The African Way

WARNING: This literary work contains sensitive words that some may find triggering. It is not meant for everybody.


Pearl drop on a plantain petal

mama rains down a storm

baby’s temperature is too high

red pustules and crusts marking her skin

something we’ve never seen before

Take her to holy grounds!

only fools trust in western medicine

we will cast and bind and spray and fast

till she is released from demonic schakles

a Doctor will do no good

They say the west is nearly bezirk

men flaunt in colourful robes

women flaunt like men

children flex like adults

anorexia is in vogue

O’ dear African Daughter

our daughters should eat when hungry

eat when satisfied

eat when exhausted from food

eat more and look good

Our daughter must be robust

exercise endangers the organs

Fitness repels the suitors

Your dress should drape on curves

A skinny bride is only half beautiful

And what is a woman without a husband?

She went to school and got a degree

we’re proud of her but where’s her man?

She read too much and forgot to cook

Her place is in kitchen playing suburban wifey

God forbid you live your life

god forbid you ever speak up

if you’re not under a curse

you will be cursed

watch the sun fade with blind eyes

Our children never live long enough

to bury their parents

I wonder whose sins they hawk around

whose shadows chases them underground

whose horrendous voices echos cohesively in their mind

Children carry on the sins of ancestors

It is only an open secret

children musn’t speak in the midst of elders

look in the mirror carefully and point your wrongs

be mindful of the silhouette of profanity

No one wants to be the first

fear tallies us together

hatred segments us into aliens

we stand alone facing a highfalutin coven

admiring the crumbling foundation of many ignoramus generations

Black enough

You ought to have to have seen her

Black body paint dripped from mane down to ankles

styled with a latex jacket and thigh high boots

A cigarette pressed lightly between her lips

You ought to have seen her

Her skin coalesces with the golden shy sun

She metamorphosed into a shade of deadly night

Belladonna like the devil’s berries

Honey coloured eye reflecting jewels

shea butter dripping from endless tamed lush kinks

Authentic she is, a goddess to behold

Belladonna like death cherries

Her footprints spirals in desert sand

Causing confusion wherever she trod

Posing for the cover of blacknvogue

Nubian temptress to the very end

And to think she had to scream her lungs

to break through a forcefield of deafening silence

they said she ought to behave whiter

Seemingly she was black enough

she was stunting on cloud bursting lilac skies

One could build a dam from her tear droplets

she lined a path from where she’d been

was forbidden to tango with ethereal solace

She was a drifting butterfly

perching on a fallen crimson leave

bejewelled by virgo’s decadent virtue

paradise cradled between her bosom.

You’ll remember her by her acerbic glances

the confidence that’s apparent through her melanin glow

they said she was black enough

to which she replied, “I didn’t chose it, I got lucky”

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.

Confessions of a New Born

 

I’m not a prophet, but every now and then I have a prescient, a message that weighs heavy on my heart.

But first I have a confession.

I grew up in  a christian household.  My father being a minister meant for us church once or more times in a week.  This was fine at first, I enjoyed being in the children’s choir, but with time I grew less infatuated with the routine.

I hated not having the choice of going. To worsen things, I was involuntarily a part of the Youth’s fellowship, Hence, I started to rebel .

One day in high school while our economics teacher was singing a tune,  I hummed along, completely unaware. It was a song from a popular christian group. By the time I realised how inappropriate I was acting, he was already searing through his thick rims at me. I  apologised, wondering how mad he must be. Instead, His grim face brightened up and he says, ” One day you’ll be able to sing out loud and not feel ashamed,”.

 

During my last year of High school, a preacher was praying for the graduating students. He later calls me aside and says; “promise me that you will not forget God in the future,”.   I had no idea what he was talking about as I made no plans to leave the tropical shores of my country at the time.

Leaving Nigeria was an exciting period for me. On one hand, I’d never been so far from home. Secondly, it meant freedom, not just from my parents but ultimately from God. I tried to maintain church going for about four months, then I folded up my Bible and forgot about that life. I was 16 at the time.

 

It was fun not living under any rule of conduct, but eventually loneliness surrounded me.

 

Med school was more bloodcurdling  than I anticipated. As a result, I spent 2 extra years, which I never publicly complained about, considering the number of students that drop out each year. Because of this, I always  prayed during the exams period.

In  2017, I reconnected with an old high school friend. We reminisced on old times, on when we’d present the news every Friday. We also got paired up a few times for Bible hour, I’d say the  prayers, and he’d preach.

I told him, I don’t do that anymore, and he seemed genuinely sad to hear it. That Christmas he sent me an ebook titled, “the prayerful woman”. I was swamped with final exams and thesis work, but I made out time to read the book, and it made me reflect on my life choices.

2018. I rededicated my life to Christ, and relinquished the control I thought I had. I’m akin to a new born in the kingdom. Now I  learn everything again. I would say that first, there was, and still is, a purge of Pride, selfishness and jealousy. I’ve also been getting lessons on God’s love and wisdom.

But today, I have something different in my heart, and it says;

“I will turn your weakness into strength, I will turn your enemies into allies”.

I’m sharing this Good news because of the slight chance that you, or even a nation (Nigeria’s election, America’s midterm is coming up) may need it too.

I’d also recommend you read Psalm 139, if your heart leads you to.

So there it is people. I am not a preacher, neither do I want to be! I am but a new born in a  24 year old woman’s costume searching for a her purpose through Jesus christ.

Happy Halloween. God bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

but sometimes I have prophetic dreams

A Painful Soul

“Scars

from battles hurt

as It should”

 

 

Way back when waking up every morning was a struggle (honestly not too long ago), I used to write into  my Journals aka my ugly notebook. I sometimes browse through them when I feel stuck.

My first journal is actually really depressing, I can’t believe the state of mind I was in back then, but there are some OK memories in there too.

This week I decided to reedit one of my poetry from it to prove to my readers who battle mental illness, and to myself that life can indeed get better. It is a journey, I still struggle and flop. However,  I am no longer that person, yet it is my story of which I’m proud 😀

Happy Friday!


 

Eyes

like alabaster

reaching into the darkness

of my soul,

I gasp.

 

Aroused

Inside me

A faux without doubt

Another life I’ve lived

stringing cords of distrust,

 

Or paranoia

the  definition of toxic

screaming out someone else’s pain

sliding through impressionable doom

unwillingly

 

The taste

like kolanut lingers

on my tongue

masking the chamomiley one

the ones before left

 

Scars

from battles hurt

as It should

yet I must separate the truth

from fallacy

 

Staggering

dysmorphia is crippling

oodles of bubbles ripple

through a heavy

fragile heart

 

let the  legs sink farther

quaking in unison as they bite dust

again and again

my soul will find your

darker soul.

 

Help.

friend, help!

For in solitude, I live

In solitude

I will dine.


 

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Love Only

 

” Love alone is the plug”

I’ve been dealing with  a lot as of  late. As a result, I have been meditating more to get me through. This phrase have helped me this week to counteract negativity, that’s why I decided I’d drop it  for anybody who needs to be empowered as well.

 

“There is no condemnation.

There is no judgement.

There is only love.”

 

I suppose the quote came as a result of  the fact that I have been too  hard on myself. I want to speak perfect Deutsch and I want to speak it yesterday.  It has been stressful on me because I held myself to a deadline that I think I may not meet.

On top of that, my sister got a tattoo. I tried to be as supportive as I could be when she told me she was getting one. Full disclosure, I didn’t know how to react or what to expect. When I saw the tatt, I kinda wished we would go back in time so I could tell her that it’s an absolute no from me.

These two  abstract emotions were what occupied my mind.  I believe in God’s holy book, and even more in his love. His love for me will manifest  in love for myself, and love for others.

For me that means that whether I meet my deadline or not, I can’t kill myself, in fact I ought to be proud of myself, and my sister. She’s young, maybe she will perhaps make terrible mistakes as I have, but she’ll bounce back even more so, as well.

For you, it could mean anything from self-love to world peace, whatever it is, I pray God’s guiding hands pull you towards the direction he wants you to go.

Namaste.

 

The Black hair Fiasco

“Every Hair-day  is wahala

 

I was twisting up my hair the other day.  It was the end of a wash day routine, and I randomly asked my boyfriend to help. He says yes much to my surprise meaning I’d actually have to trust him with my hair. I gulped, sectioned a portion of my hair for him.

This got me reminiscing about the time we met, I had the faux locs then.  He was in love with my hair. Months later, I decided to cut my hair as it lacked lustre. I was anxious and self aware, I didn’t know how he would react. But I trusted him. Three years later, I find myself still trusting him.

I’ve also learnt quite a bit about what Europeans think about African hair;

 

“Braids combined with dark skin  are a unique combination”

 

  1.  They think it’s exotic: Braids combined with dark skin  are a unique combination for the average eastern European, it’s not uncommon to get stares in public spaces, especially from the older generation. This reminds of the time, we went to a friend’s wedding, we visited the bride’s family home as well, and I introduced myself to their grandma. The look on her face was that of disbelief , it was meme worthy.
  2.  They think it’s natural: My boyfriend also thought the faux locs was my hair hair. But after some time together, he knew the difference between hair styles. I often get a lot of questions and requests to touch. I assume I’m not the only one.
  3. They find the natural hair rather comedic:  My german teacher confided in me once that the afro was sometime in the past known as, microphone head.  I died from laughter, apparently the phrase is still used, just not as popular as before. We also went through a phase when my hair was short, where my boyfriend’ll pat it and say, “sheep”, lol, in the sweetest way possible.
  4.  hair style change means new person:  I had reintroduced myself a few times to teachers and colleagues simply because I took out a previous hair style and rocked something entirely different. This is the stressful bit, and then the questions roll in which  exasperated  me further.

Three years  since going natural, and two big chops later, I have to  say it’s been an exercising journey. There has been up ups, down downs, and safety breeches, but I’ve loved and nourished my hair (and self) through it all.

If you’re wondering why I dedicated a whole post to talking about hair, it’s just because I think that black women, and our rights as a whole have come a long way, from doing everything necessary to have our hair look like our caucasian counterpart, and consequently destroying it in the process, to just letting ourself be loved as we naturally are. I don’t know who started the natural hair movement but I’ll use this opportunity to say thank you.

Now, let us flourish!

 

 

Oracle

 

Oracle

 

Perhaps it’s is glaringly obvious that I’m a tad fascinated with the occult.This time I decided to focus on  communities like the illuminati in an aboriginal perspective with a short story of an oracle.  This takes place in the Urban tribe of Asaba in Nigeria.

Share your lovely thoughts, how do you think it should play out, Should my protagonist  accept her fate or confront it?.

Cheers to the long weekend!

 


 

 

“Be keen on your decision” said the hag to Chioma, “there’s no turning back from this”.

 

Chioma’s mind was in pieces, she couldn’t stop wondering  how she got into this predicament. She was hoping that the hag was only trolling her.

 

Ha! that’s it. In a few minutes a camera crew is going to burst through the tent and her, and this fake-ass oracle woman will have a jolly laugh

 

Eyes ever so intently fixed on the entrance.

 

“Chil—,” The hag snapped her fingers in an attempt to get the girl’s attention.

“Where’s the camera?,” Chioma was frustrated. “Is it in that deplorable head wrap of yours? II mean, what is your game here?”

“THIS IS NOT A GAME!,” the hag spat. ” I’m offering you a resolution.

“This is hardly a solution,” Chioma spoke in a fear-gripped tone, realising that there is all too real. “Taking one part of my life to replace another is not fair”

“The spirits are never fair, silly girl, You must accept your fate with dignity. Only one man has dared to challenge the oracle and lived to tell.”

 

As Chioma sat there deep in thoughts, she began to reminisce of what a beautiful life she was having until this moment. She started her week in such high spirits,  Entertaining others have always been a dream of hers. She was determined to challenge pending adversary.

It was while she was on her way to her betrothed’s, that she saw the tent. She had shrugged it off and continued her trip when she stumbled across the witch who said to her;

“Do you believe I can make your heart desire come to pass?”

 

She had followed the hag back to the tent and attempted to pay her for a prediction.

 

The woman spat; “Your coins are worth nothing to the spirit. This is no  prediction child. What you surely ask, the oracle will generously deliver…. but be forewarned for the price is heavy. Do you accept?”

 

Chioma nodded.

 

“Ayeye ayayah keke nyin.
Ayeyeyeyah ndibe nzu kwa ti mutele.
Ndi ndo udo udi keke nyin kwa mutele.
Nzu mkpe amadu ndibe kwa ti mutele.”

The hag continued to recite the incantation and then proceeded to mark Chioma’s temple with a coal talisman.

 

“The spirit invite you to say your wish”

“I want to be the greatest performer of all time”.

 

The hag whistled for damn near 30 minutes.

 

“What you wish for  is done, in return, your first child will the son of the oracle.”

Chioma argued, “I’ve given myself, isn’t it enough?”

“You are merely  the down payment. Give up your first child, this is the deal the oracle is willing to make.”

“Never!”

“Then you may choose success or  save your child”.

” Or what?” she frowned

“You will lose your life in a fortnight,” cautioned the witch.


Early the next morning, Chioma hung a satchel over her shoulder and set out.

Before midday, she was going to cross the first  of many rivers.

The woman wasn’t clever telling her that the oracle had been defeated. She must  convince this warrior to do it all again, or become a victim of circumstance.Whether she liked it or not, her purpose has been changed forever.