Okay. So we are done with 2017. Thank goodness! That was some year. Despite received knowledge, it was not all bad. Foluke’s African Skies definitely had a nice year.
A few years ago I wrote about how destructive aid is to Africa. Read here. I argued then that all aid to Africa should stop. The wealth of the world is built on exploitation of African resources and labour. Considering the resource flow, licit and illicit, out of Africa why is aid to Africa still a thing? Any good accountant knows that you must show both sides of the balance sheet. Not just the incoming. Unless you have something to hide.
This post follows on from my pieces on the way in which Africa is perceived as inherently problematic and spoken of as inherently negative. Many discussions of Africa are full of stereotypes and so very trope- heavy. And we often ignore the impact this has had on African people. We must never forget Africa’s people.
At the time of writing, the non-coup in Zimbabwe is over 24 hours old. It has been quite interesting watching the international news coverage of this DEFINITELY NOT A COUP. The most striking thing to me is when news anchors ask if Zimbabweans are jubilant at the demise of Mugabe’s power.
Since I stopped using chemical hair relaxers slightly over a year ago, I have been more attuned to the reactions of people to black women’s hair. I am sometimes perplexed by the feelings of some people that black hair in its natural state is unkempt. I have heard the word ‘crazy’ used. (Shudders). Suggesting that if more care was taken of black hair, it would be sleek. This is my tribute to all those sisters (and brothers) taking on these preconceptions.
So the above advert received quite a blacklash for trying to ‘push a racist ad’ on Africa and Africans. Before you read my brief opinion, I suggest you watch it. It is only 30 seconds long. In response to the ad, there were copious amounts of wig-snatching. Nivea basically responded by saying: ‘We are giving customers what they want and mean no offence’. Fair enough
In verse or prose, music or dance we will tell you who we are. In our own words. We are Nigeria. Nigeria is our story. Our story to tell.
“The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed”. Nelson Mandela
There are several people I promised that I was going to write this. Myself included. Talking about trauma is sometimes like self-medicated therapy. But Naija people don’t talk about past trauma. It stays hidden and buried. We prefer to swallow our trauma and pretend it never happened. And when the hidden trauma erupts like a volcano from within us, destroying everything in its path, we blame everything else. The Devil. Village people. Enemies. So I draw back this veil of silence.
Titilope is an award winning poet, writer and performer who has graced stages across Nigeria and internationally.