing words about what he knew and what he had been through, and I think that played a part and she started to gradually change from the. »
SAS: Who Dares Wins airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Channel 4.
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