One of the women I really look up to is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I discovered her back when she did a TED Talk on The Danger of a Single Story and I was hooked. Chimamanda is the definition of poise, confident and articulate and what I really like most is her ability to tell stories. When I first read Americanah it felt like I was on a roller-coaster; that book toiled with my emotions and at the same time indirectly educated me on modern attitudes to race, culture and traditions.
I once wrote about expectations vs reality of living in Africa. I can’t remember if I actually published it (plus my post have become too many to scroll through the archives) I wrote that post out of spite and irritability; I came across a tweet that was ridiculing life in Africa and Africans in general. I’m not one to start twitter arguments and confrontations because I believe people who post anything hateful and controversial online are just cowards and bullies that shouldn’t be given any cent of your time cause they’ll rise negative emotions and just spoil your day so I mostly ignore hate comments.
Today’s post was inspired by re-reading Americanah and I had a one minute reflection just thinking of how much Chimamanda is simply authentic and embraces being African like a queen, it’s just liberating.
So I thought I’d share a few absurd revelations (just for fun) that make living in the village/African communities interesting, depends on how you look at it. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
First, Africa is a continent with about 50+ countries
Let’s get that out-of-the-way; the culture, traditions and languages in the said different countries (even within a country) and communities differ. If Mother Nature did a random reshuffle right now and I was dropped in Nigeria, Congo, Zimbabwe – or any other African country – today, I’d be totally out of my zone because things don’t work the same as where I’m from. The only advantage is I’m African and some things just never change when in Africa.
Like, the way burials are the modern meet and greet
Every time you attend a burial ceremony, you meet new relatives – different from the ones you know. And the relations go ways back to something like this “your grandmother’s cousin was married to my uncle’s last born” I mean, someone needs to say something, am I the only one who thinks this is too much!
When you don’t wear African Print to a wedding you look so out-of-place
This happens mostly in traditional weddings cause modern ones are mostly westernized. I’d say a replica of “Say Yes to the dress.” I never liked African print growing up, I thought it was a representation of not being able to afford the cool brand clothing (I blame my peers) but I have fully embraced African print as you can actually get a tailor to make you the design of your choice unlike the olden days.
Men still have a sense of superiority
While women are being empowered to be independent and fight for equity, men are still being brought up the same old way; their opinions have to be the final decision, it’s sad that women – feminist! are the same people who bring up these boys/ men. I once heard a mother tell her young last born son,“You need to learn making decision cause If anything happens to us (the parents) you will be in charge of everything cause your decision as the man is what will count as no one will listen to your older sister’s opinion” This woman is what we refer to as “woke” tells me, every chance she gets to be independent and not let a man “control me.” Why would you say that when you are nurturing your boy to grow with a “I am the man what I say goes” mentality?
In all honesty, it is good to understand people and their culture, it’s okay if you don’t agree with them just don’t be rude about it. I have learnt to question and try to understand why people do certain things in a conversational way (traditions and culture). Just let people be – well, unless someone is being irrational about things like taking medicine – we are one; race is irrelevant.
We ought to treat each other with kindness regardless of their ethnicity, traditions, culture or their country of birth.
Over to You …
Tell me what you think, I’d love to hear where you’re from and what culture or misconception people have about your race or county, continent? Share so that we can laugh about them because you know what? You are neither your race nor birth country!
Thank you for reading. New post every Tuesday and Friday.
With Love, Jade J.