ALMOST ADULT is the story of two teenage girls who come from different countries and speak different languages but still become each other’s family.
They arrive separately from Africa. The older girl, Nayo, loses her papers and is unable to work her way through immigration, the younger girl, Sirya is too frightened to understand properly what to do.
The two girls meet up at Birmingham bus station where Nayo takes Siirya under her wing. She resolves to be the younger girl’s ‘big sister.’
For a few days we see the girls finding their feet and trying to understand the strange new world in which they find themselves. Without a common language they still understand each other and form a real bond.
When they find their way back to social services the girls are separated. Sirya is placed in a foster family, Nayo in hostel accommodation.
The girls try to adjust to their new lives. Many things seem strange and alarming to them. Sirya in particular is having real difficulty fitting in with her new family. She is suffering from the after affects of the loss of her family back home and the traumatic things that happened to her on her journey to the UK. No-one can properly understand what she has been through…no-one but Nayo.
Nayo has to develop real reserves of determination and courage to take control of her new life. We see her achieve this…but we also see that she still misses her own family. She lost her own sister on the journey to the UK. Sirya was someone to replace this missing love and now Nayo misses and worries about her too.
Meanwhile Sirya has been moved to another foster home where she is even more unhappy. Nayo finds her there. At first she can’t help her, can’t find anyone to understand why Sirya appears so difficult and distressed. Sirya’s new foster family mean well but they have no experience of anyone like her.
Finally Sirya breaks down completely and locks herself in the bathroom after wrecking the house. Nayo has seen this and intervenes.
Police, the family and social services are all there but no-one can persuade Sirya to come out of the bathroom.
Kneeling outside the door Nayo starts to tell Sirya a story. It’s the story of what happened to Nayo on her difficult journey to the UK. She knows that Sirya will understand. She knows she is telling Sirya’s story, explaining Sirya’s behaviour too.
At the end Sirya emerges from behind the locked door and into Nayo’s arms.
Sirya is placed with a foster family where she is able to start to adjust. Nayo is still her ‘sister.’
At the end of the film the two girls both celebrate their birthdays. It is Sirya’s thirteenth birthday, it is Nayo’s first birthday as a new person with a new life in the UK.