When we were Young Part 2 – by Abidemi Adebola “Sometimes our best love moments
“Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain true happiness” Brenda Shoshanna.
I am a man. That is the first thing. Or I could be a woman. I am human. Equal to any other human, no matter the colour, height, shape, location. I am me. I am of high value.
I am beautiful. A thing of art. Variety is spice. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. At a point, my creator looked at His/Her/Its creation, me, and considered me glorious.
I am not black, except you have eye problems. I am delicious shades of brown, caramel and burnt yellow. My skin is dazzling. It glistens. It glows. My small scars melt away, I suffer no discolouration. Even in mutation, my albinism is delightful to behold.
I am, for a fact, a little god.
Warning!! This is my space. This is not social media. No shallow images here, no trolling, no six second videos. No savage one-liners. No clap-backs. No competition on who is living a better material laden life, but is suffering beneath that façade.
This is real. You know how “they” immortalized themselves? You know how they forced their ideas of beauty on us? You know why they will not be forgotten? They accepted their skill, talent, genius – distributed to all globally, pushed each other to succeed – they care for the whole, instead of a few, share knowledge and beliefs, provoked thoughts, taught this knowledge down the lines, documented same knowledge so it cannot be lost, promoted it to other peoples, and they remain superior, accepted. Civil. Brilliant. Gods.
The key? They loved themselves. Love yourself. As humans, at our pure form, we are selfish. Me. That is all. If you do not love yourself, value yourself, adore yourself, accept yourself, how then can another see you, accept you, value you, adore you, love you, worship you?
Look, if you do not have plans, you will play a role in the stories of others with plans. It is simple.
Radiate your beauty. Show your value. Demand love. Attract acceptance and adoration.
Who said blue eyes, pale skin, blonde hair, straight hair are superior? Why can’t all ways of beauty be right?
I found that somehow, in this part of the world, we all know the White House, Pocahontas, Paul Revere, Napoleon, Alexander the great, etcetera. It’s subliminal. Books, Movies, Songs, Legends.
But, do they all know Olodumare, Obatala, Oodua, Sango, and Oya? That is besides those of them learning history of Africa/Nigeria in school.
Matter of fact, do we even know it? It is in libraries that PhD students research, but the knowledge is not available to us, the supposed owners!
They stole our identity. Then we stole it. Double Tragedy.
What are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hercules? We took in their culture, but did not add it to the knowledge of ours, rather, we substituted ours for theirs, took in their idea of beauty, value, culture, gods. The Almighty God is consistent, be it Yahweh, Allah, but I have to adopt Hades or Athena too?
No wonder we bleach our skin, wear contacts coloured lenses, no longer have principles, codes, morals, and have recently inherited their demons by now committing suicide all over the place, without being a warrior general whose army lost a war scandalously!
Wake up! Yes, you. Take it back. Re-learn your culture, know your heritage, and teach it. Gather together. Challenge each other. Care for all, not a few. Record our history, legends, and heritages in books. Let us all read. Let babies hear the stories before they can read.
Before I leave you to think, let me share a brief history thread I know.
The image is a display of Benin Bronzes at the British Museum in London. The artifacts were looted by British troops in the 19th century and are now scattered worldwide.
These works were stolen in 1897, when the British attacked Benin Empire in revenge. Benin was accused of defending itself from “outsiders” of a different colour because they did not want their annual Royal Rituals disturbed. Though the Oba had nothing to do with it, a few chiefs decided to protect their rights, and attacked this unarmed scouting party.
Please do your research at leisure.
Breaking this down, I am a stranger to you, I send my goons to your home, invading your privacy. They carried no arms, but you have the right to think they are scoping out your security, a threat to your family. So, in self defense, you attack my goons, as is your right, and it was fatal for my goons.
I return with dozens, sack your beautiful home, burn it, brutalize your family. Salt on injury, I empty your home of its treasures, sold some to cover cost of attacking you and still had enough for my trophy room.
Your sophisticated interior décor items is still an attraction, till today, in my home, where I displayed them, but you are the brute, unrefined, without skill, only to be used.
You have nothing of value, nothing to offer me, you hold no beauty! You are no threat, yet I travelled thousands of miles to loot you. To belittle you. To insult you. To possess your valuables.
We accepted this identity theft. They made it their truth.
It burns. Then what do we do? We make it our truth! Unfathomable! Unacceptable, right?
I am born of kings, emperors, warriors. Born of men and women of renown, skill, civility, pride.
Almighty Greece has been selling islands to stay afloat, but their legacy, culture lives on.
We can learn “their” culture, but to enrich our knowledge of the world, but not at the expense of our identity and culture.
Adapt the best they have to offer, but put our culture and identity first. Export it.
Even in the movies, Wakanda, for all their other-worldly technology, had their cultural imprints on everything. You know why Wakanda turned out that way? It did because of an African director who knew to make an authentic African movie; he had to come learn the culture and heritage in Africa!
Identity. Pride. Self Value. Culture. Knowledge.
Do you even know what to teach? To Live?
No. You stole your own identity.
Repeat after me. “I am beautiful, of value, to be adored, worshipped, accepted, to be loved.”
Lots of Pharaohs were dark skinned, but represented with pale skin today, don’t be surprised if in a hundred years, Oodua is pale skinned with blue eyes.
Deji Sowunmi a proud owner of glistening, glowing, beautiful dark caramel skin, sometimes a good husband, not so shabby a dad. A good breather, sleeper, eater and smoker of life for his high.
An architect, interior designer & decorator by day, and a halfhearted cynic, seeker of greatness for all mankind by night.
He is a long suffering, unapologetic arsenal fan who uses his clubs antics for high BP resistant training, a lover of the arts, and a general student of life.
Deji Sowunmi does not take himself so seriously, and you probably should not either.
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