I love reading. Plain and simple. I really don’t get it when people tell me they do not enjoy reading or fall asleep as Uncle Phil* does whenever he grabs a book. Phoebe actually told me that once. She thinks people who read are lazy, all because growing up she had to do all the chores in the house while her younger siblings just sat in the living room sofa reading ladybird books.
But you see, reading is therapeutic to me. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane aside writing music. And I’ve come to believe that if you read you must also love writing. You write whatever, be it poetry, music etc, etc. So most days I spend my time reading and writing. Reading allows me to get lost in time, play with ideas and live in a fantasy world where I am not disturbed by the raucous screeching of my landlords 5-month old grandson.
Writing music also allows me the space to create magic and satisfy my van-i-ty. When I’m not writing music I write on this blog. But its more like typing than writing actually. But yeah, I write to rant and express myself as I no longer rant in my music. I rant to Uncle Phil and Niggaret and sometimes Kojo who have become my therapists (unbeknownst to them), but don’t tell them that because they may start charging me. I may rant about anything, from my landord being a dick, friends crossing me or the sheer stupidity of some Ghanaians. And now my favourite ranting audience are you guys. Because hey, misery loves company 😜.
For some weeks now I’ve realised that I keep ranting about one thing in particular and that one thing is chorused by people who may be like-minded as myself or otherwise. It has found its way into most of our conversations and has even been given more airtime than my favourite topics: bitches, bitches and more bitches. What has been creeping up in our conversations is; just how Ghanaians have become an insufferable lot. Can I live?
I live in a community in Koforidua called Adweso SSNIT, you know a community Dr. Kwame Nkrumah built in those days for the civil servants who worked in the State Owned Insurance Company. And even though I have just 5 friends in this community everybody KNOWS me. No I dont talk to them, I don’t even exchange greetings, I merely stroll by listening to music whilst getting ready to run for the next 40 minutes. But somehow (someway, too many Jay-Z references today), I’ve become very (un)popular amongst these people. They consider me eccentric (and in such a small comunity that is not good) and whenever they ask Uncle Phil (today you are getting honourable mentions paa oh) where I am from originally and he replies; “Accra” they nod to express understanding as if they’ve finally solved the mystery of my eccentric ways.
All this doesn’t bother me as much as I would like it to. However, I’m a little appalled by the kind of ideas that people have going on in their minds all because someone is a little different from them.
I’ve been nursing a ‘fro for about 18 weeks now and I’m still impatient because I’m shooting for a particular look and I feel like it’s taking forever.
My glo up will look something like that
If you know me well, you know I am very impatient. So this is becoming more or less an ordeal because I hate waiting. Most people don’t take a look at me anymore (absent-mindedly that is). You would think that would make me happy (because I’m vain, tsk tsk), BUT OH NO!
Now they do a double take! And I believe for the following reasons:
1. I may be extremely handsome, or
2.I may be extremely ugly
(I don’t care for any other reasons that can fit in that list. Use your logic elsewhere this is my blog.)
I’ve come to understand that when it’s in relation to me, people in my community are slowly leaning towards the second point.
Like I said, it doesn’t bother me as much as it should, because I love myself (think Kendrick lamar’s “i” refrain) but what annoys me and mostly gets me combative is that people want you to ascribe to their own pre-conceived notions of beauty.
I’m pretty sure if Emmanuela the Nigerian Comedy prodigy was feeling how I am feeling right now she would scream:
“THIS IS MY REAL FACE OH TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT!”
and proceed to re-perform the antics that shot her to fame.
See my guy, I get it, first impression counts and that unfortunately is in tandem with appearance but what I don’t understand is how Africans have allowed Europeans to hijack what constitutes aesthetics even in their culture. I mean you just have to look on the streets to see bleached skin and flip through the tube to see light-skinned women in music videos. How else then are we going to love our black skin and natural hair?
It’s quite frustrating having to wrestle with projected self-loathing on a daily basis. You can’t even get a job here if you have an afro let alone dreadlocks! I know a friend who had to cut his locks before his father-in-law allowed him to have his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Sheesh! Speak of brainwashing!
Yesterday an acquantaince called Junior informed me that he doesn’t get combative when people he knows talk about his hair or beard being bushy, he only changes the subject because it’s unnecessary stress from ignorant people. He also explained how he’s found that he gets a better reception from people whenever they see him with his “bushy fro” as long as he’s seen driving one of his numerous SUV’s.
“Chale, if I dey drive wey I comot for my car inside nobody dey fit biz me why I make my hair grow laidat oh. I dey fit shock! But if I dey walk de3 everybody ein matter dey my business inside.”
It goes to show that the Ghanaian society only allows you to live the way you want or wear whatever hairstyle you want as long as you have money. In other words, how dare you live your life anyhow you want and exude happiness when the rest of us are just as broke as you and very unhappy?!
Dear Readers, this is a post imploring you to dig into your life savings in order to fund my dream of purchasing a car, renting a plush apartment and wearing designer clothes so people can accept my God-given tress. I shall leave my account details in the comments section, in hopes of getting notified of deposits.
But on a more serious note, wear your natural hair the way you want, love yourself, love your hair and don’t seek approval or validation from anyone. You were made this way for a reason. Embrace it and in the everlasting words of the Champagne Papi AKA Drake: OWN IT.
*Uncle Phil is a younger-brother-from-another-mother who also lives in our community, not in any way related to the late star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air show.