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That blackness

Black love, nothing more beautiful

Imagine being avoided or having to make a conscious decisions to avoid falling in love with someone black because somewhere in your mind you have been misinformed that only black folks carried the genotype for sickle cell?

You’ve been hurt before, when that someone realised you have sickle cell and they fled.

Their mother told them to flee, and they did.

And so now black love is only and illusion.

Your only option is to go outside of your race.

But wait!

What if I told you that we don’t have to see every relationship as if we’re going to have a family.

That we have options too, there’s always adoption.

Or can we have options and medical advances which we can screen our babies so we don’t have to deny ourselves of that which we desire?

What if it’s just love?

Love should not know sickle cell.

We went shopping for back to school this evening.

Manchild asked me what type of present that I will buy him when he graduates from university.

I lectured him that in my culture you look after your parents when you finish school.

He said that the three black men whom we met yesterday on the street in Birmingham, he said one asked him if I take care of him well?

He said yes.

He then told him to make sure he took care of me when he graduates from school.

Now that’s how it takes a village to raise a child!

It’s been a rough night for Manchild.

He’s spent the whole night in and out of the toilet, stomach churning.

Some children with sickle cell sometimes can develop a tendency to eating things which are not food.

It’s called PICA, it can go unnoticed. It is very dangerous.

My son struggles with this really bad.

It’s addictive, just as alcohol or drug addiction.

Not many parents who have children with sickle cell are aware of this, or even sickle cell centres.

The habit is discrete, it is said that it’s the low iron deficiency that causes it. Many theories and no cure or solution.

As a parent, it is so heartbreaking to discover the damage your child can cause to themselves, and the cost.

I am a fussy creative interior fanatic, I like my home and surrounding in order at times, this condition causes my son to cause damage to things in my home that is unimaginable.

I have been in tears, torment and shear frustration.

He is lying next to me and says:

Mum I don’t know why you put up with me.

Because I love you I said to him.

You know what my medication is mum?

What I asked?

You, you’re the best medicine that I can ever have.

#everydayissicklecellawarenessday

I met a man today, he was jet black and gorgeous. He said he wanted me to be his second wife in front of his wife.

I said I will if you understand too that I will acquire a second husband.

My philosophy with fb in particular is to interact with people whom I wouldn’t normally meet in my everyday life.

We seem to have passed the age of innocence and into the age of virtual identity.

If you know me well you will know my dislike for constant virtual contact. I find it difficult, strips one of spirit.

We are spirit being not virtual being.

I would have many lovers if I allowed them to make love to me virtually.

I refuse to speak to any man who prefers to communicate with me on virtual media, it is weird and bizzare.

And so I don’t see why I seem to have many female friends who just want to communicate with me virtually.

Unless you live in a different country perhaps, and that is not even an excuse as many of these devices allows you to make calls.

I am a people’s person. I love the sound of words, laughter and utterances. I loath it when these precious emotions are lost in smilies.

I have lost many friends the past few years simply due to the fact that they only want to communicate with me virtual.

I don’t buy the excuse that we’re too busy to make phone calls and yet we’re constantly on the phone having virtual chats.

I loath the depersonalisation of these things, sometimes it creates a false sense of care. A person can type anything and say they’re fine, however when you speak to a person or if you go a step further and see them if that is not too much to ask, it’s different for emotions to be hidden.

I know that I make difficult demands by requesting to be treated as a human being and not as an android, but please bare this in mind if you consider yourself my friend.

I am far too real for these false sense of friendships.

I am not an android. If you’re one, you and I have nothing in common.

Yours really,

Maame.

Sometimes, we single women do not know how lucky and blessed we are.

I was just standing in my kitchen making a quick meal, I’ve had to pop into the supermarket for groceries.

I am so exhausted after our road trip, for a brief moment I wished I had a Jamaican lover who would have cooked me some delicious food. (I don’t know why my imaginary man is Jamaican, but I don’t know any African men who can cook well!)

You don’t know how lucky you are, my imaginary voice told me. Yes you’re tired, you’re doing laundry, shopping and cooking.

Look at you, you’ve taken your child and travelled miles, some woman with a partner is arguing with their partner where to take their kids. Some are arguing over who should go shopping and some are screaming and crying over who should cook dinner. You can have a restful sleep without any unwanted sex too.

You have peace and tranquillity.

We must count our blessings instead of always being made to feel like some unwanted goods.

Goodnight💚

Marriage is not always a sign of two happy individuals.

Many will attend a wedding, but few will be there when weeping endures.

Many churches punish women in particular for having babies out of wedlock, but few provide an environment that is nurturing, supportive and loving for single women.

Many young people are being pushed into marriages in fear of being ostracised by their church if they find out that they’re having sex.

A church is just bricks, if there is no love and support.

For the past few months, since I got our dog, I have endured nothing but ridicule from some people.

Black woman with a dog seems to be something strange.

The worst is when I am called a white woman, I want to Jackie Chan people.

I don’t have to explain to every idiot who makes these comments that my dog has healed me from depression and loss.

My dog has done what no human could do,  give me an unconditional love. My dog knows how to reciprocate.

Didier came into our lives after my friend lost her baby. I was in a place where sadness and fear cuddled me. I started to cling to my only child. I lifted him out of his own bed and brought him into mine so that I wouldn’t spend the night crying.

When Didier came into our home,  all that stopped.

It’s been six months now, I have nursed and nurtured our puppy. He is a delightful and characterful.

An extension of our crazy life, I come through the door and chant like a warrior and he dances to the beat of my madness.

The loss of the baby is irreplaceable, but my son is able to be free without me causing some emotional damage to him.

Didier is the little brother Manchild dreams of. The play, they fight and play again.

I believe in art and nature as a healing entity. The catharsis drawn from both are extraordinary.

Art and nature reaches a core in our being that no human can.

I recently read the memoir of Leymah Gbowee, where she talks about paying $500 to fly a puppy from Ghana to Liberia with her kids. The pain that the war had caused her and her kids, the separation, the children’s love for their puppy could not be ignored.

These are African children. They had no contact with any white person, so what do we call them also?

I am infuriated whenever one is called “white” because they are not conform to people’s narrow and limited perception of blackness.

Depression and mental illness is high within our black community. The disproportionate amount of us who are under mental health care in the diaspora should alarm us.

One of the main causes of depression amongst us is loneliness. We are a people who are not used to living alone. Manchild recently went to spend two weeks with his dad. Didier, my faithful companion kept me strong. I threw myself into diy and creativity. I have never spent two weeks without my son in his almost eleven years of his life. The  stress and unrest, when you have a child with sickle cell is unbearable. You live by your phone,.

When Manchild was picked up, Didier cried unbearably. He was depressed actually, he missed Manchild terribly.

For me I cannot comprehend why some of us spent so much time in a concrete building called church jumping up and down and fail to utilise the natural blessings the creator has bestowed upon us, instead of praying for material blessings.

It is almost as if some of us have signed our birthright away, given the natural blessings to “white people” and therefore any black person who claim dare to claim their birthright has to endure taunts and ridicule from others.

And so I write this from the garden, whilst young master Didier runs around playing football, he is a footballer after all.

I am a living proof that loving your neighbour works.

My neighbour opposite me and his mate assembled my two wardrobes last night.

The charged me so little I bought them KFC and beer.

This man, with tooth missing, we call him ginger, if you catch him in a good mood you’ve hit the jackpot. He’ll do anything for you, the level of expertise and workmanship is phenomenal.

He said he’s dyslexic, I said I know many with double and triple degrees who cannot change a light bulb.

He did my decking for just a beer last year with pallets.

Painted my kitchen and cupboards. He has just finished painting my living room, now my wardrobe.

My dining room is next.

I am eternally grateful to this man.

I love his presence because he is a decent man, he’ll swears but will never say anything filthy to you or try any dirty tricks because you’re a woman on your own.

God bless Ging💗

Back in school girls often followed the most popular girl in school. Not because she had anything to offer them that they themselves didn’t have. It was because that is what we did.

Once we grow, we look back and reflect, only to realise that we followed because we didn’t take time to admire the beauty and greatness within us.

My friend and I were talking this morning about our female friends.

The older we get, we lose many friends.

We begin to value quality over quantity. Real over fake.

Value and self respect over popularity.

We’re not afraid to walk into a wedding or church alone, without being flunked by friends.

Go to the cinema or on holiday alone, because being alone doesn’t mean we’re lonely.

Sickle Cell AWARENESS

It is believed that around 300,000 children are born with sickle cell in Africa alone.

Sickle cell is related to malaria.

Research shows that the reason why sickle cell is so prevalent in people of African descent is due to malaria.

People with AS blood group are less likely to die of malaria than those with AA blood group. And so as malaria killed those with AA blood group, the survivors with AS blood group increased therefore spreading the disease.

When two couple who are AS have children, there is a greater chance that they will have a child who is a carrier of sickle cell disease because both parents have genes (traits). This is not always, but more likely so.

I have read of twins whose parents were not carriers, but the mother said one of her twins had Sickle Cell.

Some how the condition had mutated itself.

This is the reason why we need to support research and funding.

Doctors will discourage you from going to Africa or tropical countries in fear of malaria.

When Manchild was 2 years old. I took him on a holiday in The Gambia. I was prescribed Malerone for him as an anti malaria drug.

Half way through the journey, my son collapsed on the plane and was dying.

When you have access to ambulance on the ground you can be reassured. However, when you have a pilot telling you if you child doesn’t wake up in 30 mins before we cross the Sahara desert we’ll have to do an emergency landing, that is something words cannot describe.

God is able.

My child woke up to the clapping of passengers who hi fived him!

Unknown to me, I continued to give him his anti malaria drugs.

He vomited some days later in Gambia. I took him to see the so called nurse at the hotel. She took the liberties in screaming at me for bringing a child with SS to Africa during the rainy season when malaria is rampant.

Fear is not enough.

I read the side effects of malerone only to discover that it reduces the red blood cells.

Now people with SS have a low red blood cells and the doctor had prescribed a drug which reduces the blood cells!

Rushed him to the hospital. Blood level was very low.

A 7 day holiday lasted 3 weeks.

My friend had to leave us there.

I took holiday insurance.

We were lucky.

All expenses paid. A nurse was sent from the UK to accompany us with oxygen on the plane.

Travel insurance is a must!

She educated me on the dangers of anti malaria drugs.

Opened my eyes to a plant called citronella.

They have candles and wrist bands you can buy and wear to ward off mosquitoes.

I took the child to Ghana two years later. I used the wrist bands and enough repellents to kill all the mosquitoes in Ghana!

A doctor told me it is better for him to actually get malaria and build his own immunity.

WHAT?

UK doctors will have a fit!

He did catch malaria.

I was scared.

This child fought it off like nothing.

When his blood was measured he was 11! Even with malaria that level is extremely high for someone with SS.

I had been feeding with plenty of Golden Tree chocolates! Made in Ghana, high in cocoa!

We produce cocoa in African and send abroad.

African children rarely have coca in their diet.

300, 000 African children are diagnosed with Sickle Cell each year. At least 50% of them die in childhood due to complications.

What are we doing? How are mothers being educated about how to care for their kids?

I read very early on that African diet is very good for sickle cell. Yam, spinach, plantain etc.

I armed the child with them as a toddler. He was solid!

When he started mainstream school and became a picky eater. I cut yams the shapes of chips and fried them in disguise. He only eats fried green plantain. You can even mash yam and make sheperd’s pie.

We need education. We need more of our own people to specialise in research.

There many plants which are mosquito repellent, can you imagine if we educate more on natural remedies. If citronella incense was available in Africa?

My passion for garden is my way of researching. Getting to know nature. What I can do and will do one day when I go home.

Our grandparents and ancestors have been dealing with Sickle Call for centuries. They used herbs, a little pain here and there they said.

Don’t forget any condition which affects black people is rooted in racism. Politics of racism hampers research in sickle cell.

Look at ebola!

We need to do our own research and empower our own.

Everyday is sickle cell AWARENESS day.

Celebrate Life

About 4/5 years ago, during a really bad winter when the temperature became extremely bad.

A man was found dead in a pub cellar.

He died from hyperthermia.

He was homeless and a benevolent English pub owner allowed him to sleep where he stored his alcohol.

An aunt told me this story.

The man was a Ghanaian guy who used to come around where there was a Ghanaian restaurant.

Am I my brother’s keeper?

I questioned my aunt why none of them helped him.

The family of the deceased man sent money and demanded his dead body to be flown to Ghana.

In Ghana you are worth more dead than alive because your funeral will bring donation and partying.

The family of the homeless man was supposedly rich.

The final service of Komla Dumor will end today.

The question I’ve been asked is do you think he deserved a state funeral?

In my personal and humble opinion I do not believe in extravagant and elaborate spending and manner when a person dies.

Komla has made his mark and imprint on many of us.

But

He was not representing Ghana as a states man at the BBC he was working as a private man hired by them.

When he passed I shed tears, I suggested to a few people who knew him about creating something that will keep his memory alive.

Let us print T-Shirts and sell?

Perhaps a foundation for his kids and aspiring young journalists?

I was deeply hurt by the collective response from people who knew him personally.

Each person said the same thing.

“Oh as for the children, they will be well taken care of”.

I marvelled at the short sightedness of these individuals.

I raged to a friend!

A few days later the BBC I read hoped to set up a foundation for aspiring journalist!!!!

I was outraged and ashamed!!!!

Why must Ghana spend money on a state funeral and the BBC to set up a foundation?

It all comes down to the value we Ghanaians place on funerals.

I am an Asante and in my life time that is all I’ve witnessed.

Western funeral directors have discovered our love for funerals and have set up companies in Ghana because in Ghana your dead body is profitable.

And so whether the homeless man was flown to Ghana to be buried or not I do not know,

But

I do hope that we do away with this behaviour and help people when they’re in need.

Komla Dumor rest in peace.

Sacrilege

When the heart is afraid of being broken.

We offer our body as a sacrifice.

Take my body because l am too afraid to ask for more in fear of rejection.

But

The mind will never stop torturing, telling you that the heart, the body and the soul are inseparable…..

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child…

There is an old African saying that….
It takes a village to raise a child.

How ironic this proverb is because no African person in their right mind wants to be associated with being a villager.

Simply because the connotations of a village African bares shame

The names Victoria Climbie, Stephen Lawrence and Damilola Taylor all have something unique in common.

These children are SAINTS…..

They stand for something very unique, their short lives revealed something dark and sinister in our society.

The Voice newspaper yesterday shared a story on fb about a black child whose life was short lived at the hands of his “evil” uncle.People had a field day using all their adjectives on him and the story.

I was outraged, had to say same something.

Since I became a mother I’ve stopped passing judgement on these stories the media like to perpetuate.

I have become very much aware of the demons that can run in a parent’s head. Especially a parent who is raising children alone, in a broken marriage and so forth…..

Every time I see or hear them I thank God for giving me strength and sanity.

Never in all my years on this earth has my SANITY be so precious to me than now as a parent.

A wise fool recently told me that, being an African and him being a Caribbean I don’t know how it feels to be a slave.

I was so hurt and as usual my wild imagination took me back to the villages of my motherland and I began to put myself in the place of a mother whose child was snatched away to be chained and shipped across the ocean……

It is not rocket science that 300 hundred years ago it was a miracle for a child to reach their 1st birthday and for an African mother to raise a son or daughter to the age of 16 years and be stolen!

And how her community would have treated her, it must be juju that is why only her child was perhaps stolen, whilst the ugly third wife still had all her babies around her.

The mother of this child reported killed by an uncle I know not much about, I read that she needed help and had to leave her child with her own brother.

I urged those fellow villagers on fb who were enjoying raining curses on the “evil” uncle to think about what they would have done if they heard something whilst enjoying an episode of Eastenders or Scandal.

I can only presume that the volume would have been turned up in the four corners of our Babylon homes, in which we feel elevated above our fellow brethren. 

So we too sit on the throne and pass judgement.I am raising a son alone.

When I need help, only total strangers will come to my aid. Not even church, but non Christians have been there for me far more than Christians. 

Where is the village?

I had a chat with a mother during football training and I really enjoyed the African wisdom she imparted into my soul this morning about motherhood.

Being a motherless child, sometime I am all too aware that I lack wisdom, knowledge and understanding on the purpose of being a mother…..

And So this nameless boy has lost his life because we Africans no longer live in villages. 

We now live in mansion and expensive apartments and whenever, we hear any commotion outside we do what the Romans do and peep through the window if we can be bothered or turn up the volume…..

This world where each man for themselves God for us all na wa O!

Wake up!

I watched Hurricane movie today.

I thought about prison.

How white supremacy is obsessed with locking our men in prison.

I’ve come to resent seeing black people perform on on tv singing and dancing…

Especially British television!

What has change since slavery?

The correlation between slavery and mass imprisonment of our men is too much!

If we can’t keep them on the plantation we’ll deprive them and frustrate them and they’ll march right into prison and work for peanuts!

When you watch Wangari Maathai’s documentary and see how she and a bunch of old ladies raised hell on the president in Kenya to release their sons after 11 gruelling months of protest then you’ll know that as mothers we need to rise!

The sons and husbands who aren’t behind bars are silenced like some walking zombies…..

It doesn’t matter if it ain’t your husbands, son or brother….

it affects all of us….

We need to wake up from the slumber and rise…..

Lose Yourself

Once you fall in love with yourself,

You become conscious of the colours you choose to compliment you.

The textures of materials which enhances and flatters your body.

The books which feeds your soul and not just your mind

You do less to hide yourself and more to show the world how beautiful you are…..