Dear Africana Woman,
Where to start from? There is so much to say. Oh how rude of me. Hi Babes. How are you? What have you been up to, tell it all, tell it all. By the way I genuinely want to know what you have been up to, so feel free to respond below whats been happening with you, yeah. Just say Hey Gurl, I am good or this week has been insane and I need a bottle of wine. Okay, where to start from?
So I am from Zed and I have to do this public announcement. Darling Please register as a voter online. If you were registered from the last elections, that is null and void. This exercise is for everyone. Things you will need before you log on are:
A photo of your NRC; one of the front and one of the back, clear background
A photo of you holding your NRC with the side of your face showing
Know where your polling station will be
Go ahead and enter your details online. I really don’t care how long it takes you because its important that you get it done. In fact, have a family party and help each other to register especially the older generation. It would be great if you could include your helpers, that is your gardener, your cleaner, babysitter etc. It is that serious. Then spread the word. End of public service announcement.
Okay what’s next? My son is in school and I’m in therapy. That’s still a thing. We did an assessment of my progress this week. I had about 5 goals going in. I have made progress on 2, achieved one, and we haven’t covered the last 2. But I am super happy for my one win.
My Deeyah, the conversations that I have had for the African Woman podcast have been soooo good. Kaili I am working on season 2. I will be in conversations and be like, “Go watch this episode, it shall save your life,’ all the time, all day lol. Strangely enough and totally unplanned for, this week our conversation was on African Women’s Rights and just 4 days prior was the passing of the Notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is an icon for Women’s Rights. Listen you have to go listen to Zanele Thabede-Vilakati talk about the topic. I think what is scary is when you do not even know your rights are being violated because you have been socialised to believe that is how things are. AND women in urban areas are more susceptible to this. Zanele explained how the work place does this in a systematic and accepted way. Yoh! I can go on and on about this episode. But like I said, go and listen it will save your life. lol.
SO this is how it works. I record live conversations which you are more than welcome to join live and ask questions on. This happens every Tuesday on Instagram in the late afternoon. Then if you did not catch the Live conversation, because Bae is having a meltdown about how the barber didn’t cut his hair straight or the kids are acting like the energiser bunny, well you will find the recordings on my Instagram IGTV. Then the awesome team from Ulendo work on converting the recordings into a podcast, which you will find anywhere you listen to podcasts and you can binge listen whenever you want. Makes sense? Cool. Hit me up if you have any questions.
I took some photos of myself a couple weeks ago, and I have never posted them because my first thought when I saw it was that I look like a purple hippo, who asked Gogo for fashion advice. Hmm. Anyway, it got me thinking about the relationship that I have had with my body over the years. From the hairs on my head to the soles of my feet, each part has a story to tell here are a few:
When puberty hit my face was like a series of mountains; some were big, others small, some were explosive and yet others were dormant (I took Geography in high school, can you tell? I mean when else am I going to use that knowledge but in my blog). Anyway, because my face broke out in pimples and everyone else around me had flawless skin, I was then told you have to fix your face. Try this medicine, that ointment, this face wash, that mask. It got to the point that I was so ashamed to show my face in public. Until one day I was watching the news and this woman with acne worse than mine was being interviewed. My first reaction was oh my God, she should not be on TV. But she spoke eloquently with full confidence, and it clicked in my teenage brain that this is not a disease, nor does it take away from my intelligence. I do not have to be fixed. I still have acne by the way, so you either take it or leave it.
My family is jam packed with women. For context sake. My mother’s siblings have 11 children combined of which there is only one boy. My grandmother’s siblings were mostly females too. Anyway, these women had such huge boobs and for whatever reason it mortified me. I remember making a pact with God as a child. I asked if he would give me some really small breasts but I cannot remember what my end of the bargain was. You know what, God is faithful, in comparison to my family there is not much to talk home about on my chest. But I remember, when they boobs started to come forth I was so resentful and offended that breasts were actually forming on my body, especially when I did not know what the outcome would be. I mean how dare they choose my body to propagate on.
So I was eventually grateful that they remained small. Over the years gravity won the battle with my breasts over who is stronger. Right now my current battle is with bra’s. I believe that a man created a bra because he obviously never had to wear one. I have bruises from the wires. Last year I woke up and decided I was done with bras. Friend it’s not worth it. I cannot take the restriction, the bodily harm, coupled with fluctuation of weight meaning at most times I am wearing the wrong size. I am done. I do not wear bras. I tried to find some without wires for utmost emergencies but for the most part these girls are flying solo. No one has died yet.
That don’t lie. They are wide and expansive. I remember being a teenager and I was wearing shorts. Not bum shorts. Most likely they reached the knees. So I was out walking at the shops and I heard a guy say behind me, “how can she be wearing shorts, she is so fat.” On another occasion I was walking down a street with a friend and two young guys were coming in the opposite direction. When they passed us, one boy took it upon himself to grab my hip, I’m guessing he was aiming for my my butt. There is nothing I can do about my hips, I just hate that I experienced both verbal and physical abuse directed at my hips.
I do not know what your body journey has been. But I do wish we could teach our young girls and ladies to age with grace. I hate this war that we as society have decided to wage on age. We are seeking a perfection that does not exist and therefore, leaves us mortally wounded and disappointed. Our self esteem is in the gutters. We have to normalise changes in our bodies instead of making women feel like there is something wrong with them. No babe it’s life. Puberty happens and we get pimples. Children happen and gravity takes over. Age happens and white hair and wrinkles come through. Not forgetting personal seasons. And all of it is sexy if you would only but embrace it. Just because you have white hair does not mean you cannot look fashionable. I also think that if we embraced our metamorphosis it would teach men that to expect Beyonce every day is unrealistic. Like you are going to see her at our wedding day but that’s about it. Lol Im just kidding. But you get the picture.
I encourage you to take time to think about your different body parts and write down what your experience has been with them. Write down what were the stories or beliefs you then began to tell yourself, which could be hindering you to this date. Example, I have pimples. My belief is women with pimples cannot go on TV. Does it make sense? No. But that is the belief I held onto. Once you are aware of what that belief is write the opposite of that and say it everyday until you believe it with every inch of your body.
Let me bounce hey. Like I said do tell me how you are doing and what you thought about this topic. What has been your body journey? To be honest I feel like I could write a book on this, which is why it is a bit long. If you are new here, WELCOME. I am so happy to meet you. Make sure you subscribe so as you receive my love letter on the regular. To my Live- Hard readers, I have nothing but love for you. Oh and quick FYI I am running the KNOW Your Purpose mindfulness challenge again and next week I am hosting a panel discussion on Financial Freedom and Generational Wealth. Lady, the Africana Woman is a network: Blog, Podcast and Tribe. You can get in on one or all of them. Your choice. But I always want you to go away feeling in love with yourself, flaws n all and for you to attract the life you truly desire. Til next week.