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Me Myself And I…What The Hell Have I Been Upto

Dear loyal followers. Thank you very much for following me, liking me on Facebook and for just showing an interest in some of the posts have put up. I know I’ve been very quiet with posts on this blog. I have a good reason. Suddenly I’m busy trying to manage an emerging writing career and new life as a spoken word artist (new to me. I never saw myself as such).

Ukfoto Portrait

Any hoo…Just wanted to let you know that I’m still writing…Just finished my first short film script and I’m half way through my first play. I will also be performing a piece of poetry at the Africa day Gala Dinner on the 24 May, and Will also be one of the featured acts at the opening of the Projection Festival on Gertrude Street this year (19th July 2013).

While I am enjoying the challenges of performing, I’m loving writing my film scripts and play as I can create black characters and stories that reflect some aspect of Black and African culture. Can’t wait to one day be able to share one of the finished pieces of my work.

Thank you very much for your support over the last two years. Every like and every person that’s ever commented of read anything I’ve written has given me the courage to write and continue what sometimes felt like a dead end.

I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement over the years.

Kisses and hope that your dreams and desires are coming true.

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Will The Real Feminist Please Stand Up! My Life As A Non Feminist.

I learned about feminism from my high school teachers at Altona Secondary School in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Feminism wasn’t something my mother and I discussed nor did we need to. She was a very capable woman whom life didn’t indulge her the pleasure of wondering if Prince Charming was going to come along and rescue her.

black princess

Being the oldest girl in our family, I didn’t have a big brother to defend me or protect me and my parents never made me feel like I was somewhat deficient in anyway because of being a girl. They never made me doubt my ability to care for myself and I never have.

Since my mother never taught me to use my feminine charm to get by in this world, I relied on the three skills that she taught me. Follow your intuition above all else even if sometimes it doesn’t make any sense, use your brains and creativity, and finally use sheer strength of will to get things done.

When it comes to dealing with men, I stare them straight in the eye and treat myself as an equal. I understand that we re not build the same or even think the same, or that some of them may even question my abilities. They do this to their own peril.

Growing up there was never any talk about my place in the world as a woman and how limited that might be or would be…Just the usual reminder to be weary of the occasional male who may choose to use his power to get into my pants. My mother was an honest woman.

And so it was news to me in the 90’s in high school when it was pointed out to me that there was inequality based on gender in this world and all my teachers male and female spent a lot of their lessons programming me to become a feminist. I was taught to focus on intellectual pursuits a university degree and what not. Somewhere in these lessons housework and the once traditional home duties were deemed evil. Yet in home economics they taught us how to bake, in sewing class, they taught us how to sew.

There was also pottery, metal work, and woodwork which I loved just as much as I like making stuffed animals.  All male and female students had to do these classes. There was a big push for girls to study science and mathematics then, I did both and I loved it. I was told that I was as smart as the boys in my class, personally I thought that I was smarter. I was told that I could do anything boys could do, I believed I could do better.

Arrogant you say? Not really…Just aware of my own abilities and most importantly my own desires. I wanted to get better grades than they did so I worked harder. I wanted to be physically strong so that no one could push me around male or female and I was.

It wasn’t until I got to university that I understood why my teachers had tried so hard to make me aware of sexual inequality. Being at the bottom of the perking order so to speak (black and female), my university life was a depressing one.

The fact that I was a woman and that some members of humanity thought me somewhat inferior became very clear to me. One of my lectures constantly made comments about my looks and the apparent wild life that he thought I lived. The other girls in my course were submissive, soft spoken, and didn’t understand the meaning of standing up for themselves.

Their mother’s had obviously loaded them with an overdose of feminine whims and ways to charm the pants off most men. They went through their days awkwardly smiling their way through situations they weren’t happy with while at the same time using their femininity to pacify the most aggressive brutes to get what they wanted.

I used to get a little jealous, watching them smile sweetly through situations that for me would have ended up in an argument. This was made worse by the fact that most of the boys on campus were scared of me.

Soon I learnt that this wasn’t such a bad thing and started using their fear of me against them. Rather than smiling sweetly and lowering my voice to get something, I would look them straight in the eye and say ‘I want that’, ‘fix this’, and so forth. It worked. I said very little, socialized even less and for the first time in my life I wanted to be invisible.

But I couldn’t. My skin colour made me stand out and so did a set of double F cups firmly planted on my chest. Another lesson my mother taught me was to be comfortable with my body. And so I was. I wasn’t shy about my hourglass figure and wore clothes that complemented them. The level of comfort I felt with my body, the sense of freedom and the lack of fear of having to hide the size of my butt or chest meant that I was a bit of a destruction. This didn’t bother me. I couldn’t have cared less. I just wished to God I didn’t live in a world that expected me to be any less of myself because I was female.

Most people might describe me as feminist. I don’t see myself as that. Where I come from their no such things as feminist and people are treated according to their own merits and these are the principles I was raised on. For me, a man’s job is one that requires more physical strength than a woman’s body is capable of doing that’s all. And these days most women can get around what is called ‘a man’s job’ through mechanical machines or paying for the labour.

It has nothing to do with mental strength, intellectual ability, creativity or anything else. As a small framed woman, I know that most men are going to be physically stronger than I am. They are not necessarily going to be better than I am.

I’m always angry when I read articles about a woman’s place in the home and the war and debate over those who go to work and those who stay at home. I think that this argument is so old and probably affects a lot less women than some feminist would like to admit.

In the area that I grew up in, the mothers didn’t have time to worry about whether they were wasting their education by staying at home and not pursuing a career. They had to work because their livelihoods and their families depended on it. They worked alone or together with their husbands or partners to make sure that they all had a roof over their heads.

The argument about stay at home mom’s vs working mom’s, shouldn’t even exist. The choices that women make around their lives, personal relationships,  should not be a matter for public debate. It’s a very personal one. Those of you who feel that life has to stop because you’ve got children and you want to stay at home and raise them, more power to you. And for those who’ve worked hard at developing your careers and you find it satisfying, should not yield to social pressure to stay at home and stop questioning whether you’re a good mother or not. Your kids are the best judge of that.

I don’t have children myself but I’ve found very little in the behavior of friends kids who stay at home and those who go out into the work force. Most stay at home mothers want a medal for raising their own children. They are your children you gave birth to them! Why should the rest of us have to treat you differently and put you on a peddle stool because you’re staying at home to look after them.

Feminist are also worried about the apparent disturbing trend of women turning their backs on board rooms to return to the kitchen and bake cakes. They are calling this ‘the retro mum’ movement. Another first world problem. Really…baking cakes  and cup cakes a threat to the working woman? Me thinks not.

There’s nothing wrong with baking cakes and those women who have chosen to throw their careers away and are sitting on their laurels thinking that this is life do so at your own peril. The world we live in and the times we live in demand that most of us have to be financially savvy and ready for anything that might or could happen. Don’t lets forget the 50% divorce rate or the financial crisis which could mean that even the bread winner of the family could suddenly lose their job. And then what?

Feminists fear not. The women living work to bake cup cakes and cakes are not affecting the rest of us, who’ve been brought up to cringe at the sight of a baking pans. The only way I’d give up my complete freedom and ambition and dedicate my life to rearing others would be if hell froze over… And my boyfriend knows that. I expect nothing less of myself than to have children and have a job, call me a bad mother and selfish if you like. I know I do have a selfish born in my body and it doesn’t bother me a bit. I call it self preservation.

I don’t feel comfortable with the word ‘feminist’. I think feminists should focus less on the so anti-feminist attitudes of modern women and look at ways in which women can be empowered to be themselves and rise above their limited social expectation. Forget boardrooms raising girls differently from boys can foster the feeling of inferiority.

The real battle is on the play ground. Mothers who tell their kids that they can’t do this because they are a girl or making statements such as that’s not lady like are digging their daughter’s strength into the ground. They wont make it into the board room if they think a discussion about asking for what they want is seen as being aggressive and contrary to the way their gender should behave.

What most of us women forget is that we make our own choices even if we’ve got limited options in life. We choose the partners and therefore the father of our children. We choose which men we want in our lives and which ones we don’t.

Parents if you want to make sure that your daughters grow up to be independent, strong, and self sufficient, lead by example!

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Django Unchained – Film Review And Why You Should See It

Django Unchained

The first I heard of the film Django Unchained was on the news and it wasn’t all good stuff. As usual Quentin Tarantino was on the spotlight for making another controversial film or what not. I’m not a fan of the N-word. I don’t use it and I don’t like it when anyone whether they be black or white uses it in my presence. I don’t believe that the word empowers black people for I’ve never seen it used in a positive context from black or white people.

But the media didn’t deter me from going to see the film. I’m rational enough to understand that any film on slavery that is honestly depicting the historical content of what had happened during those times will not only be brutal but also contain the use of the N word.

Any film maker who would make a film about slavery and leave that word out would be trying to sensor history and give us all a false impression of what really happened.

Django Unchained for all of those who haven’t seen it is for me the most honest depiction of what went on during slavery and it taught me a lot about slavery that I didn’t know. Yes the film was confronting, (the truth always is) and very uncomfortable at times but it was worth putting myself through the discomfort to re-educate myself on an ugly chapter in black history that has continually haunted us.

I can see this film being used in schools to help educate children about slavery. Django Unchained is not a pretty movie but neither is slavery and Quentin Tarantino’s trademark of gory blood scenes makes it an even uglier and uncomfortable film to sit through especially if you’ve got a weak stomach like myself. But there also funny moments. The humor in the film destructs you from the fact that you’re actually watching a horror film based on reality.

It is also the first slave film I’ve noticed where there was no singing or dancing.

While Django Unchained is not based on a true story, the de-humanizing depiction of slave life was real and if some of you are looking for answers to the question ‘why don’t black people just get along’, you don’t have to look further than the relationships between the black characters in the films.

Samuel L Jackson

The Chilling Uncle Tom

Samuel L Jackson was chilling as Uncle Tom.

The film is being classed in the spaghetti western/blaxploitation genre. Being a fan of both genres, I wonder why we’ve all had to wait so long to see the creation of a cinematic black legend character such as Django. Django is strong, hot blooded, fearless. Everything a slave was never meant to be.

I applaud Quentin for developing the character and the story and hope it inspires the rest of us black writers to create more black legends for generations of young black people to aspire to.

For all those of you who may have written the film off due to some of the negative publicity it’s received, I urge you to ignore what you think you’ve heard and see it for yourself. Django Unchained is not a racist film, it’s a film about racism and the media should probably distinguish between the two before it starts playing the race card.

One of the most chilling moments in the film that left you gasping. Leonardo’s character, slave owner Mr Candy, threatens to crush Kerry Washington’s skull character.

If you think you’re going to be uncomfortable as a black person during the film you will be. Because this film touches on all those painful psychological places associated to the skin you are in. It’s not a feel good movie.

I also felt sorry for some of the white audience that went to see the film. I saw the film in gold class, thanks to some very generous people in my life and when the film was through and I was walking out of the theater, not one single white person could look me in the face. I was the only black person at in the cinema of one of the wealthiest suburbs in Melbourne, and boy did my presence bring the reality of the film to this people.

Please be open minded and go see the film. This is the first film I’m actually encouraging people to go to.

http://unchainedmovie.com/

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Dealing With Difficult People

Happy new Year to all! Hope that this year is a little more prosperous than the last one was.

How do you deal with other people’s insecurities and not let their negativeness get the better of you? How do you deal with emotionally deranged individuals who consider themselves somewhat enlightened and yet feel the constant need to constantly put down your ideas and try to make you look and feel stupid with every thing you say or do?

thorns

How do you deal with people who are constantly trying to reassure themselves by putting you down?

I have such a person in my life at the moment. And so far I’ve remained silent, refusing to react or respond to this particular thorn in my side’s negative attitude towards me but even though my silence has been golden, I’ve been fighting the urge to fight back at this very deluded individuals deliberate attempts at sabotaging my ideas which have fortunately been well received by others in our social circle.

This situation is new in my life and whereas the old me would have deleted this person from mind and memory, social media (aka facebook) makes ignoring the passive aggressive nature of this individual rather difficult. I’m beginning to get a whole new insight into the meaning of cyber bulling.

I feel silly deleting them from my friends list as they haven’t publicly humiliated or bullied me. It’s through personal messages via my inbox that they have been undermining me.

I am staying strong, though this is easier said then done. Not letting my thoughts be dominated  by one individuals corrupt sense of self can be difficult but one of the ways in which Iv’e been able to overcome past frenemies has been to use their negativity as a driving force to push me to do things. This has involved fighting my own insecurities that this person has raised of self worthlessness smallness and self pity. It’s made me work harder and she’s making me work harder.

While I haven’t got a solution to this problem, I will continue to be silent, go about my own business as I don’t think that this person is of sound mind or body. I’ve always believed that only sick people and people who feel bad about themselves go about causing trouble for others. Happy people are less likely to cause dramas.

I could confront them about what their doing but I don’t believe that they have the mental capacity to understand their own passive-aggressive nature and I don’t think that it will improve the situation. I can see them getting defensive and even more aggressive. I’ve so much to do and don’t want to get myself caught up or weighed down in this situation. I’ll take the high road, turn the other cheek.

Being aware that this person is a bully and a condescending lost soul doesn’t only make it easy for me to ignore them but to also lessen the impact they have  over what I do which is very important.

Everyday I wake up and I tell myself that they are not worthy and they are not!

Although sharing this on my blog has been therapeutic it’s also made me think that I’ve given this person more of a spotlight in my life than they deserved! The idea that they have affected me enough to write about them saddens me, so you wont be hearing about this person again. I am human but I’m not proud of my winging session though I’d be very interested in learning how other people deal with difficult people in their lives.

Do you have someone like that in your life? How are you coping?

 

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Struggling to love your hair? The relationship you have with your hair determines how  much effort you put into it. I am talking weaves, wigs… I am talking hair sprouting out of your scalp…

Taking on any hair challenge requires a strength of will, determination, and a commitment as well as an understanding of why you are doing what you are doing. There are no immediate results and sometimes very little satisfaction for the effort that goes in it, in the short term.

This post is meant to prepare your mind for any hair challenge that you might undertake next year and it’s especially designed to kick start my ‘length retention challenge’ starting in January. For all those interested, join the facebook page or wordpress and stay up to date with latest blog posts.

The title of this post was inspired by an idea and concept introduced to me via…

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Afro Girls Jam – Melbourne’s African Female Artist Event

 

 

Hi Guys. Just letting you know that you are all invited to ‘Afro Girls Jam’! An afternoon of poetry and soulful music by Melbourne’s finest female African Poets (including myself). Did I forget to mention I’m a poet? That would be typical of me (lol). Below are the details.

 

See you there!

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Worshiping Idol Goddess

The Illusion…

The Reality….

True beauty is no longer in the eye of the beholder

But in the strange hands of stylists

Plastic surgeons

Make-up Artists

Hair Dressers

A computer software program called photo shop

Sometimes we forget that what we see…

Is just an illusion

Bought and paid for

Sometimes gifted

To those ‘Idol Goddesses’ we have grown to worship

Steeped in mystique

Camouflaged  by trinkets

Whose true selves we’ve never seen

Yet we obsess on their alters

With words of praise

And pay the ultimate homage

By trying to recreate ourselves in their image

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