Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The African Women Like...


Nnenna Okore ( an artist living and working in Nigeria) will be having an exhibition in Lagos, Please find time to go and support the arts in Nigeria if you can this summer!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beauriful, I just want u to know....

that u are my favorite girl....

I have been wearing my hair natural for the past One month. As in nothing attached to it, just me, my hair and rollers for the first time in my adult life. I must say I look lovely. But the thing is I don’t think I look any lovelier than I looked before when my hair looked like Beyonce’s. No matter how I wear my hair, I believe I am the FINEST chick in the room. My friends call me DA diva and some of my thin classically pretty friends always wonder how come I am so confident. I just tell them that no matter what, I will always think I am DA shit. Lol. Anyways the point of my post is to tell ALL of you that you are truly beautiful. Whether you are a India Arie look alike or Beyonce look alike….that you are beautiful just as you are; And that Men and other Women would believe you if you act accordingly.


Blogville is so incredibly depressing nowadays. Every blog I open is just disappointing. Is either someone is screaming weave is the beautiful thing to do and yellow skinned women are DA shit. Or another one is yelling anyone who doesn’t think Dark skin women are more beautiful hates being black. Or that not wearing your hair naturally is internalized racism.


And while it’s important to have a place to rant and rave about whatever catches your fancy. It’s also important to know that you, each and every one of you, is a role model and that we should exhibit behavior that will not make us seem ignorant.

The fact that I am gorgeous or that I think I am gorgeous does not take from Oluchi’s gorgeousness either.

Maturity and true humanity is seeing that all of us, the incredible diversity in being black, is what makes us special. Beauty is beauty. I think it’s important to be respectful of each other and to see beauty in everyone. And if we keep this up, I may have to run away from here and that would be devastating because I LOVE BLOGVILLE.

As usual
XOXO
Temite....

Friday, May 29, 2009

This Week the African women or just the Wordsmith LOVE:




This book takes Terry Pratchett's talent for satire to a whole new level, re-examining the relationship between the West and developing countries by giving a fresh and slightly humorous take to the well-known story format of the marooned white person on a 'savage' island. This time, however, the island is inhabited by a rag-tag collection of survivors with different stories to tell. Written with a real understanding from the true nature and range of human experiencse, Mr. Pratchett diverges from his usual fantasy fiction in this excellent and of course, well written piece of fiction. The book is made even more fabulous with the information that the author is battling the early stages of Alzheimer's. Although this book is supposedly intended for 'young adults', like many of Terry Pratchett's books it has very many elements that make it suitable for members of all age groups.


I LOVE this book and if you have time this summer, please read it!

x


Review written by WordSmith

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear African Women: Marriage Issues

We got a question and we three (GNG, Vera and I) decided to make audio posts with our opinions, 

Could you help me ask if a woman would be opposed to marrying her dead husband's younger brother? There's no tradition involved and no one's forcing her to. It's simple. Her husband's dead, she has kids for him, and she's young enough to remarry. Instead of going outside she decides to marry her husband's single younger brother. It's kinda safe for her and she doesn't have to change her last name........again. No tradition involved and she not being forced to.
Pls let me know the overall opinion. Thanks :)




Please Listen when you have time and/ or leave an opinion or comment!
Thanks...



Sunday, May 10, 2009

The African Women Like...

So we thought we would have a new segment called "the African women like" regularly on anything Music, Art, literature (any cultural aspect) that we like and want to share, after all we do have hobbies and down time when we do other things apart from saving the world from ignorance LOL. 
If you love something and want to share or see it on here ..email us as always on theafricanwomen@gmail.com.

This week, I love FreshlyGround, a South African band, because their music is such perfect afro-fusion, and because they just make me smile, and their videos are always creative

FreshlyGround : Pot belly : On the topic of love in diversity 


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bills Bills Bills 2

Good Naija Girl did such a good job in the part one that I know I don’t have much to add to it. We all agree that the man should bear the brunt of the bills right or is anybody in disagreement? But I think if we are leaving them with the brunt of the bills then we need to do something in turn….Get your mind out of the gutter people. Give him a clean happy home, a home that rings with laughter and happiness, drop your office worries in the office, give him unnecessary hugs and kisses but don’t let him turn you into a floor mat oh! And yes, do that other gutter minded thing as well.

I was going to do my first ever audio post but almost swallowed my tongue trying to speak. I had always assumed that if all else fails career wise I would be a radio presenter but I think I need a rethink! So what should be my other career plan apart from pole dancing??

Ok, the topic…bills,bills,bills…the question is…Who really should foot what bills in the home husband/wife….taking into consideration that both parties have good jobs.
Even though the question was sent by someone in Nigeria, I will focus on a UK based story...I have a close friend who has lived here most of her life. She is in that place we all want to be financially, top management with the firm she works at, owns her own 3 bedroom house and posh car, and I don’t mean a house and car bought on mortgage, I mean paid upfront.

She met a guy who resided in naija and they decided to get married, thing is she had always felt she was too strong for any man to handle so decided to live down her accomplishments by telling her fiancĂ© at the time that the house is rented and he needs to help her with the rent...As we speak they are happily married and the guy pays the full house rent while saving money to buy them “their own property”. Now in that situation, you tell me, is she justified in feeling that way, how about morally, is there any portion in the holy books that say “thou shall not lie to your partner”?


What is the next step, confession or sell the house and act like it never happened??

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bills, bills, bills - Who should pay which bills in a husband/wife scenario?

Hello everyone! Afrobabe received the following question, and the African Women and you, our dear readers, are here to help.
Who really should foot what bills in the home: husband/wife etc?
The question was asked generally, so I decided to focus on the scenario where both people in the couple work full time and earn a salary (not necessarily equal to each other). I thought a fun way to tackle this question would be to ask some of the African Women who they think should pay which bill, and why (if they feel like going into detail). Here are their responses:
►Mortgage/rent/payment for raw materials/labour to build the house
9ja Wordsmith: The man , because we all know who is going to end up devoting her energy making the house look lovely...

Temite: Husband

Tigeress: Husband

Buttercup: Husband


Heating/air conditioning/water/electricity (also known as utilities)
9ja Wordsmith: Doesn't matter - I would say the man but it depends on who can get to it first. Maybe out of the 'soup money'?

Temite: Husband

Tigeress: Either

Buttercup: Husband


Food/groceries
9ja Wordsmith: Man. I'm assuming the woman is going to labour over the preparation so its only fair he makes some sort of contribution.

Temite: Wife

Tigeress: Either

Buttercup: Wife


Mobile or cellular/landline phone(s) and things like cable tv and internet
9ja Wordsmith: It depends on the earning power. But generally for cell phones, jek'onikaluku yanju ti ara won: let erryone look their own side. Cable and internet depends: In my house my mom pays for cable because my dad does not watch tv at all so he doesnt know when the money has run out lol. But i would say the man because its under utilites too and he is the head. But I wouldn't mind paying.

Temite: Husband

Tigeress: Both - should pay their own bill.

Buttercup: Wife


Clothing - his, her, the child(ren)'s (if applicable)
9ja Wordsmith: Hmm What usually happens is that the wife pays for this because she notices such things. Perhaps it can partially come out of soup money, but I know that it is Yoruba culture for the wife to take care of her clothing and her children's. This is why you rarely hear one of us say "when my husband bought my gold".

Temite: Wife/Husband

Tigeress: Either/ both

Buttercup: Either

Some years ago, I had a flash of "insight", no doubt a combination of what I had read somewhere and what sounded "fair" to me at the time. I had devised a way for couples to share the bills "equally". First, the man and woman should contribute equal percentages rather than amounts to the bills. If the woman is earning $100,000 per year to her husband's $75,000, it didn't seem fair to ask both to contribute $50,000 (for example) to bills, as that would be half of the wife's salary, yet two thirds of the husband's salary.
I thought it was important for both the husband and wife to have a joint bank account where whatever percentage of their salary they decide on goes to pay the "main bills" from. By this token, both the husband and wife would be responsible for those "main bills": the mortgage, utilities, and food. For the other things (mobile phones, cable, internet, clothing, etc), I thought the couple could decide how to divide up the bills (or whether to pay them from the same joint account).

In addition to the joint account for bills, a joint savings account (with the same percentages idea) would be wise and each couple should also have their own personal bank account that they can spend money from as they see fit.

I thought having a system like this would minimize money-related hassles between the couple, and give both parties freedom, while also allowing both to feel like they are making a tangible contribution to their livelihood. However, this formula doesn't take into consideration the often unequal distribution of housework in the home: the women generally do the majority of the cooking, shopping for food and clothing for the children, and cleaning, often in addition to working full time. Is it really fair, given that, to expect her to also pay half of each and every bill? I don't think so! If the system I described does appeal to a couple, I think they would need to look carefully at the divide of labour and work on equalizing that too.

What I learned from the questionnaire that I sent to the African Women is that we have a definite idea of who in the relationship should pay which bills, and in the end, it will likely come down to a discussion with your significant other about what makes sense to you as a couple. Also, it made me question whether my "no hassle" plan would actually work that way in practice, or if it would fall apart if implemented as described.

Here are some parting comments from some of the African Women:

Temite's comment: I just think if I am going to be "submitting" I will need him to pay the majority of stuff. Nothing is free jooo.

Tigeress's comment: Over all I feel the husband should be responsible for majority of the expenses. At least the mortgage and basic utilities. Expenses incurred by individuals should paid by that person. e.g. if I run up my mobile- it should be my responsibility to pay. But if husband wants to pay- no problem. Answers to these questions also depend on what each person is earning.

Buttercup: I personally feel that they can both pay any of the bills they feel they can afford, it really shouldn't matter who pays what.


And that is what we have to say on the matter...what do you think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She didn't see this coming....


I have this friend who happens to be my closest girlfriend. Let's call her Busi. Busi is one of those girls I wished I could be like sometimes. Outspoken, confident, loves life and lives it to the fullest, crazy, spontaneous..I think you get the picture. I'm pretty much the opposite(not that I'm not confident o..lol), introverted, calculating, practical, blah blah blah. We usually joke about her being the 'fun' and me being the 'sense'. So you can imagine my surprise when we became friends. Well, I usually draw people totally unlike me, so I shouldn't have been surprised. Anyhoos..

Busi lost her dad when she was 7. So it was her mum who single-handedly raised her and her younger sister. Sickness(the exact type unknown to me) unfortunately and suddenly took her mother's life about 3 years ago. So Busi had to suddenly become a woman; a mother to her younger sister. They were staying with some family members here while the mother was back home; that didn't change after her death..immediately. Busi started seeing this guy a few months after. He was quite (seemingly) the perfect guy - smart, funny, sweet and all that good stuff. She and her sister moved in with him after a while. Her family wasn't particularly supportive anyway, so moving in with him seemed like the best thing to her. I didn't like the idea but her mind was made up. To cut the story short, his true colours came out. He had violent tendencies; hit her a few times, she found out he wasn't exactly faithful and he picked up fights over nothing. Her sister even had to go back to stay with their family because she and the boyfriend didn't get along. I advised her to leave and go back to her family. She said going back to them wasn't an option. She left eventually and stayed with a friend. You can imagine my joy and relief. Unfortunately, she and the boyfriend got back together. She assured me that he had changed and all that. Who was I to stop her? I could actually notice the change..only for a while. She started complaining again. I told her that she knew what she had to do. She reiterated that going to the family wasn't an option so sticking it out till she could find a solution was the only thing she could do. The Busi I knew and loved has totally changed. She's not so passionate about life anymore, bordering on being cynical, she has toughened up quite a lot. I can't blame her though, life has dealt her a seriously strong blow.

Now, her sister has been kicked out by the family(she's staying with a friend), they both can't afford to continue with their education, she's stuck in a relationship that's OK today and terrible the next day because the guy foots her bills and she has tried looking for a job to no avail. I'm a lowly student, there's only so much I can do. I'm sure Busi isn't the only African woman out there going through such. I feel so silly when I say I have problems..what a laugh!



Temite says:

I don’t really know what to say to this

On one hand this is why there is a HUGE need for shelters and places where women, both old and young can come and be safe. And before I get on my crusading high horse, back to Busi.

Busi darling, HUGE HUG first….

And I only wish you the best and I just know that you will get through this….

Boyfriend

He is obviously an idiot, probably going through his own shit and probably wants to do better. So anytime that Idiot tries to hit you, SLAP him back. If he punches, get a knife or a huge stick. Don’t, NEVER let him think that he can get away with it. Until you can leave him FIGHT him like crazy. It will toughen u up further and make you trust urself.

Get tested and NEVER sleep with him without a condom. NEVER. Do u hear me? GOOD.

Make an EXIT plan. This is important. Whether or not you guys stay together….Make an EXIT plan…..

I am sure there are many NGOS around that will be willing to help. Walk into their doors and tell them your story, tell them you are willing to work for shelter or school fees. And LOVE your sister. I wish I am able to help more but I am also a student and Broke as hell….So that is all I can say.

GOOD LUCK and ALL THE BEST!



P.S. Y'all are free to give your takes.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Updated with audio post - More on interracial dating

Interracial dating is a topic I can relate to because I was born in the USA and raised in Canada, and both countries have people of many nationalities residing in them. There was a time where Canada had its arms opened very widely to immigrants. If there was ever an environment where interracial dating would be facilitated, it would be in Canada.

Less than two years ago, my (Caucasian) friends staged a mini intervention for me. They wanted to know why, despite the fact that I was born and raised in North America, I wanted to marry a Nigerian. They have nothing against Nigerians, mind you, they were just wondering about the logistics of it all: we don't live in a place that is teeming with eligible Nigerian bachelors, I have only recently made friends with other Nigerians and I just don't come in contact with many Nigerians on a regular basis.
For example, my highschool graduating class (approximately 250 students) had one African (me), one Jamaican and one Haitian, and that was it for Black students. Because of this, it made no sense to them that I had narrowed my field of eligible men so much. I'm not just holding out for a Black guy, or an African guy, I'm wanting to date and marry a Nigerian man.

My main reason for wanting to date and marry a fellow Nigerian is all about wanting that shared culture and experience.
I like the idea of not having to explain certain things to a guy because he would just "get it". For the rest of this post (which I will share in audio format), I'll explain why marrying a Nigerian to preserve or share my culture might be a bit misguided, and I'll also share what I think are true challenges faced by people entering interracial relationships.

Updated to add: I've been having trouble adding the audio component so I'll try later when I get home from work!



Update #2: Ok, I think I've done it. Pardon all my ums, the pauses, the length, and my apparent loss of train of thought at times! video

Update #3: Vera found the link I was referring to in the audio post: check it out and tell me if this guy's pidgin isn't pretty impressive!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dear African Women: Interracial Dating

video

:) Pardon the pauses!

Wordsmith
Email theafricanwomen@gmail.com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Audio Post: True Friends

video

I realize the video says it's April 18th (even though it's already April 19th), but that's because it took this thing over 30 minutes to upload a flippin video!  Well, enjoy, please.  And uhm... be nice in your comments.  See you next time.  *wink, wink*

Email: theafricanwomen@gmail.com

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Friends...the sunshine of life!!




Today we discuss friendships! What are we without our friends? So many have asked which friendships are better, female to female friendships or female-male friendships! Hear Tigeress’ and I take on the friendship tip.


Shona says:
Girlfriends, Soul Food, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale, Two Can Play That Game, Reloaded, Letters to A Stranger different silverscreen or bigscreen products which however one thing in common – Female Friendships! Whilst watching some we have seen ourselves or some of our friends in the characters. How many times have you heard that African women gossip too much, how there are some friends that are calculating evil on their fellow ‘friends’, competing with each other, man-snatching, ever heard some say ‘Wena, that dress would have looked better on me?’….when I hear women who say this about their friends I always think that they’re truly not friends! Some women are together just for the ‘status’ some have , some hold on to their ‘friends’ because they get presents and nice things, they know handsome men, I could go on and on these aren’t friendships, its all fake and therefore that’s why there’s plenty of room for betrayal, gossiping, mere bad-mind because the foundation of friendship isn’t a firm one to start with!
On the other hand, there are great friendships, where we relate as African women, we learn from each other, we gist, laugh, advice each other, pray together, and are just the friend we need to be! As African women we face many challenges in life, be it in love, work, family and our friends are our rocks, our book-ends, our confidants. We don’t always agree but respecting our friendships and differences is what make our bonds sronger!



Tigeress’ Take:

What a female friend should be. A sister. A female friend should be like a sister who eventually becomes a part of you- more like family. Someone you can tell almost anything and would not judge you, back-bite you or be jealous of you, but someone who sets you in the right direction; is always motivating, and encouraging. Someone I can pick up the phone and say just about anything to and not feel stupid or silly. One who despite of age, profession, race, income, and position, you can always feel comfortable with. No intimidation.A female friend should be ready to defend you no matter what. Trust and predict! Even though this might sound far fetched, but it's true. There are few women who posses this because women tend to be emotional about everything. When one has to be careful and review the things said to a female friend, then she is just a friend and not a sister! Female friends are wonderful. When there is no competition and backstabbing, it is a wonderful thing to have. Women understand each other and since we are emotional beings we need like minds to get us through our struggles


Shona asks 'Can Man & Women be Friends?'


If a guy is friends with a girl, it doesn't mean the following has to be true, but the probability of one of the following is high:


(1) the dude is gay,


(2) she is hot and he wants to bang her,


(3) she is not hot but he still wants to bang her,


(4) she has cute friends."


Yes of course we can!!I have male friends whom I have no iota of lusting feeling for, I don’t ever want to romp the sack or see them naked and I have made it clear to them either in jest or straight up to the point! So once sexual tension has been cleared in comes a connection devoid of lust and platonic friendship is born!


Tigeress says
Women would like to say a female friendship is better than a male friendship, but when they reflect on their long term friendships many will admit that the longest and in-fact the best friendships they’ve had would be with their male friends. Male friends that have no relationship interest in a female friend and vise versa have known to be the best friendships to have. Male friends tend to be more forgiving than most females. When it comes to relationship advice, men are in most cases in a position to give a better and more truthful opinion.


In conclusion we say:
Unlike our family, we actually choose our friends. I never use the term ‘friend’ lightly, I trust my friends, I hear what they’ve got to say BUT do I always listen…uh hell naw! I also guard my friendships closely, I also work on the thought that I don’t have to friends with my friends’ friends, my colleagues aren’t my friends..and if any-one is about to talk about their other ‘friend’ and go on and on, I literally switch off from that conversation…and if I have any secrets I keep them to myself!! If you are unhappy with your friendships, like any relationship talk it through, if talking doesn’t change anything then moving on from such cancerous relationships is the solution. So no matter the sex of your friends, love them tender!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Welcome...

Hello to all!

Thanks for waiting patiently. This post is kind of like a pre-game to the excitement coming tomorrow ( i hope!)

This blog was conceived to answer to the various ideas that people (including our much-loved male counterparts) have about us as African women. We hope with this insight into the way our minds work it can be less of a battle between the sexes---
Originally I was going to rant about my issues about notions of Nigerian women - but then I thought these issues affect us all and can be fun if we all discussed general issues and had a space to do so - and so The African Women collective was born! (said to the tune of powerpuff girls)

the African women are a group of citizens concerned about notions of African feminity who hope that their insight will help clear the air - see the sidebar to learn about the very segzy members(lol)- about various serious and not so serious issues.
I don't want this to be like a women's studies paper soo there will be Pictures (giggle) (remember when we wouldn't read a book if it had no pictures??)

SO
what are the different types of 'typical' African women?

1. Woman doing some sort of hard labour

I swear I found this under 'typical african woman'. Now while hard work is part of the life of any african woman with a family, it is hardly our typical look. I mean i doubt this woman goes out for regular business looking like this... it is not a typical look! I wonder how the world would be if this was the image of a typical western woman...


2. Naked Lady.
I'm not saying it's not / was not our culture at some point for young girls to walk around naked. Sugabelly would have my head. But some people are obsessed with this notion and think or hope we still wander around naked. Countless of times have I seen a visiting white freshman's eyes glaze over in expectation while watching National Geographic and I happen to walk by. hmpf the less said about this the better. It's kuku too cold to try it here.

Question to visitors: are there any ideas or stereotypes that annoy you or make you laugh- or that you agree with... all comments welcome. If it's truly insulting it will have to go, of course, and you will have to KNEEL DOWN THERE and RAISE UP YOUR HANDS. Our cultures include respect.