Posts tagged ‘wisdom’

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!

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My Mind is An Ocean

21st Century living is a life of madness.

No one seems to know who they are or what to do…

Men are afraid to be men

Women are afraid to be women

Parents are afraid to be parents so they befriend their children over discipline

White woman wants to be orange with a big ass and full lips

Black woman wants to be yellow with no curves and a head full of someone’s hair

Black boys squeezing their big bones into skinny jeans

Africans afraid to be Africans in case someone thinks they’re bush…

We’re afraid to think in case we have to use our minds and so sit and numb ourselves pressing buttons on gadgets

We’re afraid to love in case we get our hearts broken

and those who dare to love and marry only give 1% of themselves to their partners…

And so we keep ourselves busy because we’re afraid to be called lazy so we act like possessed and dispossessed souls….

FEAR has taken over LOVE in love there is no fear…

Be Still

And He said:

You are single not because you are a curse but a blessing

you are single because I have fearfully and wonderfully created you and so whomsoever desires you will fear me first.

And because he fears me, because the content of his heart is not pure and wrongful desires he will flee not run but flee from your presence my beautiful daughter

You are single because you desire a man not a boy. The content of a man’s heart reveals his intent and since his intentions are wrong he cannot be with you because you desire the purest of the pure a heart and not wealth

You are single because you are not an option but priceless I purchased you with my precious blood and anyone intent on being near you must give you their greatest possession which is their soul.

You desire a soul mate not a sexual mate.

You are single because I have put my spirit of boldness in you.

Not because you are a strong woman, you are strong because I raised you.

Out of the image of I, I have created you. Therefore anyone who comes near you with wrongful intentions will fear you!

You are single because you desire wholesome not halfsome.

You are single because you desire that which many do not have a soul…..

Now my precious daughter be still and know that I am the Lord…..

TedxEuston 2012 Challenging Conventional Wisdom.

TedxEuston 2012 Challenging Conventional Wisdom……

 

I was already challenging the conventional wisdom of the society in which I inhabited. I am what my friend’s daughter termed as MAD aka mum and dad. I feel like if I don’t challenge myself and get out the box that society wants to put single mothers into I will die, psychologically and spiritually.

 

And so my Journey to TedxEuston began with the beautiful writer Chika Unigwe buying some Afrocessories and we became friends. She even edited my website for me when I created for myself after being lied to by a few IT men I took matters into my own hands. And so can you see that my life is constantly challenging?

 

I had to make a very important choice to attend Tedx. I wanted to exhibit at an event in Birmingham and test the customers there. But After a few disastrous events there, I was spiritually dying. Creative was oozing out of my hands like some pepper soup and I need to claim it back into the pot. I reviewed one of these disastrous events on my facebook page one of the team from Tedx besides Chika Paddy Anigbo challenged me to attend that it will unforgettable. The choice was to travel 30 minutes to Birmingham for a show or pay £70.00 to attend Tedx and travel 180 miles.

 

I jumped at the challenge! My head full of doubts, scared of costs and of committing myself to something that I might not be able to deliver.

 

I didn’t know many of the speakers, but Chimamanda Adichie. Her face, in my mind I knew I had to be there!! Any excuse to be in a room with an African writer was arousing.

 

Once I finished creating the gifts for the speakers from Tedx I was extremely exhausted. Not from the creation, but I’ve had such a busy year, but loving every part of it.  My son who is 8 years old has sickle cell anaemia  This is challenging. Two weeks before Tedx, he caught the flu and life became nonstop of doctor’s appointments and sleepless nights. A day before we were due to leave for London, 10.30 pm I had to take him to hospital. We were discharged at 12.30 am and we left to go to London the following morning. Can you spot the challenges? I had a choice whether to stay home and nurse my child or to push myself for an opportunity that might not come again. Once I knew that my little man was alright there was only one option. Go!

 

I won’t bore you with the rest of the challenges but let’s just say there were many tears and moments where I just wanted to quit. But chika kept popping into my head. You can’t let her down. She’s given you this opportunity and the rest of the Tedx team how many designers do you know have been given this opportunity?

 

The music that was playing whilst I was setting my stall up was so authentic, drums traditional; at this point I knew that I had made the right decision. The stage was set for a King.  An African King. Decor was mind blowing. The stage was so warm and alluring one knew that the planning of the event had been carefully done. I was pleased

 

Personally I enjoyed all the speakers. The one that stood out the most for me was Chimamanda Adichie. I felt like I knew her through her books. I have them all. I sat there like a little girl waiting to see Santa Claus. My heart was racing. Then she graced the stage with her tall slender presence. Instantly she blew me away with her sexiness on the stage. Burgundy skinny jeans, with boots and yellow and brown top that just sat on her waist, leaving hips and bottom uncovered. Wow! This wasn’t the sexiness that is all flesh and lacks creativity. This was intellectually sexy. She rocks!

 

It took me a while. I listened without taking anything in, but just watching her.

 

And then she began to set me alive. I unfortunately sat next to a very animated tall handsome Nigerian man whose legs were too tall so he sat with his legs out. He moan and grunted and answered back to Adiche’s speech which was hilarious and made people turn to look.  I on the other hand was very much gripped and captivated by Adichie’s presence.

 

The subject of feminism is not one that is comfortable within the African society, Adichie challenged our views and attitudes towards this. I was dancing in my seat. Adichie challenged the conventional ways we raise boys and girls “we raise girls to be competitors for the attention of men”, I noticed a European middle age man got up and carried his coat with him. Unfortunately his exit was marked by a near fall. I wondered why he had sat from morning till night and only to leave before the last speaker had finished.

 

“We teach girls about shame, girls who grow up to be women who shrink themselves. Women who grow up with pretence.  A woman at a certain age unmarried is seen as a deep personal failure”

 

For me it was like listening to a sermon. It affirmed all the inconsistent thoughts which often clutter my mind. I am constantly questioning my identity as a Ghanaian woman. I feel displaced. I am very much African at heart, however, studying literature and particular interest in African female writers I feel very lonely at times. I find that I do not have much in common with many of my Ghanaian friends or my British born friends.

 

I find myself constantly challenging friends as to why they stay in abusive relationships, as if being a long suffering African wife is normal.

 

I was so empowered and uplifted by all the speakers, Amina J Mohammad’s sense of humour her presence and Winnie Ssrumar reduced me to tears when she shared her experience as being HIV positive. I later met her and gave her a hug and she said to me “don’t worry about me I am fine” Wow I was spiritually high!! I am proud to say I AM A FEMINIST!!!

 

The event was flawless. The way in which it was organised, I got there by 7.30 am so I had a chance to see the team doing their stuff.  TedxEuston 2012 is a day to remember. Never have I been so proud to be an African. Kudos to the mighty team behind Tedx. I am grateful that they gave Afrocessories by J.M.Prempeh the opportunity to exhibit!!

 

I am really looking forward to next year!!!