I am African, but more brown than black–the kind my people like to call ‘chocolate’, even though those are traditionally of a darker shade. Perhaps we are colour blind, or maybe the word ‘chocolate’ just sounds very cool.
With brown hair, flared nose, and small full lips. My brows are bushy and hair kinky; but both are regularly tamed wielding a razor and armed with cream relaxers. I should add that my traditional kinky hair had always been a burden to bear as a child. And so my mother like many African mothers out there, blessed my frizzy kinks with the gentle touch of Lye. The results have been far more pleasurable than carrying a ‘fro around. Hard to believe we are only learning something can be done to make our nappy kinks hurt less.
I take pride in my full figured body, but sometimes I wish my hips were less curvy, my bosoms less ample, and bum less round. It’s the media I’m told. They fill our heads with what’s sexy and what isn’t. Make us less comfortable in our skin–women bleach, eat less, use long silky weave-on and wigs in place of our more beautiful hair. A woman should take pride in her body, they say. When it comes to our bodies and look, the African woman isn’t allowed the option of choice. It will always be chalked down to a lack of self esteem. In the heart of men, our minds are still colonized….or perhaps it’s the minds of those who make a big deal of this whose minds are still bound in technological slavery.
They say the Westerners have corrupted the minds of our women. With talks of empowerment, the education of the girl child have now gone beyond the confines of the kitchen and bedroom gallantry, and have found their way to political offices. Women now fight for traditional male positions and even dare prick their ego. We must never offend a man because he is The Man. Who else was given the benefit of being created first if not him. We must live our lives knowing that a man’s pride is the most important thing, and taking that away is tantamount to taking a life. A man must always be revered, whether at age 5 or 80. If you need more convincing reasons to do that, remember you will need a husband tomorrow.
Being a spinster past the ripe young age of 28 is NOT desirable. Our mothers barrage us with questions of when we will settle down in a man’s house, like that’s the ultimate achievement of any woman. Will someone tell our mothers and aunts that we have big dreams. Bigger plans. And that marriage is not the greatest thing a woman can do for herself. Our girls have been turned to man-hunters to preserve their dignity. It’s sad to see people settle for less in a spouse and confine themselves in a social bracket because they’re nearing the age gap where we have been told our market value begins to depreciate as women.
We must never forget a woman is a commodity. When it sits on the shelf too long, it becomes less desirable.
Children are gifts from God, but should your womb refuse to hold a seed long enough to give life, then it’s all your fault. You just may be a man after all. Or someone may have placed a curse on your womb; better still your mother-in-law is a witch swallowing your babies.
Should you eventually have those kids and they all come out in little pink frocks, then your husband is due for a second bride. God forbid there will be no one to carry the family’s name. See, a woman with one male child is better than another with ten females; she is a complete woman, and one who has fulfilled her original mandate: Ensure continuity, not just of the human race, but the family. There is everything in a name.
Children are gifts from God, only so much as they come according to description.
Never forget that the spiritual controls the physical. Literally. If something goes wrong in your life, it has less to do with the bad choices you made, and more with the spirit that inflicted you with that idea.
Deliverance is your best friend at all times and prayer is the key to solving all problems. Make it warfare and your answer will come speedily. Throw in a Seed of Faith and you’ll have placed the ministering angels on heaven’s fastest jet.
You are owned by your parents from your inception to their death. Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children obey your parents” is your watchword and will probably be the one book that will be quoted for the rest of your life. Verse 4 isn’t important. It is well within their parental right to make you miserable and angry every now and then, and within yours to endure and keep it together. One must learn how to cut the Bible up.
Give them what they want or you will never live down their disappointed look and constant reminder of how you shamed them.
No matter what happens in our life, the family must never be shamed. Bad choices are yours alone, but the world will always apportion the blame to your home. Never wash any linen in public.
When you find the need for closure, find an anonymous space and vent. The world will be unkind to you when you need kindness the most. They will dig up the sordid details of your past and plaster them on billboards. A bad name is infectious and your sins may just as well ruin it for everyone else to the third and tenth generation. No kidding.
Better yet, don’t vent. One must learn to suffer and smile. God blesses those who are happy….and more, those who pretend to be happy.
We get the right to be silly whenever we want to and display odd behaviors. Like screaming “holy ghost fire” when a bird flies past at night.
Destroy bird’s nests on our fences because they’re laying eggs of destruction.
Kill any cat we see hanging around our premises in the night. Nothing so cute and small should be fearless of man and stare him in the eyes.
Or sprinkle holy water and cross ourselves once an owl hoots close to our window or all the dogs within a 100mile radius begin to bark at 1am (there have been possible ghost sightings because these creatures can see beyond the physical realm).
The devil moves around in different forms and one must always be prepared for battle.
We are a people with deep cultural roots. And even though some of our customary values and beliefs may yet be seen as archaic–even amongst us—and don’t make a lot of sense, it’s part of the beauty and diversity that is us, the identity we clamour to hold on to, and the thing that makes us unique.
You see, in the end, it really doesn’t matter if the world thinks us backwards in thoughts and actions, nor if they brand us the “Third World”, we will be obviously too happy to bother. But then who wouldn’t be? God blesses those who stay happy.