More and more.. As the days get longer and my years grow older, I find myself increasingly appreciating the beauty and grace that accompanies being born as a black African. I grew up with a subconscious prejudice, which had been taught us from way before we were born. Possibly a by-blow of the colonial masters or a deep feeling of insecurity.We were never good enough, the less talented race, the inferior race, striving constantly to be accepted.
I would like to at this juncture, denounce the presence of any bitterness or resentment towards other races. I am here to preach more about self love. Loving the black that we are. Sometimes, I get into discussions with people and they point out why we may not appreciate our own as much as we admire the foreign lands.
a. No working system
b. Bad roads
c. Mediocre attempts at excellence
e. Materialism/ Exploited Values
f. Poor educational systems
g. The list goes on and on
I actually get it. It is extremely frustrating. I wish things could be so much better. I pray we grow, improve, raise our bars, strive to change and make Africa a continent we are proud of.
I however think that loving our lands, our traditions and cultures and being extremely proud and accepting of us, would go a long way in making Africa and of course Nigeria a great place. It is so ingrained in us, the constant demeaning comments forever polluting our minds against the beauty and essence of being black.
Listed below are some examples:
a. Fairer skin is nicer than darker skin
b. Super long silky hair is prettier than coarse hair
c. Our native food is “bush” in comparison to other seemingly posher alternatives
d. Our designs and products are inferior to our counterparts
e. Our topography and locations are never a holiday destination alternative
f. The way we speak is un-cool and we should speak in borrowed accents to show we are civilised
g….Brethren.. the list goes on
Where does it end? When do we accept ourselves for whom we are and judge us through our own benchmarks and not by the borrowed realities of other cultures? It actually filters into almost every aspect of our lives and I am as guilty of it as so many others.
“SELF-LOVE”.. We were made “black” and it is good enough.
The other day,”I was sprawled on my bed, eating a really scrumptious meal of Garri and Ukazi soup with mgbam(moulded Egusi). It is quite a delicacy in my village(Isiala Ngwa, Abia State) and my darling mommy makes the meanest version of this soup. A deep and intense feeling went through me, and I said out loud to myself, “Life doesn’t get more elegant than this”. I felt an utmost sense of sophistication, sprawled on my bed and eating my mom’s special dish of Garri and Soup. Who says authentic traditional food isn’t sophisticated? It is all in our minds and how we choose to accept our cultures and traditions.
Our black is beautiful …Our black is legitimate
Love yourself..Love your country
Love your people…Love the skin you were born in