Posted in African literature, book review, my library, race, reading

Americanah

If you’re white, you’re all right; if you’re brown, stick around; if you’re black, get back!

This is a book that dwells more into racism in America. After the Nigerian education system was cut short by ongoing strikes in the universities two lovebirds Ifem and Obinze together with their friends applied for scholarships to America and the struggles began.

Unlike her friends, this was Ifem’s first time in a foreign land, a land where she had to use fake passports to secure a job. It even got worse when she had to satisfy a man’s sexual pleasures and this led her cutting off communication with her boyfriend back in Nigeria. Then in the wake of all the racism that was going on she started a blog Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks by a Non-American Black. Here she communicated her mind out, got jilted and praised. Moreover because of it, she was given the opportunity to address students at conferences about race issues.

From one work to another, sleeping on the floor at her Aunty Uju’s small house who multi-tasked different jobs to support her son Dike, life just threw lemons to her face; because for survival one had to be an American, biracial, Hispanic, Asian but not African. In her blogpost American tribalism she narrates the four kinds; class, ideology, region and race as the common drivers of tribalism in America that are alive and well.

Downtown in Princeton, she met her Nigerian counterparts as hairdressers who would not fathom why she had not let go of her kinky hair. Afro hair, the kind that takes long for a comb to go through was unknown and even not narrating the benefits of natural hair helped. Been a black American neighborhood she could barely understand the slang and surprisingly she never ever dreamt of adopting the accents from America.

His knee is bad because he is knee grow!” This was the ill treatment Obinze got while at England where he also used fake IDs. He quickly made friends at work but as soon as they realized his fake documents he was deported back to Nigeria. It is at the airport where he met other Nigerians waiting to be deported and all they could say “ah this na my second time. The first time I come with different passport. Na for work wey they get me o. E get one guy wey they deport, him don come back get him paper. Na him wey go help me.” This were the lucky and this made Obinze jealous as he didn’t have their savior fair.

Her blog thrived well in the times of Barrack Obama as he vied for the presidential seat. She wrote about him, his wife and when he won she celebrated. To her this was a change, a change for America-to curb racism.

Ifem survived, shut down her race blog and decided to come back to Nigeria. Obinze on the other hand, made it big as he became one wealthy man, married Kosi not because he loved her but because she was there when he felt the urge to marry and together they had a daughter, Buchi.

Life back to Nigeria was different as everything had changed making her join a Nigerpolitan club where returnees from America would hook up and discuss of what they missed, got herself an apartment, got work as an editor for Zoe magazine where she quickly resigned even before she started. Her passion was more into writing and for this she had another blog this time round talking about her home country and called it “The Small Redemptions of Lagos.” Her love for Obinze saw them getting back in touch as coffee dates turned to lunch, dinner and more of love making; Obinze decided to give Kosi a divorce with the ultimatum of providing all their needs.

That is just a sneak peak of how tales unfold to and fro in Nigeria and America; requires a deep concentration as one might get lost from chapter to chapter. Metaphors in this book require some cracking mode to unleash the experiences unfolding. When I read this book, trust you me I got buried in Ifem’s loathe for America. Does this happen today? Her blog post depicted so much hate and allow me to share some insights…..

In America you don’t get to decide what race you are. It’s decided for you.”

In America, racism exists but racists are gone. Here’s the thing: the manifestation of racism has changed but the language has not….”

They tell us race is an invention, that there is no genetic variation between two black people than there is between a black person and a white person. Then they tell us black people have a worse kind of breast cancer and get more fibroids. And white folk get cystic fibrosis and osteoporosis. So what’s the deal, is race an invention or not?”

When you want to join a prestigious social club, do you wonder if your race will make it difficult to join? If you do well in a situation, do you expect to be called a credit to your race? Or to be described as different from the majority of your race? If you need legal or medical help, do you worry that your race might work against you? If you take a job with an affirmative action employer, do you worry that your co-workers will think that you are unqualified and were hired only because of your race? Do you worry that your children will not have books and school materials that are about people of their own race?……”

Sometimes they say culture when they mean race …diversity means different things to different folks….”

This is one kind of a book and it got me thinking if Ngozi got such a treatment in her life since writing comes from experiences. Does playing the race-card ever happen to you? Are you despised not because of color but other factors that make you think that is racism? Let’s get chatty.

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Posted in health, healthyliving, Lifestyle, personalgrowth

Weight Mystery

I got 99 problems but you aren’t one. My first of all that becomes the second all the way to the 99th is only one…weight issues. Some of you jog, go to the gym to loosen up a bit, get your sexy back and stay healthy but the opposite applies to me. I want to add up so bad. That has been my goal like forever but it is like other forces have decided that, that is a fantasy.

Well, I got the hips and a fine behind that are always complemented by every Tom, Dick and Harry not forgetting my flat tummy. If the rate at which my body figure maintains itself is the same rate to which my weight adds up then all would be at ease. However, every time I approach a weighing machine to determine that weight am always eager to leave with a smiley face but the disappointment I get has got me not ever wanting to weigh it again.

You probably are asking what I am targeting at. 50 kilos my friends…50…1, 2, 3….50. Got it? Do not be shocked but my weight always varies between 43, 44 and 45 and the last time it went beyond 45 was when my hormones in the adolescent stage went to cloud 9 and I hit 47. At my age a doctor would say am underweight and others would say considering you not tall that is a non-issue…how that math of body mass works out am still to know.

I try to do everything right and on a serious note am looking up for avenues to add weight in a healthy way. I do not want to wake up and stuff myself with junk foods, lazy around with no exercise waiting for one obese moment with the excuse of adding up. Hell no! Healthy lifestyle while still maintaining that figure is what am searching for.

I see TV programmes only advocating for weight loss while health specialists are so keen to let you know the quick steps to losing weight; but for crying out loud what are the likes of me supposed to do? The struggle is real and please start informing us on how to add up the healthy way.

Is someone feeling me? Who is in my shoes and what have you done to deal with this syndrome called “not adding weight?”

Ps: when i hit 50 am throwing a party believe you me!

Image source: http://www.google.com

 

 

 

Posted in community, culture, family, gender

International Women’s Day

Where would we be without WOMEN in our society? Imagine a world where this gender does not exist….gross!! In every home, corridor, street, community, nation they are the support systems where if they fall, everything else collapses. Take for instance in our homes…they wake up early, prepare the kids for school, prepare meals, go to work, come back in the evening so tired, manage all the house chores once again before calling it a day. What if she just relaxed and did nothing? Then the family institution is bound to break down. In our countries they advocate for peace, unity and love despite the jeer that tarnishes their images.

Social evils against women have been demeaning them for such a long time now. In my country for example; early marriages and female genital mutilation have denied the girl child access to quality education making her living standards so poor; abuses like rape grab the little ones of their innocence; lack of support to women in political rallies has seen them lose even when they take charge of these positions. Where is the back up? So tirelessly they fight but are we giving them the accorded respect, honor and cheer?

Today she is given the honor worldwide. Let us celebrate them for without women be it young, old, small, big the circle can never be complete. They are the pillars that make a difference and their acts are never to be washed away.

Who is that woman you cherish today? The likes of The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta the only first lady to organize a marathon to ensure that maternal and child mortality narrow down to zero, Late Prof.Wangari Maathai who dedicated her works towards the Green Belt Movement to ensure a conducive environment for all, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson- the first woman to be appointed president in Africa, writers, artists whose works continue to impact lives…..they are so many but to you all I celebrate you.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

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Posted in adventures, community, culture, tourism, Travel

In the Land of the Herb

Call this my second home after Nakuru. Famously known for this green plant “miraa” or Khat that has sparked debates all over the world with some terming it as a drug while others claiming to be a herb, then am thinking of revisiting this place. Everything green, the serene environment just awakened my nature senses. Lying on the slopes of Mt.Kenya with springs of rivers surrounding it and its former locality been Eastern Kenya; Meru County is heavily endowed with magical attractions to make anyone go wow. Remember Peace Ambassadors Kenya, we were in for a long road trip to Meru for a peace marathon on Saturday and just to figure how VIPs we were our mode of transport was the Kenya Administration Police Scania (that was one awesome bus with a police officer as our driver together with other 2 officers accompanying us).

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quarries so deep beautify the area

Been a national club, peace ambassadors from across the country boarded this bus at the capital city while others like me were picked up in our hometowns not forgetting another group was on its way from Kakamega using other “police means”. Traversing counties was epic, mingling was awesome and at 6pm we arrived at Meru where a heavy downpour cleansed us and alerted everyone that visitors had arrived.

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notice the downpour

Lodges are not expensive here as the New Silent Travellers Lodge opened its doors to accommodate us with bookings going for Ksh600 per room. In the land of Njuri Ncheke who are the council of elders, peace screams it all. Maybe it was in this part of town but only a few number of people could be seen wandering at night, most businesses were closed for the day by the time we were searching for restaurants to have our meals. After everyone had had their meal, no way were we going back to our rooms so we all hopped into a matatu and off we went to Makutano where pomp and color feels the streets. It was time to party and that we did at Club Neon after Club Blend refused to allow some of us as they had left their IDs, (at times protocols need not come at times like this…) but DjAlekking really rocked the music as we whined all night long.

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party time

Come Saturday morning and we all woke up late as hangovers took over and even not all joined us to the starting point of the marathon whereby we were already late. We were partaking in the 5km run to promote peace in the region but the likes of me never ran; I simply walked all the way as I toured this beautiful horizon. In the process I came across a hotel African Dishes that made me laugh real hard….so its menu read this nono, ncabi and before I could really figure out what this meant I realized the translation doomed peas (nono) and black beans (ncabi). Moreover, taxis are used for locomotion where the charges are cheap making me even want to move sooner; I paid Ksh 20! How cheaper could it possibly get?

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some of the team mates and I at the awards ground(Kaaga primary school)

The awarding ceremony concluded in time for us to share lunch with the politicians at the Meru Teachers College grounds. The Kakamega group left that evening and we joined the Meru teachers’ students in their basketball pitch for a match where my legs are literally paining because of that! Night fell and at 8pm our long awaited bus came to pick us up and this time round we used Nanyuki-Nyeri road and I must admit that was the shortest route ever! (Are night journeys shorter than day ones?)

Ps: Those in Kenya wishing to join the Peace Ambassadors for more thrilling events like climbing Mt.Kenya come March, West Pokot and Lamu Mentor and Mentee programme this March, trip to Tanzania on December and many more that I cannot recall, hit me up on my email evanyambura@gmail.com . Together let us advocate for peace.

Posted in blogging, challenge, sentiments, writing

1,000+ Hits

While I was away in the land of the “herb” since Friday something happened….my statistics hit 1000+….yeeeessssss or is it waaaaaattttt! I had to open my eyes so wide and confirm this forgetting the hangovers am nursing. Speech moment shush (clearing throat ooh no preparing my knuckles). How does one even say this…..?

My followers without you rating, liking, sharing and commenting then this would have been one boring episode of 8 months but thank to you this journey has been thrilling. My stalkers those who go through my blog, complain to my face that I need to write that morale gave me the energy to share my mind out and voila here I am. Salute.

Then there are those who constantly ask the link to the blog and take their time to peep through I really appreciate and if you have noted my WhatsApp status has never changed till June last year and it’s not changing any time soon; so those who used it to sneak through, Asante Sana.

Lastly, if you thought writing was easy then you got it wrong. At times the psyche just vanishes, time consumes up what is supposed to be your daily dose, thinking of a prose to write in just confuses one further and you even think of shutting it all down. However, make it a habit of finishing what you start as quitting only makes you a loser. Looking forward to more exciting memories.

Let’s make a toast to SENTIMENTS for reaching 1,067 views…CHEERS.

imagesimage source:carryurswag.wordpress.com