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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

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Open Diary: NG-ma tales, NGangsta Moves

Last year I explained how my moods and well-being can be described on a spectrum based on the these two extremes: NGangsta and NG-ma. This year, I am determined to be NGansta and move forward with dedication because NG-ma will make sure I take care of myself.  Part of that self care involves writing.  I use my blog as an open diary, a way to vent, hash out things weighing on me, to find meaning in the chaos and beauty in life: from the crazy to the heavenly, the mundane to the extraordinary.  As I expand my ken, change my views and adopt new ways, I hope to elucidate ideas for not only myself, but if I can, for others too.  If my sojourns down the rabbit hole lead others to Wonderland, cool! I really do enjoy helping others while helping myself he he. 

I have been thinking a lot about African, global, societal norms, tradition and culture surrounding love, marriage and babies over the last year.  There has been a surge in weddings and births in my social circles around the world.  Many of them, particularly the women, have posted testimonials about their experiences.  They have also shared interesting articles about these major life milestones too. I have been amazed, entertained, shocked, not surprised, disheartened and encouraged by the conversations that have percolated, over-boiled and simmered perfectly around these issues.  I have found that for the educated, progressive, exposed and or well-travelled of female sex, navigating love, marriage and babies in the current milieu is a minefield.  The current global trend of gender equality would have us believe that all is righted in the world.  The reality is that things are only starting to shift.  Even if your partner at home is understanding, earthlings in general are not.  Many still think these "new" ways, ideas, interpretations and positions are alien.  There are a lot of people on both ends freaking out, and the backlash and fighting is fierce. 

Let me state clearly that gender equality and equity is ultimately about choice.  Allowing for a spectrum.  If you believe in traditional roles, good for you, work with that.  I do not negate your views in choosing to want different, or for feeling that certain ways, beliefs and maxims are derogatory and subjugating.  The point is to agree to disagree and to create space for individual decisions for our collective well-being as humanity. That means going beyond tolerance, but actively allowing expression through manifested understanding, catalysed by validating different ways to do, be and act.  That being said, I have been traumatised by quite an ugly shift in local and global contexts, as patriarchy fights back in reaction to feminist movements gaining new fervour, backing and efficacy.  I have also had very interesting conversations about gender, sexuality, identity, self expression, tradition, modernity and culture that I would like to ponder a little more. This has mostly happened on Twitter, so I would like to delve deeper into these issues in a way that 140 characters disallows.  I need an unlimited canvas to use my paintbrush to paint more detailed portraits.

This is a section of the walls inside
a popular Accra Night club, from the
high ceilings to the floor. So beautiful!
I thought Things on Thursday was a good place to launch, as these be no small tings now. So over the next few weeks and months I'm cutting through the black and white of societal norms and delving into the grey:

Woolgather Wednesday will feature ruminations and illuminations through my Love. Sex. Marriage. Babies. series.

Twit Tuesday will be a hodgepodge of profound nonsense that I have tweeted about that I would like to expound on.

It's going to be awesome possum. I know I'm going to have oodles and poodles of fun doing this. So this Dorothy is taking that tornado out of Kansas and I can't wait to see what lies somewhere over the rainbow... 

For mini insight-fests, positing and working through stuff follow me on Instagram and Twitter. To find out how I take action around these issues publicly, like my new Facebook page!

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