I spent so many years as the smelly African kid. I was brown-noser, whose hand was always raised, with a book glued to my hands. My glasses always slipped off my wide nose during P.E. and the new food I ate settled comfortably on my round mid-tire—a perfect target for dodgeball.
Being brown, round, and foreign was the equivalent of being a nerd with a pocket protector. My name gave classmates a chance to rhyme with bodily discharge and we-we was an early nickname.
My torment at the hand of young children in my new home was the first reason I learned to love my heritage. The idealized image of a country where everyone shared foundation in brown, where noses were variations of round, and there was a love for every size gave me hope when I had no more tears to cry, and my throat hoarse from my sobs.
This nostalgia continued throughout my education. Whenever I was asked why I worked so hard, I would respond that all Nigerians work hard. When someone commented on my excellent command of language, I would credit the imaginative way in which my countrymen speak English. When asked where my imagination came from, I would point to the generation of storytellers from which I descend.
For me my heritage was both the question and the answer, and I didn’t let the contradictions bother me. Living abroad for over two decades, all I knew about my country was that it was large, with one of the largest populations of Black people in the word, extremely rich in resources, full of corruption and potential, and currently stunted in social growth.
Despite my limited knowledge I loved Nigeria with all my heart. I couldn’t bear to hear an unkind word spoken about it, or my fellow Nigerians. For me, that identity was all that I had left. In a country that refused to claim me, that branded me foul, unintelligent, ugly, promiscuous, loud, and irate, I clung to my identity because, as a Nigerian woman, I could be something else—I could be something more. As an African, a Nigerian woman, I could define, for myself, who I was, and what I wanted to be.”
The Best of Rise Africa: From September 15th – September 21st we will be celebrating the most popular and appreciated posts that Rise Africa produced.
We’re still working tirelessly on our new platform, Ezibota.com, and developing the many resources and benefits that will be made available to our community through our new membership system, but we dedicate this week to appreciating the great content and conversations we enjoyed through Rise Africa and our collective community.
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black women are special.
all women are cool n all, but black women are special to me.
Genocide is defined by the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
my date is late. here are all the faces i’m going to make tonight
no fucking way am i paying for this $25 cocktail
tell me more about that soccer game you won in grade five
see that small dip between my collarbone and neck? that’s where i keep my cocaine
this is a signal for you to excuse yourself to the washroom
yeah, we’re definitely not going to have sex.
ha Drea you’re funny
You ain’t real if you haven’t had your hair washed in a kitchen sink
bruh, it feels sooo good when the level of thirst is mutual.