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.