Of A Letter To Africa

Dear Africa

There’s defiance and determination in your depth.

They came, they saw and they conquered. They plundered, as they they convinced themselves they were bringing light to your dark shores.

mad scramble for Africa

They convinced you to believe your darkness was ugly and that your past was shameful and they would teach you real salvation, civilization and sophistication because the things worth striving for could only be found beyond over the seas.

AFRICA

They took bits of your soul, your blood and bones and created a restlessness in you. How can you be anything but restless when the bones of your ancestors lay displayed in museums in foreign lands, when descendants of your blood struggle to relate with you?

How can you prosper when you were taught that the spirits of your ancestors are demons and communing with them is to practice heathen ways and to invite evil into your life? Commune instead only with the Holy Ghost and the One True God

cavorting with evil

How can you advance when they saw all the magic and beauty in your ancestry and called it witchcraft? Parts of it could have been malevolent but it all got heaped up together with the benevolent and cast away like a nightmare bedtime story..

See how they broke you, they taught you how to read but only after they rewrote themselves into your history and all you know about your past is how they wrote it juxtapositioned with how your own tried to rewrite it back and the truth, well, the truth, lies lost somewhere in-between because no one owns the truth.

See how they made you shun the melanin in your skin, the kinks in your hair and how you bleach it out and straighten it out as you weave for yourself a whole new identity.

How comfortable are you in your skin when everyday a struggle to battle the uncertainities that were bred into you when they told you the colour of all things evil is dark and light is all things good.

There’s darkness in your past, a past that fills you with rage and shame, but it’s OK because if it did not it would mean you don’t remember where you came from. The past doesn’t have to define you but that doesn’t mean you should pretend it never happened or it did not change you

You have changed ……

Like a child learning to walk, your footprints are all over the place; neither neat nor straight as you struggle to find your roots and your place in the world.

footprints

They broke you but the cracks are healing, filled with something different, something stronger…….. Divergence

Africa remade

 

You are no longer whom you were nor whom they tried to turn you into, you are different. Find peace with the new you and your divergent flavours, from the dark roasted caramel to the milk rich vanilla and everything beneath all the layers that make you up……

diversity

You were unmade and now you are remade, embrace all your Divergence.

Africa Dawn

 

You have a story to tell, don’t let anyone tell it for you but most of all, don’t let anyone else tell you how to tell it, find your voice…….

All my love
My Africa, My Words

~B

Advertisements

Of Skin Deep: Beauty

Of Skin Deep: beauty

Skin deep

Skin Deep

Beauty is convention and as with all conventions someone decided that a beautiful person has this particular structure, skin tone, hair length and style and sometimes even a certain figure bank balance.

“How deep must beauty be? Do you want to see an X-ray of my heart, liver and pancreas…. beneath our skin arent we all the same?

chest xray

 

I have never been one to pay too much heed to conventions, especially conventions which define how I should feel, think and behave. Stereotypes are conventions too.

I remember a game we used to play in kindergarten, we would sing and each person got to choose and describe their sweetheart:

Sarura wako Wangu Mutsvuku

(Choose yours mine is light skinned…)

The lighter skin toned always got picked first, but it was all a game, right? No, not really, this how you get conditioned to believe something and then grow up to start a complexion altering regime. Some blame it on mental colonisation, that we have been oppressed for so long we started believing that black is bad and white is good. Maybe we were always that way…….

You may have far too many curves in far too many places or none at all but its ok just as your complexion could be a deep sun-kissed shade of melanin or like the sea at sunset as the sun dissolves and that’s ok too, the world has a habit of loving back people who love themselves.

My beard started going grey early in my life, I suffered through multiple dye efforts and then finally decided to stop fighting my genetics. I walk in the street I notice people trying hard not stare, I smile back even wave sometimes and some brave souls ask me if I know my  beard is grey and I act shocked for the fun of it….

When I walk with my uncle he always says I make him feel bad, he says he holds on to a semblance of youth so he dyes his hair and beard religiously (don’t try to figure out which one he is ha! And if he stumbles across my blog its ok to dye or not to dye)

The winter of my beard has arrived and I have accepted the wisdom that comes along with……

What is beauty:

I say beauty is when you feel good, because when you feel good you look good….

Hmmm sounds like something that got stuck in my head from a commercial..

Speaking of commercials, those cosmetic companies are not your friends they play on your insecurities and then sell a mask to hide yourself behind…. Who are you without your mask on?

This is how I see it, how do you see it?

~B

Day 12 of my blog everyday challenge