‘Black African Woman’ by Sonia Dube

What does it mean to be a black African woman (bAw)? Who is she? Why is she on this earth? What is her contribution to this world?

Over the past few years, I have been learning so much about life: God; relationships; family; faith; becoming an assured, confident lady of God; rocking natural hair; and my purpose amongst other things. I’ve always been driven to push myself to grow and not be content with my internal status quo. God has told me that I was created for Him, to glorify Him and for a greater purpose than I could imagine (Proverbs 16:4; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Walking this journey has proved highly challenging especially as a black, African, Christian lady. I have endlessly searched the internet to find out what it means to be a child of God especially as a bAw. I have received some amazing information from profound and inspiring blogs and websites including Elegant Woman, She Is More, Grace and Poise, Teach Me the Bible and numerous other readings. I wanted more practical information to build on the lessons I had learnt from the Bible and other Biblical readings. How could I put these powerful lessons into practice? How could I find out who I am? How could I become the lady I was created to be? How could I allow God to heal my wounded and broken heart and worth? How could I find out and fulfil my purpose on this earth?

These sources of information were truly inspiring and have impacted my life in such a powerful way! However, as I continued to visit these sites, something struck me – there was no black African Christian woman writing about this stuff – well at least not online. Hmm. Most of the sites were written by White or Asian women in other parts of the world. I have no problem with them sharing this information because it is so useful; but, there are some missing links. There are some issues/struggles that they don’t touch on that we bAw have to deal with – how do I find my purpose in a community that has so strictly drawn out my path? How do I become a lady with my natural, kinky, hard-to-manage hair? How do I learn to wait on the best man for me in spite of the fears that arise because statistically I’m least likely to enter into a relationship let alone a wholesome one? So many questions, no-one to truly answer them.

Herein lies my passion. As a young black lady, I have always been burdened by the story of the bAw. She has come from a dark, confused, often violent and dictated past. The bAw has always been told how to behave – from the days of her slave masters; to her family telling her when to get married and to whom; to the media today. bAw have struggled in finding their identity. I see it in how we will wear someone else’s hair on our head; or wear someone else’s eyelashes on our face; or fight so hard to be heard and to validate our position; or stay in situations because that’s what we’ve always known or been told. That truly makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong – the bAw is strong and has done so much for the community and family. I will never ever take away from that because I have a mother who’s done this. But in giving so blindly to others, she has forgotten to find out who she is.

Imagine a bAw who understood who she was; Whose she was; what her worth was; what she had to offer the world; and where she was going. Our world would be so different from what it is today. Maybe as bAw we wouldn’t be fighting and striving so much amongst ourselves to get ahead. Maybe we wouldn’t be bringing each other down so much. There would be more than enough room for each one of us to shine. Maybe we wouldn’t be enduring the abuse and violence we experience because we would know Whose we are. The possibilities are endless!

It is my hope that now the voice of the bAw will rise and be heard. Not in terms of poetry bemoaning her sorrows and pain. Not in terms of how strong she has been in spite of all the injustices she’s faced. Not in a rage to assert that she is independent and can do what she wants when she wants (all the while crying on the inside). But to move beyond that – to move towards who she has always been but just never knew. bAw, it’s time to discover yourself.

 

Sonia Dube

Sonia Dube

Sonia Dube is a phenomenal young lady wholly in love with and surrendered to God. Her greatest desire is to live her life’s purpose by becoming a Life Coach and leading others to be who they were created to be. She is currently studying towards making her dream a reality.

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All Roads Lead To Las Gidi

Ever wondered what life in Lagos is like? Well, wonder no more! Gidi Culture Productions recently released the first episode of their series entitled ‘Gidi Culture: All Roads’ and it sure does give some great insight.

Gidi Culture

To some people, all Africans can be categorised into one box – a notion the ironically and ingeniously titled blog ‘Africa Is A Country‘ seeks to demystify. Gidi Culture features the trials and tribulations of 6 youths from different walks of life as they face the ups and downs of Living in Lagos  AKA Las Gidi. Life as an African differs from one country to another, but there are some common challenges and issues that we as Africans face. Gidi Culture highlights these from a Nigerian perspective, allowing the rest of us into this world whilst also underpinning commonalities that we all face as young people.

As a proponent for Africans telling their story from their perspective, I am excited about what this show is looking to do! Episode one introduces the characters to us, a focal point being on the life of Halima who is a graduate school student in New York from a privileged background, forced to return to Lagos suddenly. We see her as she tries to reintegrate into Lagos life and the many interactions of those around her.

Peep episode 1 of this new TV series below and keep your eyes on the Gidi Culture Productions channel for new episodes.

‘You have the right to objectify us’ – Feminist

“To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men’s sexual and hence social confidence while undermining that of women.”

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

I stumbled upon this quote on That African Kid and it made me stop in my tracks. I have heard of ‘The Beauty Myth’ somewhere along my way. I have never read it but I think it deserves a spot on Rumbi’s reading list.

Now, the word ‘feminist’ is a rather tricky one. I penned my discomfort with the term in ‘A Feminine Feminist‘ a few years back during my feisty varsity days. My thoughts around gender, equality and feminism still ring true to this day. Naomi Wolf’s quote was just a friendly reminder.

On December 13, 2013, Beyonce AKA King Bey dropped her self-titled visual album whilst the world was deep in snore. Beyonce has always vouched for women particularly in terms of equal opportunities. She went one step further on this latest album and featured Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s renowned TEDx speech: ‘We should all be feminist‘. I applaud some of what is said here and what these two ladies are fighting for. I disagree with other elements.

Something that struck out to me and a lot of people I have spoken to who have watched her album, is how naked and sensual the videos are. Just the other Sunday, we had a viewing party with a few ladies and as we watched King Bey’s latest offering, we were perplexed. Why was she so naked? What is she going on about?

Stumbling upon Naomi Wolf’s quote really expressed my sentiments and feelings towards ‘BEYONCE’ well. As much as Beyonce is a feminist, she is, at the same time, justifying the objectification of women. I struggle to make sense of it all. I have always been a fan of her music and really enjoy some of the songs on ‘BEYONCE’, but somehow, I just can’t reconcile her stance on feminism with her image. By now we know that being a feminist does not mean you need to reject your feminine qualities as a woman. It does not mean women want to be like men. At the same time, however, I don’t think it necessary for new-age feminists to overly assert their sexuality in order not to be considered manly.

My view on this is rooted in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you… You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” Surely being so naked to the world does nothing in honouring and glorifying God?

Now, I know the BeyHive might get mad, but it had to be voiced. What then are we saying to men? Respect us but it’s OK for you to look at us as pieces of meat? Treat us as equals but it’s OK for you to treat us as arm candy? Food for thought.