A girl went in, a mother came out
Forced to grow old.
Wisdom came early
Knowing when to be quiet and unassuming
Hoping the hungry leer would skim past her
Knowing to brace herself if it fell on her
And didn’t move on.
Forced to open parts of her.
Parts she didn’t know could open
To murderers in their numbers, and losing count
when trying to achieve numbness.
Choosing death wasn’t cowardice, it was hope
Feeling life growing within her.
Resenting her fertility.
Wondering whose eyes would stare back at her.
Would it be the rodent eyes or the beady pig eyes,
Or the soulless unseeing stare?
Death wasn’t cowardice. It was the only way out.
I read about Sarah Kay for the first time on my friends blog and the piece was The type. It resonated and triggered a response. For a while, I debated with myself on whether to leave it in my draft or post it…
Here goes My type! Inspired by Sarah Kay’s The type
I’ve always been the type of woman men want to look at,
So I didn’t let them look
I mistook their eyes for hands
So I covered up in loose clothes and a boyish style.
I didn’t know to let them see what a woman looked like.
I didn’t realize that they may not have seen one before.
I’ve always been the type of woman men want to touch,
But I refused their touch
I didn’t think it was me they were really reaching for
Maybe a bottle, a meal or another woman.
I just didn’t think they could see ‘me’
So before their hands could find me, I made them my brothers.
And became guardian, muse, friend and mentor.
As a woman with skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat
I wasn’t made out of metaphors, excuses or apologies
But I have grown to be a woman men want to hold
Now I know to let them hold me,
Knowing that only a few will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around me
And admit that they do not have the answers they thought they would by now.
Some men want to hold me- They think I’m the answer
I’m not the answer and I’m not the question.
I am not the prayer either
Nor the joke or punch-line.
Sometimes I want to nibble so I take the role of a snack
But I am definitely not the victim
I don’t know if I’m the type men want to love,
But I will let them love me
And I will love them in return
Knowing that I have limbs
And I can walk the rope when the crowds have all gone home.
I’m not going to waste my time wondering if I am the type of woman men will hurt,
If he leaves me with a fast beating heart, I will learn to dance to the beat.
I will forgive myself for my decisions If I need to
Because I know that I am the type of woman who is searching for a place to call
The walls can come down
The pots can shatter
I am the place and the sun
I can build it
I will build it.
While looking through some files on my flash, i stumbled across this letter i wrote to myself early last year. I thought i’d share…
Dear 30 year old Chinwe,
How are you? How does it feel to be 30?
Well I’m writing this letter to you from the past and I’m hoping that a good number of the dreams I have today being the 16th of may 2013 have either been achieved or are on its way to being realized 😉
First and foremost are you happy?
I hope you’ve either gotten your masters or at least a couple of certifications that prove you actually know something… what did it end up being? By this I mean do you have a vocation? By the way do you still love shoes and have you been able to do the shoe store ish with Kayode Bisiriyu…
Do you have a kid?
I hope you turned into a stylish, sophisticated fun loving woman who loves a good laugh even if its at herself? Do you still do series and romantic comedies?
I hope you are still a freaking optimistic realist?
Do your undies match these days?
How many of your old friends are you still close too? How often do you hang out? Or chat? If you haven’t chatted with Busola, Veev, Ebi, Yinka, Biyi, Kebijo, Kayode B, in a while then you should hit them up today.
How’s Mumsi? Is she happy? What’s Bu and Nu doing? And Ginika? Is she happy and comfy?
What’s your hair and skin like now? Still with a crew cut? I damn well hope you’ve been able to achieve the glossy skin you’ve been coveting all these while?
What’s the plan for the future? I hope you have one?
I sincerely hope God is still forefront for you?
Are you still in love with love?
Are you married?
What do you dream about these days?
Do you still want to have that strategy lab that will solve half the world’s problems? What about the free lance company or have your dreams evolved as well?
Are you still strong and confident on the outside but … on the inside? I hope your core has strengthened sha?
Are you mentoring anyone now? Are you in contact with any of your mentors or mentees?
Are you still with D?
Notice that all these are questions. Well that’s cos I don’t want you feeling bad about anything you haven’t achieved by today your 30th birthday. The truth is that I love you and I’m sure I will understand whatever decisions you’ve made even if they didn’t exactly go the way we thought they would…
With Love from your younger self.
I’m not that old, at least in my heart and soul but every now and then, I feel life moving on. Different people and experiences have taught me different things in my short life but these 15 things have stuck.
1. Old friends are the best.
2. Honesty lets you sleep well at night. Without guilt.
3. A generous part of your life is spent at work with people you didn’t particularly choose so make sure you get along with your colleagues.
4. Show love when you can and then show some more love.
5. Help out whenever you can even if the person is undeserving.
6. Give what you can when you can.
7. People hurt us everyday. Steam over it and let it go after that.
8. Music cheers you up. Always.
9. Make people happy or at least try.
10. Take chances whenever you can. You never know where it might lead.
11. Dance whenever you hear music even if its only in your head.
12. Laugh even when things are not funny.
13. Forgive every err.
14. Travel to new places when you can.
15. Love yourself. Absolutely!
I like having conversations with people. Scratch that. I like having conversations with insightful people. In one of our random days at the office, Obasanjo’s name came up and I mentioned I would like to have a conversation with Obasanjo. Amidst jokes and questions about why I would think of such, we all started mentioning people we would like to have conversations with.
Here’s my list:
Olusegun Obasanjo. I get the impression he’s a wise and witty man. I’d like to ask him what he really thinks about Leadership in Nigeria, Farming and Women. He was a leader in Nigeria, he is a farmer, he is also portrayed as a man who is extremely comfortable in his own skin.
Diezani Maduekwe. She’s at the Helm of Nigeria’s major source of income and is holding it down pretty well (at least in my opinion) Every time, there’s a report about her activities, whether well-meaning or not, she always comes across as a very astute, precise, classy and intelligent woman. I’d like to ask her how she holds it all together. Her family, her work and her life in general.
Nse Ikpe-Etim. I have a huge female crush on Nse. She seems down to earth, real and funny and with a unique sense of style too. With her, I’d just like to talk to her about everything. Love, Life, Work and her aspirations.
Majid Michel. Cos he seems to be very deep and I like having deep conversations.
John Legend. What does he think about when he’s composing his songs? His songs strike all the chords in my heart and head.
Illbliss. How did he know that rapping in his mother tongue will become a trendy thing in the future?
Olamide. He seems so real and honestly talented. I always listen to him even though I have to ask my Yoruba friends to interpret.
Isio Wanogho. I like her love of self and the way she expresses herself.
I hope I get to have conversation with these people.
Its been a while since I posted anything here. I usually don’t like excuses but I have a valid one. (I think) I was preparing for my certification exams. I am certified now, after procrastinating about it for months cos I was afraid I was not ready. Thank God I passed.
That seems to be the bone I’ve been gnawing at ever since I passed my exams. What next? What do I do now? Where do I go next? I feel almost clueless. I also realize that I was happy when I was preparing for my exams, and now that I’m done and the euphoria of being certified has passed, I don’t know know what i feel.
In a bid to get a semblance of order to my thoughts on what my next action should be, I recently started reading a book and somewhere along the line, I remembered I had a outlined a set of goals to achieve this year……………………………………
So far, (it’s the 3rd week into the 2nd half of the year) I’m so far from where I think I should be right now. I’m not exactly where I started from but I’m still very far. And I know why… So I’m going to create another system that inculcates all i need to achieve this year. Hopefully I will get somewhere soon.
After watching a couple of movies that highlight our African story I realize that I’m privileged.
To have been born in an era where girls can be seen and heard (who knows, maybe I would have had to use a male alias and a typewriter to blog if not- that’s if I hadn’t already been hung to death for my outspoken ways)
I’m glad that I was not born in the era of twins being “murdered” (Otherwise I wouldn’t have my cute twin cousins)…
Or in the era where I would have had to seat on the black side of the restaurant or bus if D took me out on a date…
Or in the era where female education was unheard of, or we wouldn’t have the Okonjo-Iwealas, the Adichies, or the Otitoju’s of today…
Or in the era where I would have been subordinates to the likes of Esaura (the slave girl) or maybe more like Patsey since I’m black. An where the highest ambition I would have had, would be as a help or the wife of the chief butler in Aso rock…
I’m glad I don’t have to walk to the farm (I go to work with the bus or the cabs or the front seat of my colleagues car and act like we bought the car together) Even though I most likely would have achieved my #ProjectHotBody as default if I had to walk to the farm…
I’m glad I don’t have to climb the trees to get juice (Palmwine or Mango) I go to the stores…
I’m glad I don’t have to wait for festival season for a family member who is travelling to a faraway distance to deliver a message to my friend after maybe 3 months – I just ping her…
I’m glad I wasn’t born in the era where I’d have to go topless with a low slung mini wrapper to cover my African buttocks just to signify I was a young nubile unmarried chic – even though that might not have been a bad idea – interesting thought, breeze everywhere…
I’m glad I wasn’t an adult in the era where if you had an opinion contrary to that of the Government in power and you made that opinion known, you’d either just disappear into thin air or get thrown into jail for treason or die…
I’m glad I wasn’t an adult in the era where it was fashionable to use black eye pencil to draw narrow half arcs on the eyebrow after shaving off all the eyebrow hair given to females by God…
This is me basically recognizing all our heroes past and finally understanding the vision they had and the sacrifices they made
– just so I and all the people in my generation will know some semblance of humanity and not the terror that they experienced.
While I hope their reward is in heaven, I think that a more fulfilling reward would be for my generation to realize that what we take for granted TODAY was the backbone of certain individuals YESTERDAY and it cost some of them their lives.
The baton has been passed to us to make our nation and world a better place for the ones who will come after us.
To all our heroes known and unknown- we salute!
I hear her make a case for herself about how having stereotypes closes one’s mind to possibilities and how her lack of stereotype makes her a better human being than the rest of us (at least that’s what I think she means)
I hear her tell another colleague that he has no filter, describing to him how he should sieve some of his thoughts and not let them all bubble out of his mouth. She goes on to explain to him (self righteously if I might add) that he should watch what he says to people and learn to respect boundaries.
I hear yet another colleague try to get a rise out of her and I see signs of her irritation start to show on her face. I see her take offence when she doesn’t really need to and I see her get defensive when she realizes he’s just trying to get to her and then I see her finally draw the line.
It all seems rather funny to me ‘cos I think one should always speak their mind and be true to themselves but one should also have a care for the next person. She seems to have a valid point but then again who judges a guy for having no filter when he’s actually just being honest (albeit without tact) to himself the only way he knows.
And then I wonder “ hey who am I to judge the girl? ”
Besides she’s beginning to stare at me like she knows what I’m thinking. I don’t like the way her eyes bore into mine so judgementally.
I quickly put down the mirror.