I too have something to say

Breaking news, beautiful people, I’m back!. If you’re wondering what I mean by that, I honestly have no inkling. But today, I too have something to say regarding cultural silence and violence towards women.

The other day, My dad posted something about why women’s modesty is equal to virtuousness on our whatsapp group. My sister challenged the post with some strong feministic views. Now if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s ignoring conflicts. I’m not proud of it. Albeit, this banter did trigger something almost like a primal defence system in me, Much unlike any conflict. This may have a positive association with an issue I’m still dealing with.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, then you may remember that I was raped at about age 7 by an uncle. I don’t like to bring it up, and it’s not a ploy for sympathy. I thought that was in the past, but apparently it resurfaces when a women virtues is questioned.

Permit me to derail yet again. Y’all know Nigeria right? the country that I’m rumoured to be from. We tend to be late, however the first feminism movement completely flew past us. Todays, several Nigerian women are what I call “Quasi-feminist”.

I simply do not value gender roles. I don’t care about whose submissive or who makes the most money. So, why did this simple harmless post about women’s choices of outfit churn my tummy into chucks? Then it hit me, this had nothing to do with the post, and everything to do with my father. I can’t come to terms that my father much like many Nigerian men still believe that rape is either partly or wholesomely the victim’s fault. Much like he may have not come to terms with his step-brother’s action. This is a conversation we need to have but I can never see it happening. Maybe in my next life, maybe.

The #MeToo movement bellowed the voices of women that were living in silence. Rape has been an epidemic in Nigeria for years but it has never been brought up as a societal concern because women are silenced against their violators and programmed to believe that it is a consequence of her promiscuity while the offending gender are left on the bench .

Many victims will venture through life never reaching their finest, most distinguished potential, because conflict especially with the opposite gender sets them back to the moment they got assaulted and they are crippled with a need to be submissive in order to survive.

As a writer, I feel like something has been stolen from me every time I want to connect with my childhood experiences and find blocks rather than creative flows. This doesn’t mean I’m bad, I’m acknowledging that there are seams of my memory that I don’t have access to and that really sucks.

My final point is harsh but there’s no polite way around it. I’ve probably penned it in poetry. They say children grow up to be their parents, and that is my biggest fear. I intend to triumph all the many different ways I am messed up, really because my children deserve to not grow up around the same personalities I did.

Thanks for stopping by for one of my self-therapy sessions, but I have to disappear again. I hope you endure my sadistic poetry for another week till I get back to creating real content.

Auf weiderschauen!

Dear African Child

Dear future daughter,

Your existence will neither be easy nor transitional

because of where you were born

On a community soil dampened with ancestral woes

far humungous baggages will be place on your delicate shoulders

luggages you can’t escape, linked by earth and blood

seen and unseen forces will work against you

men will dismiss you because of the colour of your skin

You will have to work for everything you believe in

where it takes men 10x to succeed, it will take you 50

in the world of humans, you are at the bottom of the pedigree

you will be downtrodden and dragged like a Mathyr

But GET UP! You are not a victim.

You must find yourself

you must wipe ur face bare

wash your hands clean

dare to walk the path only few footprints are imprinted

Once you were slaves, betrayed by your own kin

dear African child, you will walk a lonely part

your family is not you friend

your friends are not your family

and your country will hate you

Slavery was not forced on us,

we enabled it.

The truth hurts. and it only runs deeper.

power is the game the nations of the world play

scramble for Africa, haven’t you heard?

Darkness rules the hearts of men, both home and far

in chains they led them off the port in Calabar

They were branded like a feeble mammal

people became the ritzy currency of humanity.

But Get up! You are not a victim

not then and you are not now

The world wanted to do away with you but here you are

fighting tooth and nail till your last drop of blood feeds the earth.

Your greatest gift was never brute strenght, dearest

it is your mind they want, your willpower they crave

if slavery didn’t destroy you then nothing physical will

your precious african mind, stronger than the diamonds exploited in Congo

Now the rules have Changed, the game is different

the system, even at home is meant to suppress your willpower

your voice shall not echo through four walls with iron bars

you can sense them purging out willpower into the abyss of non-existional stillness

But Get up! you are not a victim

let my voice resonante in your head, for as long as you live

the moment you even consider victimization, is the day you lose

Ancestors, slave traders, governments alike will mock you dearly

If you are still breathing, understand you have won

don’t turn your head or reminisce on black history

understand that from now on, you create your own history

understand than when the world will end

you will be the last man standing…alive.

Transcension

“Be whatever you want to be”, they say, although what they really mean is, “You can be whatever you want as long as it is what I want you to.”

My sister told me this two years ago.  Now she’s eighteen and in the first year in the same school I just graduated from, medical programme. The truth is, I acceded to the decision to study medicine, It was more like a psychological attunement, people would say; “You like to read, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you should be a Dr”. Uyai, on the other hand chose medicine.

Her struggles now give me flashbacks to when I was  naive and in first year. She had a bout of clinical depression that landed her in psychiatry outpatient, I suffered depression in between 1st and 2nd year as well, though it never occurred to me to me to visit the hospital, I turned to writing, drawing, and lots of crying. By then I hadn’t discovered the therapeutic values of exercise, nature walks and yoga, so I bottled it all in, no one knew.

I was praised for being strong, but matter-of-factly, Uyai-abasi showed admirable bravery for realising she had a problem and dealing with it. Our school system, unfortunately, is rigged for majority to fail, or at the very least, lose hope.  Now, my parents parenting style is absolutely contentious, in fact I’m probably scared for life because of their so called “African mentality”, but one thing our dad taught us was to stand our ground and never give up.  So the trials ensued, and boy did it rain down in full force, but I was too stubborn, and I know how resilient my sister is.

It took eight years of arduous training to become a Doctor, that day almost didn’t want to come, but as one of my favourite bloggers isaiahministry, noted, on their blog; “when God is working, he does so extraordinarily so the world knows that it is he”. I continue thanking him for honouring me in the way he has,  it took a lot of humbling experiences for me to finally succumb to his will,  I know he will bequeath his favour to Uyai-abasi. Because I’ve lived through them , I am now her biggest supporter.

 

A Haiku:

Pitter-patter of our DNA footprints

Juxtaposing faith’s light on grace

Attuned with signals of transcension