I’m Alive Today; Yay!

The other day during my bath, I felt a pain below my knee and noticed about four depressions there. I thought and thought about how and where I got hurt but I could not think of any place or reason. Finally, I somehow concluded that the marks were snake bites judging by how they had been arranged. This is how it played out in my mind:I was walking in a dark place and did not see a snake but I must have alarmed it causing it to bite me.
The idea was ludicrous to me even but it was the only thing that put me at ease or so. The depressions felt extraordinarily painful at the time and left me worried thinking about all the possibilities. Could it be a harmless snake bite? Was it a poisonous snake bite that was going to work its way slowly through my body until it reached my heart and stopped it? Was I going to experience one of those unexplained causes of death? I was scared for such a time but apparently not so scared because I don’t recall thinking of the “snake bite” when I was going to bed and many days after.
I just recalled this incident and realized whatever I thought the worst was going to be, I have survived it and I am happy to be alive. Hip Hip Hurrah!

…and the button popped

Today as I was hurriedly exiting the house for work, I heard a pop sound and saw a button from my trouser outfit rolling on the floor.It was the only one button above the fly.

My God! What do I do now when I’m almost late for work? That was my immediate thought. I frantically sought a thread and needle to sew the button but was not successful.

Finally, I gave up and zipped up my fly. I brought the waist belt together and realized that the trouser even felt more comfortable and that my fear that the trouser would fall was needless. I wore the trouser like that to work and never once felt it would betray me.Now the question that is bugging me is if I really want to sew the button back onto the trouser.

Lesson: Sometimes, things you feel in life are necessities are actually needless.

Dear Young Lady,

dear

Dear Young Lady,

My greatest shock probably in this life was discovering that the heart is not love-shaped as they make it seem everywhere . I remember that day the teacher told us in class and I wanted him to be wrong so badly but I looked around me and realized that it was really true. I don’t believe I have gotten over that shock till date. A couple of other revelations as I grew up showed me that things are not always the way they tell you they are. Did they tell you to be humble and forgiving always? Did they tell you that lazy people suffer in life? Did they tell you to keep your virginity until marriage? Did they tell you about karma? Were you told that following these and other formulae will guarantee you success? Well, like me you’ll come to realize that no one really has the right formula. Sorry!

That thing about being humble always and keeping your anger in check, please, do not follow it literally. You’ll be surprised by how far rage will take you in life. You’ll need rage to keep the government on its toes, to tell your group members to stop playing around and participate equally in your projects; you’ll need it to show at work so people take you seriously. Rage is not always about shouting but fire in your eyes so people know you mean business and are not taking matters lightly. You should be humble and learn from other people; it’s not just respecting your elders and looking the other way when superiors are wrong. You’ll have to be bold and confident in life. In Ghanaian settings, it will most likely be considered as arrogance but it will take you really far. Trust me, not being bold and confident cost me a lot in life.

You’ll be surprised that so-called lazy people are the ones getting on fast in life because they’re always up thinking about how to do things easier and are therefore always more creative.  You have to work smart in life because forward-thinking people and people who are executors are always hot-cake. Prepare yourself to be heart-broken if you think staying up late, starting early and putting all your energy into work is enough to take you to all the places you want to be.  It will only lead you faster into your grave. In this fast-paced world, creativity really  is key. Always do well to take a break and spend time on yourself and family or friends to reflect and release stress.

You’ll discover that finding a partner  or friends who know and accept you for what you are is one of the greatest fulfilments that you’ll ever have in life. You may think Amina is promiscuous but you’ll see her with a man and you’ll be amazed at how brightly their love shines because love does not care. How refreshing is it to know you have people you’re so comfortable with because you do not have to pretend to be someone else!  Please , do not go around shaming people because you think they’re having premarital sex or whatever. No one cares the older you grow, trust me. Please appreciate people who always have your back, are not afraid to tell when you’re wrong and you’re not afraid to face them when you are at your lowest points.

Don’t be surprised to see people getting passed over by karma. You have control over your life so don’t stress over people not getting what they deserve but about you and making the most of life. One thing you’ll learn is that you may be the good guy in your story but in another’s, you are the villain. No one is The Almighty, so please allow Allah  to handle rewards and punishment. Yes, that player settled down with a nice spouse and that lazy person got promoted so quickly. Please, do not worry about those things and have constant heart-aches, you have control over your life so focus on it and let Allah do his work.

Essentially, like me, you’ll have to break down some of the misconceptions you had while growing up. Things are not always the way you’re socialized to believe. All I know and cannot say enough is that there is nothing better than being yourself. Do not be afraid to do you because nobody can play your role better than you. The only constant thing and sure thing in this life is change and whether you like it or not, you’ll have to embrace it.

 

Yours truly,

Niena

ADIOS, SOAP OPERAS!

I can’t stand television soap operas!

Correction – I can’t stand soap operas anymore.

SOAP OPERA

There was a time when I used to anticipate watching these television shows. I watched all of them as long as they were showing and I had the time; Mexican, Filipino, Venezuelan, Brazilian or Korean. I always had the patience for them. Now, I am unable to watch them. The plots have become too familiar and too boring.

This is the most common female protagonist profile; Poor sweet religious woman who is so quick to forgive and so innocent . She is so humble and even at times when she really needs it the most, she will refuse money when she can really swallow her pride and have events turn out for the better. Really? Who turns away from money when it can really solve your problems?

These shows like  fairy tales fill the heads of viewers with illusions when reality can be so different. I have reached a point in my life where I am prepared to pay in order to not watch ads. Wow! Where is the old me who used to live for freebies? Essentially, I feel like I have so little time so every time I spend on something should be making me a better person; I should be unlearning and learning new things. I don’t want to be stuck in a world full of misogyny , emotional blackmail, legal incorrectness, medical inconsistencies and more.

Many times, after a rough day, all I want  to do is relax . I do not deserve to be tortured by these shows again .I am tired! If time is money and money is time, then Soap Operas, you will no longer take my time and therefore my money, I’m gonna use that money to buy me some ice cream.

I Am A Citizen And Not A Spectator

This blog post takes reference from my previous blog post where I lamented my situation of never partaking in major social events-always feeling more like a spectator.

I am happy to say that I have taken one step in the right direction by attending Chale Wote Street Art Festival 2019.

I am finally a citizen. Hurrah! Hurrah!! Hurrah!!!

To Be A Citizen And Not A Spectator

collage.JPG

Three years ago, Nana Akuffo Addo, the president of Ghana received a lot of backlash for plagiarizing the speeches of Clinton and Bush, both past presidents of America. Essentially he was asking Ghanaians to be citizens, not spectators or subjects but responsible citizens helping to build our communities and the nation. Plagiarized or not, the message was clear- citizens should participate in the nation-building process.

Over the past year, the speech has been running through my mind a great many times, not necessarily about nation-building but entertainment and other social events. Accra is such a small city and every time, I watch all these entertainment shows that highlight all these happenings in it and think to myself,” That looks like fun.”

When I was younger, I was always too underage for these programmes or too broke to attend them. Now, I see some social media posts my friends share at these events and they don’t seem so unattainable anymore. So these people who go to these programmes, how many heads do they have? Is it not the same one head that I also carry on my shoulders? Why do I feel like I am a spectator and not someone meant to be part of the main show?

A look at some of the events I missed in 2018

Chale-Wote festival came in August – I did not go, then there were many other events in that month.

December, the month of many shows- there seemed to be a widely publicized social event everyday but somehow I missed them all. The ones I remember;

Promiseland was happening in East Legon, twenty minutes from my house; didn’t attend.

Girl Talk by Efya happened; I admired the posters and dodged it.

Manifest had a show with Simi (two of my favourite artists) which I thought about greatly; missed it.

Afrochella- swerved it!

December 2 Remember- I forgot to remember that I could equally attend it.

The list could be longer but the message is clear; I missed all these programmes for what; spectator syndrome or whatever this sickness or antisocialism is called? Well, the good news is I feel that I am overcoming it. 2019 is going to end differently. I may not go for all the events but I intend to break the cycle and be present at one event at least. Me too I am a person no bi.

INSTAGRAM TROTRO

The other day after work, I was going through my instagram posts in a trotro while seated a row in front of a man with a very loud radio. All of us passengers had no choice in the bus but to listen to the preaching coming from the radio which this man had against his ear. So, I was scrolling scrolling down my feeds when I felt a tap. It was Radio Passenger. He told me, “Sister, please can you scroll back up?” He was interested in a fashion ad that had popped up on my screen. I granted him his favour.

#LessonOfLife – There’s no such thing as privacy on public transport.

Is It A Crime To Be Born A Woman?

interracial-group-women-pattern_23-2147982753

Photo Credit: freepic

A couple of months ago, I had fears that my brother was going to give me trouble about this marriage issue that other family members are constantly asking since I finished school and started working. My brother can have quite modern views but he made a comment sometime about a woman living single without a man that sank my heart. I could feel that pain Julius Caesar felt that he had to exclaim, “Et tu, Brute!” So, I had psyched myself for tough days ahead from external family and especially this younger close relative until the other day when an observation he made convinced me that he was a feminist after all.

We were sitting in the hall; I was watching a movie and my brother was discussing some future scenarios with our mother. Well, it got to a point and my mother made a comment about me never moving out unless I am getting married. I said nothing and only sighed inwardly. The room was quiet and then my brother remarked that the world could be so unfair to women. Why was it that at every point in her life, the woman was owned by one person or the other, her father or husband? Why could she not be free to do as she wanted without one person or the other feeling so responsible for her? I still did not say anything but I had a very big smile on my face. So, all hope was not lost with my brother.

The situation gets scarier when I think about what some married women go through; they will never be accepted back into their parents’ homes after the wedding day. For better or for worse, they have to make their marriages work. It is crazy, chale! I am just glad that recent times are seeing more and more economic empowerment of women. This means that we women can now have better control of the future and making the most of the one life we each have. Chale, we cannot keep killing our dreams while men are living theirs. So, my dear women out there, I would like to ask a question. Is it our fault that we were born women?

Five Years and Counting

So, it’s been five years since  I started this blog. I know this sounds cliche but really, time flies. It feels like just yesterday when I was this scrawny student (Well, I’m still scrawny) hustling my way through school thinking big dreams in my head.

Have I achieved all those dreams? No. As the days go by , I understand more and more what people mean when they say it’s hard to change the tv channel when you’re married, not to talk of changing the world. I’m not even married but I cannot even blog frequently like I thought I would and juggling relationships and trying to get eight hours of sleep and getting to read all the books and  and and…There are just so many things to do and so little time.

These coming days, I hope that I will be able to keep up with writing. Writing always brought me calm but I realise it is becoming less and less so.I’ll try to finish all those unfinished poems and stories that have been waiting for me. I have quite a backlog to clear and I wonder the state of mind of mind I was in when I started these stories.

Well, while I am alive and full of hope, I’ll try to be a better writer. This will be an interesting challenge in the coming days. I am keeping my fingers crossed.