A powerful but understated emotion.
Peace is the concept of harmony of mind, body and soul. A concept that can only thrive in the absence of hostility. It creates a safe space for people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse beliefs to be able to express themselves in every form without judgement. Peace is not only the absence of war and conflict in our nations but an ideology that each person must internalize and find before they can advocate for it externally.
Africa is under attack but not by armies from beyond the Atlantic but by brothers and sisters of the same tribe. Brothers and sisters who after fighting the common enemy have begun to fight eachother. Can you as an African say you are truly at peace?
I am an African woman with dark skin. I was never sold as a slave, I never lived with the prejudice racial discrimination brings and I was born in the 80s- the post colonial era when my people were free. Yet from a tender age I was told I was too black, no better than a shadow or a golliwog from one of Enid Blyton’s stories. The market women would eagerly beckon to me, “a little of this cream to make you beautiful my dear”. The boys looked at me and some of them said “if you were a little lighter, you would be so much finer”…
The media celebrated light skin and I was lured by the beauty promised in a bottle of bleaching cream. A beauty that seemed to guarantee social acceptance, better job opportunities, attraction by the male folk and peace…It promised calm to my inner turmoil and a silencing of the screaming voices that told me I was not good enough or pretty enough.
77% of Nigerians are currently lightening their skin, 59% of the Togolese, 35% of South Africans, 27% of Senegalese and 25% of Malians. No country is exempt. This has become a Panafrican pandemic!
Less than 10% of users are aware of the side effects which go beyond skin diseases, skin aging and skin cancer to encompass liver and kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity and there are others. In some cultures, it is taboo to even talk about it. The people who lighten their skin may be admired but they are invariably shamed for it when the side effects set in. Society has always been fickle.
Many of these people resorted to bleaching in a quest for peace because the lack of acceptance by their own people caused them inner conflict and a rising inferiority complex. Colorism has robbed so many of a peaceful existence.
Men are not spared, neither are children or even unborn babies as pregnant women have begun to take pills to lighten their fetus and birth a more attractive, lighter skinned child. Self- acceptance knows no gender, education, socioeconomic status or tribe.
“Our mind must make peace with our heart before we can make peace with the world” ~ Roxana Jones
Embracing peace means not discriminating against your African brother or sister with darker skin tones.
Embracing peace means deliberately choosing darker skinned models and actresses in the media.
Embracing peace means letting our children see heroes and TV personalities that they can identify with on African TV #wakandaforever
Embracing peace means full disclosure of the ingredients and side effects of skin lightening agents on every bottle.
Embracing peace means lighter is not better but every shade of black skin is equally beautiful.
The path to inner peace is through self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is most often based on the community’s viewpoints about our values. Mandela fought to end apartheid but isn’t colorism an apartheid of sorts and mustn’t we fight it as hard as he did?
“Until the minds of men become united, no important matter can be accomplished. At present, universal peace is a matter of great importance but unity of conscience is essential so that the foundation of this matter may become secure, its establishment firm and its edifice strong” ~ Abdu’l- Baha
Embracing peace as an African means embracing melanin and breaking the shackles of mental slavery. You cannot change the practice until you change the perception!
Together we can end colorism in Africa and kick skin bleaching off the continent. If you are interested in joining the movement send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandela said “it always seems impossible until it’s done!”
Have you ever sensed that a person may not be all they seem to be? That behind the smile lies a lurking darkness that you can’t quite figure out?
Have you ever felt your instincts kick you in the guts every time a certain person assures you of their loyalty or friendship but you try hard to ignore the ill-feeling?
Have you ever felt like someone you trusted could stick a knife in your back if given the opportunity or would bring you down in a heartbeat if they had the chance?
Have you ever felt a persistent unease around a certain person, the kind of unease that only grows the moment you start divulging classified info or things too personal to share with someone who truly doesn’t have your back?
Don’t suppress the flight or fight emotion, the outcome could be deadly!
At one of my old workplaces there was a woman who was always hanging around me and her words and body language showed she was interested in a more meaningful friendship but I couldn’t shake off the niggling doubts I had deep down. We became acquaintances and as time went by I learned to block out the unease. One day she comes to report a close colleague to me and said a lot of horrible things about the person trying to get a response out of me. As I opened my mouth to speak I saw her hand working very deftly on her phone and my instincts start screaming ‘DANGER’. Of course, she wasn’t looking at me cos her eyes were fixated on whatever she was doing. I leaned over the table and saw her activating the voice recorder. She looked up suddenly and caught my eye and the guilt in her eyes finally cleared every doubt I had ever had. I asked her why on earth she would want to record one part of a private discussion without my consent especially about such a sensitive topic. I walked her out of my office and the charade ended that instant.
What if she had succeeded? She would have messed up my reputation and my friendship with the other colleague without roping she and her inciteful comments in. Sometimes we never actually realise the reason for the uneasiness with certain people. However, it’s safe to say that if your head keeps telling you to be careful and you don’t have a history of paranoia, you should take it seriously.
I call it the ‘Little Finger Phenomenon’. Little Finger in the Game of Thrones Series was my most hated villain because he seemed so helpful and charming and was able to gain the trust of unsuspecting people only to advance his selfish ambitions without caring who he hurt or who he ruined. He did get his comeuppance but at what cost?
Jealousy, ambition, competitiveness, hate, obsession and bitterness are some of the emotions that can trigger your instincts about another person. The negative energy is often hard to ignore by the subconscious mind. So people, today I am asking you to screw the dictates of polite society by not accommodating anyone who constantly makes you uneasy. Keep a more than respectful distance and let your words be few because ultimately you are better safe than sorry!
Have a good day Chutzpah fam,
Gossip is therapeutic. I am a grownass woman and I can attest to this fact!
Talking about your grievances against someone to a neutral sympathetic ear makes you feel instantly better.
We justify it by saying we are only confiding in a friend who understands; or airing our views to one who wouldn’t blow it out of proportion. We shy away from the word back-biting seeing it as an unkind synonym.
‘I am not a confrontational person’, we say.
‘I am passive aggressive’, we seek to justify.
‘He/She would never accept the fault was theirs’, we argue.
‘It may lead to a big fight and an end to a friendship you still need’, we silently agitate.
So we say nothing. We talk about our grievances to all and sundry except the aggressor; not realizing that we are creating a monster. A person who feels they do no wrong and goes through life unchecked.
We unknowingly groom a self-righteous fiend and then one day it goes too far and you blow the lid off your pent up emotions and say more than you should about every damn issue that has ever bothered you and the other person is taken aback believing his small misdemeanor led to a torrential outpouring of negative emotion. We overreact like a pressure cooker in its prime. Many friendships do not survive that, even well-meaning ones.
So is gossip really therapeutic? Maybe in the short run but facing your issues with the one you call friend is an investment in your future.
You know you deserve better so if there’s someone out there who you call a friend, who has done things to you that make you choke up with unspoken emotion every time you think of them, man up and tell that person exactly how you feel. Cut out the insults and assumptions and say it as you see and feel it. It won’t be pretty but your friendship will come out stronger and if you have to kiss the friendship goodbye then consider it self-preservation. Nobody is indispensable!
Rise above gossip. Don’t say it to them till you have said it to him/her. #hardbutworthatry
Matthew 18:15 KJV;
‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.’
I wish for you friends that stick closer than brothers…
Have a great day Chutzpah fam,
One day when I was tired of being down trodden and tossed about by the ill winds of life, I gazed upon my reflection and finally saw myself for who I really was…
Queens do not hustle.
They do not worry.
They cannot beg.
Queens never doubt their identity.
They do not bend to the whims of others.
They are strong even in adversity.
Queens are not helpless.
They have no fear of tomorrow.
Queens know their worth.
They expect the best every time.
They never fail.
They never fall.
Queens sleep easy.
They are beautiful within and without.
They do not seek validation.
They are not afraid to stand alone.
Queens are set apart from the crowd.
They are relevant and significant.
They are favored and recognized.
Their very presence wields influence.
They are confident and self-assured.
They are queens regardless of location or circumstance.
It doesn’t matter if your present reality speaks another story for David was anointed King long before he ascended the throne!
A daughter of a King becomes a Queen.
You are the daughter of the King of Kings.
Step into your destiny and forget about the logistics. You are a force to be reckoned with but until you step into the shoes that are rightfully yours, the odds will remain against you.
You are a Queen. Believe and Become!
Everyone has someone or something they are waiting for;
…A meaningful relationship
…A financial breakthrough
…A business opportunity
…Or just some good news
The list is endless…
We all have that one thing we are waiting for and waiting is not the most pleasant experience. Sometimes it can seem endless and in a few cases we lose patience and shelve our need in the box labelled unattainable and makedo with a more realistic albeit less satisfactory alternative.
So how do we make waiting count? (Since the wait is almost inevitable.)
1. Focus on what you already have.
There is so much negativity in the world that if you only stopped for a second to appreciate what you already have, you would be filled with such gratitude.
2. Don’t miss the lesson to be learned
Waiting teaches us valuable lessons. Write a list of things you have learned about yourself and others since you started the wait. Waiting may have revealed toxic relationships in your life or strengths you didn’t know you had or just shown you how resilient or ingenious you can be. Don’t look down on these life lessons.
3. Waiting gives us a unique story that can encourage someone else.
You can’t give good advice unless you have walked in that person’s shoes. So what better way to make waiting count than to encourage someone else who is waiting for the same reason, to keep going. A lot of people are not as strong as you are and encouraging someone else will give you an extra boost of positive energy.
4. Work on yourself while you wait.
Are you waiting for a husband? Work on the rough edges, your perceived weaknesses and eliminating your emotional baggage so that when he does come around he meets you whole. Are you waiting for something else, read about qualities, attributes, qualifications and mindsets needed to accomodate the thing or person you are waiting for. Success is when opportunity (what you are waiting for) meets preparation (what you need to be doing while waiting).
5. Use the waiting time to strike off all the other things on your to-do list.
Sometimes the things we are waiting so earnestly for could change our lives irreversibly for the better and maybe for the worse. A new baby may make getting that postgraduate degree more complicated so why don’t you get it now. A husband may put a dampener on your dreams to travel the world so why don’t you do that now instead of wallowing?
Waiting makes the want or need more memorable and appreciated when it is finally in our grasp. It’s so easy to take for granted the things we didn’t wait or labour for. Don’t waste your waiting time, it’s the right time to do a lot of things. Life is a continuum, there are no pauses or vacuums. Make each day count so that when your expectations become a reality they won’t be brought into an otherwise futile existence.
Have a great day Chutzpah fam,
When Bishop David Oyedepo said these words during Shiloh 2017, a lightbulb went off in my head. Truer words had never been said.
Time heals lots of things…a broken heart, an injured knee, the hurt from your past but as awesome as time is, it doesn’t heal wrong. Love may cover wrong but only RIGHT heals wrong!
Are you currently working a job you have no business doing simply because you want to make ends meet? No matter how long a writer paints, unless he has a gift for both expressions of art, his destiny would remain untapped and unfulfilled till he retraces his steps. Yes I do believe in destiny.
A man who kills another man doesn’t become less guilty because twenty years have passed and his crime is still undetected nor a side chick who pushed another woman out of her home.
As long as we walk the wrong path, our comeuppance awaits us regardless of how slowly the clock is ticking. Many people have been sidelined because they went off track and felt too much time had passed and a whole lot of water under the bridge and it was just too late to get back on track.
This principle applies to all aspects of life- your career, your relationship, your marriage, your life decisions etc. It’s never too late to steer yourself back to the right path. It’s the only path to fulfilment but it takes courage to admit that you are on the wrong path and more courage to take a step in the right direction. Only the right direction leads to the path of greatness and self-fulfilment so get going now, even if you are already old and grey.
Have a great Sunday Chutzpah fam,