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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Madness and Tea

One of the beauties of the internet, is I continue to get tangled in webs woven by beautiful Black (and African) women around the world.  Twitter is the best place for that.  I have met ladies whom I feel I know like the lines on my palms, and yet we have never occupied the same space physically.

As I have no picture with Malaka,
I have substituted her with some
sistren eye candy and my latest pic
repping the hooded clan.
 Photo taken by Vince Banda 
One such dame is one of my favourite girl crushes Malaka.  I first came across her when trying to find a transcript of the famous Intellectual Scum conversation by Field Ruwe, but did not really get to know her till we both featured in a Google hangout about African women, sex and love.  This lead to the epic Twitter love affair of the hooded sistren.  The profound nonsense that we spout out in abundance is so much fun.  I get to Big Pun and she shines in her irreverently unabashed, insightful, crazy and intelligent way. She is the sage and I am the jester. And vice versa - I Yoda to her Jar Jar Binks. I look forward to finding nuggets on my TL to jump-off from and flex my witty muscles.  I can't wait for us to go on our train excursion.  She thinks I'll forget. I have proof-o. Don't make me juju...

So really, she is already aware of my powers so she best not try me. Once she returns to the motherland, we are planning! Yes, it's by force as we say here in Zed.

Anyhoo, back to the point of this post. So Malaka, posted this "old man rant" about how Africans in the West end up pandering to the stereotype of waxing lyrically about the Africa of Heart of Darkness and National Geographic photographs, not the perfectly imperfect blend of tradition and modernity, light and darkness, poverty and wealth, aet cetera, ad infinitum, and everything in between that actually currently exists on the continent. Right now I'm obsessed with nuance: adding more viewpoints to the debates that are going on locally and globally. The article made me think about how we in Zambia are completely suckered into this form of presentation to get the approval of some NGO, to get some accolade, to lure foreign direct investment or a new aid program, to get our names out there. We crave foreign validation to feel worthy. It's sad. We are enough! Just put yourself out there honestly and D'Arcy will like you just as you are Bridget Jones ;}.

This led me to have the exchange with her, storified below.  I hope it makes you think about the way we represent ourselves, and about how if we don't allow for nuance, we who are the made the "Other" will remain stagnant. If you are part of the "Us" group, who dictate what rhythms the Other has to dance to, think about your part in perpetuating this nonsense.  There should only be one we, a diverse group called the human race, trying to make it the best way they can and accepting of the way others are. 

Like this post? You can find more in Twit Tuesday..

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1 comment:

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