Anyi na’anata .. We’re coming home
Quote by Nayyirah Waheed
Anyi na’anata .. We’re coming home
Quote by Nayyirah Waheed
This wasn’t planned. At all.
WARNING : What you’re about to read I had no control over I just lost it
After posting my previous post I decided to ‘hang around’, read other blogs and surf the web. Then I decided to check a blog http://www.yellowigbogirl.wordpress.com hoping it had been miraculously restored. Don’t bother clicking on it, it’s been deleted ;(
Then I got a notification
It’s ‘trending’. It’s a movement. They say it’s political. I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m natural. And I’m loving it.
My hair’s a year and five months and I’m proud of my baby. I had been toying with the idea of cutting my hair for almost a year before I did. So I did my homework. Read any article on natural hair I came cross. How to maintain it; using shea butter and olive oil, washing twice and moisturizing thrice a week, knowing your hair type whether its 3b or 2a or 4c. I swear till now I don’t know what hair type I have. I remember a friend asking me few months back if I followed any hair routine and I told her my great-grand mother didn’t moisturize or knew what her hair type was and from what I heard she had really full hair (that they said I inherited blah blah blah.. it’s a long story). But if there was something I learnt from my ‘research’ and observe diligently , it’s protective styling. Most of the time my hair is in braids once in a while a weave because I can be really lazy when it comes to maintaining hair.
Over the months, ( waiting for the time when I get to say “now over the years” 😉 ) I have gotten used to the fascination, people’s opinions (that they like to share) the stares and of course the misjudgements. Sometimes the hair stylist or people you meet at the saloon mind their own business sometimes they can be plain annoying. Almost every time I go to get my hair done, my hair stylist is like “Your hair is growing. Leave it oo..when it has grown then you relax it”. What part of I WANT NATURAL HAIR don’t people understand. Or “Your hair is too bushy” “I don’t like it, do something to it” “It’s looking unkempt”… How is it affecting you biko!? When I have my hair out and someone says “I love your hair” or “Ooh your hair is nice, team natural”, I’m like yes! Thank you!
But what I’m yet to understand is when someone sees my hair and is like “So you’re #TeamNaturalHair #BlackAndProud , the whole Afro Chic thing that is raining for you girls nowadays” and I’m confused. What is wrong with wanting my natural hair. Yes I’m black and proud so? Aren’t I supposed to be? So I asked two friends this to give me any thought on the whole ‘natural hair movement thing’
“Well I think many people are accepting African Heritage directly or indirectly. Seeing how many people on twitter talk about racism and all that skin colour discrimination I just cringe because they are abroad and yet flaunt their African status. In Nigeria, it’s not so. I’m not saying chop off your hair, but then as a young black woman in transition.. well yeah, I just wanna be so black. Lol.. If that even makes sense”
“I think it’s quite amazing because nobody used to pay any attention to natural hair, only members of very conservative churches”
What I like about my hair is that it makes me feel good about myself (except on bad hair days). Most people don’t think that people go natural because they feel like it, well people do e.g Me. I decided to go natural because I saw it and liked it and the fact that it was different. I’m not trying to prove a point or follow a trend. It’s good that people are embracing it and all. But can we stop with the ‘If she has natural hair she’s trying to prove something’ or ‘she’s probably one of those political, women rights activists. Can you talk to me first and not assume I’m a black girl who probably writes only sad poetry and is always talking of how we have lost ourselves through colonization? For whatever reason you have natural hair, just enjoy it. Find what suits your hair. You don’t have to be a certain way or dress a certain way . If next week you feel like getting a weave, do it. It doesn’t make you feel less African or ashamed of being black. So that’s practically what I have to say. My reason for being natural is a choice and if you come at me with “you’re a woman you should.. . …” then we can have a nice argument.
” My mind is blank, there are no more thoughts
I don’t laugh anymore, nothing interests me
I don’t see bright lights, everything seems dark
People don’t stay around me, my company isn’t fun anymore
I lie down at night… I don’t bother closing my eyes. All I do is stare. And listen
Maybe for a few, I would laugh, cry or drift or even smile
Who knows *shrugs*
Anything to feel something different
I don’t feel empty.. I don’t feel lost
I’m not sad neither am I happy
I think for the mean time, I just forgot how to feel “
This post is 7 days late, blame it on network. Enjoy!
Last night, I was listening to the radio and all they were playing were songs about Nigeria and peace and unity. OAPs reading shout outs, wishing Nigeria the best and all that. I really didn’t plan on writing anything for today being Independence Day, but listening to the songs and everything made me feel some high level of patriotism I haven’t felt in a long while. I won’t lie, I won’t sit down here and paint myself as the most patriotic Nigerian ever because I’m not. To be honest, most times when the issue of Nigeria comes up, the things that comes to mind are : corruption, bad leaders, poverty, terrorism, security. Nobody uses ‘insufficient electricity’ ‘poor infrastructures’ anymore, too much grammar. It’s ‘no light’, ‘bad roads’. Tell me you’re Nigerian and as a little child you never shouted “Up Nepa!”. The first time I heard my three years old cousin shout “Up Nepa!” I was beyond weak. True sometimes this country doesn’t give you much to believe in, or hope for. True some wait for college, for Masters or a visa lottery so they can ‘check out’ ( it’s not like I haven’t had the same thoughts), but the truth is no matter where you go, no matter the type of accent you acquire, le boo you have Nigerian blood flowing in your veins. When the idea to an article about Nigeria popped up in my head I thought to myself, what will I write that people haven’t heard before. “One Nigeria” “I believe in Nigeria” “I will stand and fight for what I believe in”… So instead of wearing green and white today , I ask myself what has Nigeria given me that I’m thankful for.
Firstly, Nigeria has given me a family that I am very thankful for. I have the most wonderful friends ever, everyone of them I met in Nigeria. I’m Igbo, my native language is beautiful, my culture is rich and I am more than proud of it. KFC ain’t got nothing on pounded yam and egusi soup. If you think clubs abroad have the best parties, then you have never attended a party thrown by a proper Yoruba man. Until you meet my brothers in Alaba, then you haven’t met a real entrepreneur. You think twerking or the booty pop is the real deal? Meet a Calabar or an Igbo girl. Fulani girls could easily become muses for doll makers. Most of all Nigeria has given me a place to call home. A place I can run too. Almost every year, Christmas is spent in my home town. Call me weird but there’s this serenity I get seeing red earth and I know I’m home. I know I may go some places and get looked down upon but never there. Nigeria has given me that place.
In my opinion, we Nigerians are known for our strenght, our faith. It is true that our unity has been tested more than once. Being Nigerian is the only nationality we have. Yes we may ask what exactly are we fighting for? What promises does this country hold? It’s hard to keep on believing in something when people who once stood with you now sit. They say my generation is wasted, but I choose to disagree. I believe from my generation will emerge better leaders. I believe my children will never say “Up Nepa!”, it would all be in a ‘once upon a time in Nigeria…’ story. If I don’t believe in me, who’s going to? If I don’t believe in Nigeria, who’s going to? If I don’t stand up against unfair practices, who will? If I decide not to fight against corruption, who will? It’s not going to be easy but we can try.
I want to raise children who will be proud to say anywhere that they’re Nigerian because I’m proud that I’m Nigerian. It might seem like Nigeria hasn’t given me much but I can give back the little it has given me by believing in it. So yes, I believe in my Nigeria.
The other day I was talking to some of my friends about the dreams they once had. Some till had it, others Plan B. Then a friend asked me “You still have your dream of going to Paris?” And I said I didn’t know, what will I do in Paris. And we laughed. I can dream big. I could dream for half of the world honey
When I was 9 I was going to write books, like that was what I wanted to do with my life. I remember my cousin telling me “You can’t just be a writer. I’m going to be a doctor and I can write books. Any body can write books”, then I decided I had to look for something real to go with writing. At 12 I would be scouted one fine day and be famous, grace cat walks in Paris, New York. I was going to be like the newer version of Kimora. I really did consider plastic surgery, like a nose job and probably a lighter skin tone. That was until I saw how nose jobs were done on Dr 90210 then the plan changed. By 13 I was going to be one of the best things that ever had to Hip Pop, I was going to be on a song with Nicki Minaj and almost get a Grammy off that shit * Drake voice*. When I look at the ‘verses’ I wrote at 13, I can’t help but laugh. I watched music channels all day, never missed an episode of 106 & Park. I bought albums of my favourite rappers ( okay only Nicki, Drake and Eminem, the rest I downloaded one or two songs). I remember almost crying that my mum should get me a Nicki tape and she looked at me and was laughing. I had Pink Friday playing every time we were in the car, still I grew up. 14 came along and my modelling ‘career’ still hadn’t taken off so I decided if I can’t model the cloths, I could design them. The designer dream lasted for a very long time. I was going to have a villa in Italy, inherit a small island, own a private jet. At some point, I toyed with the idea of being an OAP with BEAT FM, I would own a magazine, I would have a nail polish line maybe make up, be a stylist, be a motivational speaker, work for United Nations, designing jewelry did cross my mind at some point. Even a tour of Europe. At some point I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It’s so funny now when I think about these things. Like my mind was everywhere. If this doesn’t happen maybe this will.
These dreams kept me going some how, to me life hadn’t lost it’s spark entirely. When things weren’t going very well, I would just retire back to ‘polishing’ my dreams to perfection. They were too good to happen. I knew it, but that didn’t stop me. I dream so big, I scare myself sometimes. But I am happy most of those dreams didn’t happen if not I would have lost lots of things. Lots of things that Paris can’t replace. I probably won’t have the memories I have. I won’t be able to go to the movies with my friends like people do, I won’t be there when my friends need some to talk to because I would be at some fashion show or be having some recording session.I won’t be there at my god-daughter’s baptism. I won’t be there to tell my little cousins to come down from the chair or to give me back my phone. Christmas might be spent in a hotel room consoling myself with a big diamond and not with my family (cousins, aunties, uncles,mother’s cousins, relatives of relatives) where half the day is spent cooking, the other half eating.
Some people don’t understand when you voice out certain dreams. Normally they would laugh, in front of you and behind you. And I’m like okay you had a good laugh now, I’m happy I was of good use now can we drop it. Noooooo, some people like to cover their lack of ambition by laughing at others, but anything that lets them sleep at night. It is hard to hold on to something really close when you desperately want to share it with someone, the hurtful part is when the one person you expect to listen and sigh with you throws their head back and laughs. Its painful but you put up a good front, you also laugh at your own dreams and start to doubt yourself in private. And no matter how well you guys get along, things will never be the same anymore. Its funny when you no longer have those dreams, then you can laugh about them. But when you really believe in them, someone making fun of you isn’t so fun. I have had people laugh at my dreams, had people talk me out of my dreams, had people tell me flat “you would never get there” “it won’t last” “you wish”, but a girl has to live.
So maybe Paris didn’t happen, but I still dream just that this time it’s a little teeny bitty closer to reality. A clothing line isn’t so bad. I could still have a short term career as an OAP, a late night show perhaps. I have come to the conclusion that I’m probably not what Hip Pop wants and I’m at peace with it. Sometimes I’m still not sure what I want any more, or what to dream about. But I still want to be a motivational speaker, some things are just inbuilt. If or not United Nations wants me I’m fine. I’m still going to write, side career or not. And instead of Paris,maybe Italy could happen.
I’ll be young, not famous and definitely not alone in Italy.
Suicide, Depression, Cutting, Disorders… we struggle with them all
“I’m not worth the trouble”
“I feel tense all the time”
“Everybody hates me”
“Life isn’t worth living”
“I’m not good enough”
Its like there are some certain things you should not feel because you’re African. Gone are the days when suicide was committed only by soldiers who would rather die on the battle field than go home after loosing a war. Or people who would take their lives than become slaves (e.g Okonkwo ‘Things Fall Apart’). Its a thing we should be worry about and not turn a blind eye to.
People around us are suffering from depression, panic attacks, attempting suicide. Its not just a ‘Western thing’ thing any more , its a general illness. Most people just keep it to them selves, not telling anybody.
First of all you grow up knowing only illnesses like malaria or typhoid. Then you come out and you say you have panic attacks. Or you suffer from depression. Or you attempted suicide. People might not take you seriously. They would think its just another means that you’re using to get attention.
“Oh that’s how they are”
“Its what they see on TV”
Most people don’t even see it has they are suffering from depression. Even if they know they refuse to believe it. ‘I’m just a little sad. It happens, I’ll be fine in a couple of days’. What happens in a couple of days if you’re still sad?
Some who decide to speak out what so they get? Maybe a pep talk on “you shouldn’t feel like that, you should feel like this”. A book on ‘discovering who you are’. After a few days all is forgetten and you’re supposed to get over the depression you’ve been suffering from for months or years. Is it til the person is found dead with wrists slit? Or until pills are swimming inside his/her system? . It has happened and its still happening.
Most teens who attempt and commit suicide are those you won’t expect, and far more young people comtemplate suicide that we might suspect.
_Peer Pressure contribute to suicidal thoughts.
Usually there are signs of someone considering suicide, such as:
Loss of energy
Withdrawal from friends and family activities
Feeling such as hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, loneliness, emptiness
Loss of interest in hobbies, pleasurable activities
According to the book ‘It’sOnly A Tattoo and Other Myths Teens Believe’ by Ron Luce, “seventy-five percent of suicide victims communicate their intention to someone beforehand.”
Anxiety is generalized feelig of fear and apprehension that may be realted to a particular situation, object, person and it most times accompanied by physiological arousal such as: sweaty palms, increase in heart rate etc. This disorder can come in three forms,:
Generalized anxiety disorder
Cutting is a coping mechanism some people use in order to survive the emotional pain that they cannot cope with. According to Ron Luce, teens do not practice cutting with the intent to commit suicide or bring about sexual pleasure but for tension/emotional relief
Sit whoever you think might be going through these problems, ask questions. Listen to them. With this you would have clues about the problems you need to work on. Help of a psychologist or professional counselor may be required. Not everybody can afford professional help, it doesn’t mean that without professional help the person won’t eventually get better. With support of loved ones and couragement with time they would feel better. Sometimes it would do you a lot of good to sit down once in a while, have your quiet time. Think about things, has your focus changed? Do you still believe in the same things? Because if not one day you would have too much on your plate that it would be so overwhelming that you might just break down. It’s nobody’s wish that someone they know would suffer from depression or attempt suicide but if we just paid a lil more attention we could avert somethings from happening before it becomes too late.
“It’s our party we can do what we want, it’s our party we can say what we want, it’s our party we can love who we want, we can kiss who we want”…so here I was listening to Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” and it dawned on me that I probably don’t live my own life but the life people want me to live. At the end I’m stuck with unfulfillment from things I did, didn’t, could’nt and wouldn’t. “So la da di da di we like to party dancing with miley doing whatever we want..this is our house this is our rules..we run things things don’t run we..don’t take nothing from nobody”..guess its time to live a lil, let my hair down cuz life’s too short. Do the things you want to do now and you won’t need a bucket-list