The History of Black Hair from Chime (HairCrush)

This is not what I intended to write about today, but once again, this is one of those videos I couldn’t help but share. I love history and I love hair, so when the two collide it gets shared!

Hey…I made a rhyme thing.

This video by Chime absolutely struck a chord in me. It was not a week ago that I was reminiscing online about hairstyling techniques and monikers with a few friends. My children (and yours) will never know what it’s like to go to a hair braider and request a cornrowed, threaded or plaited style by name. I vividly remember asking my trusted coiffeuse for intricate styles such as  “basket”, “bridge” or “starfish”. I was fortunate because I had a mother who was very Afrocentric and went to a school where I had the “privilege” of keeping my own hair. Almost every girl in the Ghanaian school system is required to shave off all her hair, a throwback to slavery and the propagation of neo-colonial mindsets and Black self-hatred.

Black hair has always been a source of pride and fascination. It is capable of defying gravity or submitting to it. It has its own story and serves as a herald for the wearer before he/she utters a word. Its versatility and beauty make it a heavy crown for the wearer. And of course, our hair is what has served as a binding agent for all Africans the world over. Any sister or brother from the Virgin Island can commiserate with the native North Carolinian about hair struggles and/or triumphs – about being forced to sit (nervously) still while Momma pressed the back of your head or the uncomfotable drip of a Jehri Curl.  Our hair connects us as family.

Anyway, enjoy the video and PLEASE leave a comment either here or on the HairCrush website. I hope you find it as educative as I did – or at least served as a reminder for those of us who are more ‘conscious’.

I think this is where I am supposed to say Hotep

 

‘African Soul’ Album Launch: Ambolley in Concert, Featuring Wanlov & M.anifest …I Hate Anyone Who is Going.

The concert tomorrow, May 29th at 8pm at Alliance Française in Accra.

Tsewww. Google the details yourself. I ain’t here to talk about no daggum concert. I’m here to talk about my angsty emotions about missing said concert.

On May 29th, my one and only son turns six years old. But please believe that if I had the opportunity to hop on a plane and jet over to Accra to be a part of this concert, I’d do it. I’d miss Stone’s birthday, leave him with a bottle of Coke and some bubbles, and I’d go see Ambolley in concert rather than spend the evening with him. I’m not saying that I LOVE Gyedu Ambolley more than I love my son…I’m just saying that I love him a lot. Besides, I’ve known Ambolley longer than Stone.

The Simigwa Hene and I have a very strong e-relationship. Okay, fine. We USED to have a strong relationship. I was hoping that it would one day manifest into a full-bloomed Shakespearean love-triangle-tragedy… but it didn’t. I don’t know what happened! One day, all transmission between us stopped. I never stopped loving him, though. And I know deep down inside, he has not forgotten and still loves meeeeee… (Along with his other legions of adoring fans.)

This love I speak of? Me, I have proof o! The Innanets is forever, and even though I will miss seeing him live – AGAIN – I still have the many tweets we exchanged with one another two years ago. I infrequently press them close to my virtual bosom and sigh losing myself in the reverie of what never would have been, interpreting his every innocent word into whatever meaning I desire.

Ambolley tracks my sleeping habits because I’m THAT important to him:

Ambolley Up early

And then there was the time he asked me to move in with him:

Ambolley aske me to move

This one time, he allowed me to do a mini-interview with him, thinking that everything to know about him was already known. Nuh uh! There’s always more than meets the eye with a man such as this. Look at his answers.His favorite color is RED? Everyone knows MY favorite color is red! Ambolley was showing me how kindred we truly are:

Ambolly queAmbolley answers

Ambolley thinks I’m funny. Any proper man knows that the way to a woman’s heart is to tell her she’s funny. Look at how he just snatched the beating muscle out of my chest:

Ambolley thinks im funny

Sighhhh….

ALL my friends and “friends” are going to this concert tomorrow. I feel like the one kid whose mother didn’t allow her to go to the Shabba Ranks concert because it “cost too much money” or “the boys will be too rowdy” and was forced to sit home and mutter midnight prayers instead. It’s not fair. It’s not right!

But guess what, suckas? MY name is on the sleeve notes of The Simigwahene’s re-released album. Mine. Malaka Grant. Open it and see for yourselves. Muahahahaaa!!!

Who am I fooling? It’s not the same as being in the crowd, sweating out my yellow-yellow to my spiritual boo’s signature baritone growl.

I (don’t) hope you all have fun.

How To (Not) Write About Africa When You’re an African

“Who gave you the right to judge who is fit to be a Negro, and who is not?” – Captain Davenport, A Soldier’s Story.

Have you ever seen A Soldier’s Story? I LOVE that movie. It came out in 1984. I saw it when I was on summer holiday in Detroit at my cousin Cookie’s house. Cookie is 15 years or so my senior, and is responsible for introducing me to situations and events that no 7-8 year old should be exposed to. It was Cookie who introduced me to the workings of how roll and share joint. (I never developed a taste or a need for weed, however.) It was at Cookie’s house that my hair learned submission, as she made sure it was always pressed and my edges laid. Cookie is the one who allowed my sister and I to watch Color Purple and Purple Rain – two films that were (and are) a far cry from the permissible G-rated films in my parent’s house. It was at my Cousin Cookie’s house that I learned and earned a measure of “blackness” that has afforded me relatability with other Black Americans…because in 1984, I wasn’t Black/African American: I was just African; at least according to the neighborhood kids who mocked my name and accent.

Most of my life has been spent existing as a “social chameleon”, something commonly referred to as “code switching” today. If I found myself in Black American company, my accent and mannerisms were altered so as not to draw too much attention to how different I might be. The same goes for when I am in presence of Ghanaians or other Africans. It’s not intentional, but my speech becomes slightly more accented so much so that the listener is inclined to ask “Where are you from?”

“Ghana,” I reply. I don’t typically feel like going into the nuances of my mixed heritage, hybrid birth, or a childhood spent existing on two continents simultaneously. For better or not, I have opted to identify as “Ghanaian”.

Self-identification is a powerful choice. The decision to select who or what you call yourself is the epitome of self-actualization. It is for that reason that institutions and thought Nazis spend a great deal of effort stripping individuals and groups of that choice and right. Africans are not exempt from the propensity to police the choices of others.

Last night I had a conversation with a good friend of mine that kept me up for a greater portion of the evening. She lives in Ghana is on assignment in another part of Africa for a conference on writing. There is a possibility that this conference may be moved to Ghana next year, and she told me that I need to make plans to participate. I was humbled and thrilled that she would think to include me on a panel discussion on African writers. We were leaving voice notes on What’sApp, and later in the evening, I get this message from her:

“Malaka. I just thought I should give you this feedback. I mentioned your name to one of the organizers at the conference, and he balked at the mention of it. He said ‘Malaka? The one who wrote the Kony article? You want her to participate?’ He said he used to read your blog, but you put him off with that article.”

I was stunned.

“Joseph Kony? Wasn’t that like 5 or 6 years ago?”

I wracked my brains to determine what I would have written that was so awful that it would put off another African! We all agreed that Joseph Kony was/is a horrible human being who committed the worst kind of atrocities. What did I say? And why is this dude still mad x years later?

“Well, he said that you wrote about the story in the way that a typical white person would have,” she replied. “He said you don’t even live on the continent and have no first-hand knowledge of the situation.”

It was insinuated that I confine myself to writing about topics that I am an expert in. There has been much ado in both social and traditional media in the past few years about how Africa is covered, with much criticism levied at the West for the lens it employs. Komla Dumor gave an excellent TEDx Talk on the topic as well. So to be told I was talking about Africa in the way a typical white person would…ouch.

In light of that, I asked her to give the unnamed man my apologies and thought about what he said all night. Finally, I came to the following conclusion:

NAW PLAYA

I am SO SICK of this silencing tactic Africans employ to cut other Africans out of the conversation. We are always finding ways to separate ourselves, not just on the continent, but as a race. Some of the most profound and enduring musings on Africa have come from “non-Africans”, like Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey. Are we to discount and rubbish those because neither of these gentlemen ‘lived on the continent’? I’m not putting myself in the same intellectual league as Malcolm X, but what I AM saying is that geography is irrelevant.

I was born at Korle Bu.

My school fees helped to build and expand several campuses in Accra.

I too have known the pain of malaria and felt the sting of a cane.

I can point to a town where the Larteh hene will welcome me ‘home’ and tell me how my great-grandfather was instrumental in developing the area.

I’m a Ghanaian, and in 2015, I live in Atlanta. I have just as much right to comment on the goings on on the Continent as the slum kid who lives at Agbogbloshie. But let’s drill that all the way back, so we can all see how incredibly condescending at short sighted this line of thinking is. Keep in mind that this train of thought is something numerous Blacks and Africans are guilty of, not just the gentleman in question who I offended.

Argument: You don’t even live on the continent! You can’t talk.

Solution: I move to Togo. Now I can talk.

Scenario: A skirmish breaks out in Ivory Coast. I talk.

Argument: You don’t live IN Ivory Coast. You can’t talk.

Solution: I pack up and move to Ivory Coast. I talk.

Argument: But you are not FROM Ivory Coast. You can’t talk.

Solution: I forge relationships with native Ivoirians, read a few articles where I can (I still have 4 kids and a family to look after, don’t I?), formulate my views, and I talk.

Argument: But you have never lived IN the exact area where the skirmish has taken place. You are just talking as an outsider. You have no right to talk!

 

O_o

At this point, it’s obvious that the problem isn’t where I pay my rent or my taxes, it’s my view that it so bothersome. If the objector would admit that, I can respect that. But to propose that my view as an African about African events is somehow invalidated by virtue of where I lay my head at night is…preposterous. It always will be. So now the Lost Boys of Sudan can’t have an opinion about Xenophobia in South Africa because they are living on Minnesota? Ahhnba!

I looked up the offending article last night to see what could cause this gentleman so much angst that my name would turn to ash in his mouth. It was written in 2012 (not 5-6 years ago). There were 102 comments. There were many people who agreed with my sentiments, and just as many who didn’t. Most of us are “Africans”…and that means we are not a monolith with one singular view. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a word. Not a syllable. It is the same sentiment I shared on the Chibok Kidnappings or #BringBackOurGirls. All I wanted to know – what I STILL want to know – is why we as Africans aren’t doing more to demand accountability from our leadership and from ourselves. Why aren’t we championing our own causes with extreme vigor? Why aren’t we looking inward for our own solutions?

This difference between 2012 and 2015 is the Africans’ use of social media to connect and contribute to the development of the Continent; and despite the push back from those who are so comfortable with the status quo we in the Diaspora and at home have seen the needle move by our collective efforts. I’m not going to let anyone take that from me.

Who gave you the right to judge who is an African and who is not?

The Foreboding Message in Walov’s Revolutionary Song, ‘Never Go Change’

When Michael Kwame Gbordzoe composed the lyrics to our national anthem,  ‘God Bless Our Homeland, Ghana’ culminating the first stanza with the refrain:

And help us to resist oppressor’s rule, with all our will and might forevermore

I wonder if he ever imagined that the government elected by the people, for the people, would eventually morph into the oppressor of the people.

There is no doubt that citizens are feeling burdened and hopeless in the country right now, and that is directly as a result of the way the country is being governed. From the executive office of the president, to the religious leaders that sway the emotions of the people, to our municipal mayors and educators, there is a frenzied – almost primal need to subjugate those who find themselves under the authority of anyone in these groups. Ghana has long been considered a hard place to live, but it is only recently that it has become near impossible for the native Ghanaian to thrive in his/her own homeland. Ghana is very kind to the expatriate corps, who navigate the system with ease thanks to the privilege that being paid in dollars/pounds sterling. Ghanaians themselves will go out of their way to show a foreigner that their lives and desires are preferred above their own. This has contributed to the climate and attitude that the native Ghanaian is not worth serving to one’s best. It is an attitude that Ghana’s political elite display with wanton flagrance, insulting the population and then offering half-hearted apologies for political expediency, if any at all.

It is in this bleak climate that Wanlov the Kubolor has penned what many consider the song of the soon coming revolution, ‘Never Go Change’. (The video released was online two days ago). The melody is haunting, the message a warning. The single black and whaite shot of what appears to be a homeless, but hardworking man sweating in his toil is a portent and reflection of life for the average Ghanaian today. I asked Kubolor to talk about his motivation for the arrangement and lyrics of the song.

wanlov-kubolor-resized

MOM: Musically, I think it’s a BIT of a departure from your usual subject matter. You usually tackle sexual attitudes and religion (this has earned you the moniker “controversial”)…so why politics now?

Wanlov: Musically it is because I am known for rapping/singing on beats, but I started listening to Sixto Rodriguez over 2 years now and have been learning acoustic guitar from Kyekyeku & Tumi Ansah (M3NSA’s dad). Also dumsor is to blame for me learning guitar…but I think you meant topic-wise. I have always rapped/sung about politics from jump. The first song on my first album “Green Card” was called 50th Dependence and sadly all the lyrics from then are even more relevant now. 

MOM: Have you been meaning to do this song for a while, or was it spontaneous considering the political climate Ghana is in now?

Wanlov: I wrote this song a few months ago and debuted it at the Lauryn Hill concert in Accra. The crowd response gave me goosebumps. This is the song of the revolution.

MOM: ‘Never Go Change’ reminds me of Lauryn Hill’s I Find it Hard to Say (Rebel) in which she calls out authority figures for diminishing the value of Black life and oppressed people. She rhetorically asks “Why don’t you rebel”. It’s apropos that you would open for her with this!

Wanlov: [It] was not a conscious decision, but it crossed my mind to ask her to do (record) the song with me. However she was in a bad space because she had just lost her band leader so I shunned. Maybe if the song goes worldwide will ask her to revisit it with me ;)

MOM: You’re one of the few celebrities who has used his voice to address social ills. Do you take on this mandate BECAUSE of your celebrity, or does your fame give you the platform to advocate for causes you would be engaging in regardless?

Wanlov: I do not consider myself a celebrity…just an unpopular popular citizen who knows better and wants that better to be a basic Ghanaian right.

MOM: Do you expect any backlash for releasing this song, particularly for the call to “cut off their heads and splatter blood all over the walls”?

Wanlov: It would surprise me…they do not take the entire country seriously…why would they take me seriously? Besides they kill people every day through their lack of action or abundance of greedy or uninformed decisions. 

MOM: Why did you choose to use such a calm, melodic beat instead of something more angry and edgy?

Wanlov: I am past angry…I am now in the calm & calculated zone waiting for my people to arrive.

MOM: The song is a jeremiad about the flagrant display of greed in the face of so much suffering in the nation. Our political and social elite seem to be able to get away with the most heinous crimes with absolute impunity, and because they can, they do. And they will never change. But at the end of the song, you ask the listener: “Like you, you go change?” Do you think we ALL have the potential for corruption at the levels we’re seeing? And if so, is there really any hope for Ghana? It doesn’t seem to matter who we vote into power, the question keeps coming back: “Like you, you go change?” After all, these guys went to our schools and live in our communities. They are a part of us. What keeps this cycle of crap going, in your opinion?

Wanlov: The only reason something radical has not been done yet about corruption is because we are all waiting for our turn to get into a position and exploit it selfishly. We admire successful corruption stories. For example, Woyome is a hero to many. Ministers implicated in corruption are hailed and called honorable.

There is no hope for Ghana to change peacefully in the next 2 generations. My youngest sister who finished high school 2 years ago paid for a school sweater her first year. She and her mates did not get the sweater they paid for in the 3 years they attended that school till today. They were punished if they wore “non-prescribed” sweaters which they needed to because the school is in the mountains and it gets very cold when the sun sets. Upon all the maths and science and whatever they studied, the biggest practical lesson they learnt was behavioral. The teachers/staff they looked up to taught them that when you are in power you are not accountable.

Also our generation did not grow up seeing our parents bribing police by the roadside or tipping the ECG worker to not cut the illegal connection, but our children are growing up seeing this as normal…so imagine the next century…

This cycle keeps going because of the fine balance of colonial legacy, capitalism, religion, shortsightedness, nepotism, patriarchy, pretend patriotism & cultural/spiritual poverty. It has been set up nicely and will keep repeating till the pipes burst in the ever depraved marginalized slums who can’t even afford to follow a religion to sedate them. They will ravage everything shiny and attack anyone above their level of livelihood. Then Ghana will start from its ashes instead of continuing from the tree tops.

Ma bre (Translation: I’m tired)

 

Watch ‘Never Go Change’ here:

*NB: A day after this interview, news broke that Adams Mahama, the Upper East Chairman for the new Patriotic Party (NPP), had been the victim of an acid attack by two unnamed assailants. His injuries were deemed critical, and sadly cost him his life. He was part of political dispute and the victim of his own party’s in-fighting.

Politicians cannot continue to rely on the goodwill and pseudo spirituality/piety of the Ghanaian public. People are angry. People are frustrated. People are losing their capacity to tap into their compassion and humanity.

No right thinking person would condone these attacks, but ALL right thinking people must ask what sort of desperation would lead a person to resort to this kind of violence and address it at the root. The roots are obvious and exposed, but it is up to us as Ghanaians to admit that they are rotten and tend to them accordingly. It’s not as simple as “because Africans are savages”. To rely on that as an explanation is to willfully dismiss the many obvious and reoccurring wrongs in our society today.

We Survived the End of the School Year Melee

Shouts out to all my parents, guardians and grandparents raising grandbabies in The Struggle. We did it. The end of the school year has come and if you’re reading this, it means that you still had a little bit of change left over to pay your internet and light bill. You tha real MVP.

Nana Malone’s husband calls this time of year ‘Death by a thousand cuts’. I don’t think I’ve encountered a more apt description of the financial hemorrhaging that takes place in the days leading up to the end of the school year. It’s costly to keep our young’uns in school, and it takes a small ransom to get them out! For the last three weeks, Marshall and I have been bleeding money…and I know we’re not alone. You too have struggled. I can feel it.

I haven’t sat down to calculate the aggregate cost of all the end of year activities. I really don’t want to know, to be honest. But if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say conservatively we’ve spent close to $1,000 in the 3 weeks leading up to the last day of school. My Teacher Appreciation Week gifts alone left my account close to $200 lighter. That’s not the teachers’ fault. It’s my own. I like to give good gifts.

Parents around the country have been nickel and dime’d out of hundreds of dollars for end of year activities. What we should all be welcoming as a joyous season as families – the beginning of summer, a new milestone in your child’s education journey, pool/beach season – has become increasingly stressful over the years. When I was in primary school, we had ONE celebration. It was called Our Day. Kids would bring jollof or rice and stew to share with friends. The really posh kids would bring a mineral (soda). My mom was stingy, so we either went without food to Our Day or we took juuuust enough of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to break off a piece for whoever was still a friend by the time the year ended. My mother would stroke out if she had to contend with all the all the expectations of parenthood today.

Everyone has a party.

After school club has a party.

Zumba club has a party.

Each classroom has a party.

Then there is a school-wide party.

Then Kindergarten graduation party.

Then Pre-K graduation party. (I still haven’t figured out why I’m paying sixty bucks to see my child graduate from daycare. How is this an accomplishment? Nevertheless, they gave her a cap and gown…so to graduation we go!)

Don’t forget the PTA appreciation party (donations of $5 and above are welcome!).

Then when you get home, the kids want to know if there will be an ushering Summer Season party. Who is paying for all these parties? You and I ooo. They are not charitable goodwill events!

 

Did I mention the activities?

Now we have field study/excursions. Oh! And it’s overnight, so send your kid with $20 for spending money.

Your child has shown promise in x area. S/he will join an elite group of students in the State’s capital to meet with lawmakers about how to create leather from wishes. Be sure to send $20 for spending money.

Little Akosua joined the Reading Club last semester and has failed to return 3 of the books she checked out. Please remit $9.50 to the librarian.

Oh! You didn’t get that email? We sent it in April! And you have to construct a pioneer and beehive project. This will count towards their final grade and will be showcased at the Party party. Be prepared to spend $100 on materials at Hobby Lobby.

 

Arrrggggghhhhh!

Times 4! All these and more times 4!

But we made it. We did it! We were battered and scourged, but we didn’t die. Dying is for summer time when the children consume all the food in the house like a hoard of locust and expect to be rewarded for this behavior with trips to Tybee Island and Disney Land. Rogues.

And now, the girls are into their appearance, so I have to make sure they don’t have more self-esteem issues than an 8-10 year girl should be burdened with. They have been watching ANT Farm and have taken a liking to Chyna’s locks. I have pressed more hair this month than I have in my entire life. Of course, the baby wants to do what the big girls do and so..

 

Maintaining one’s appearance costs Mommy time. And money. Because you Negros don’t have the same grade of hair. I gotta get a ceramic iron for one, a titanium for the other and a magnetic lined, Pegasus-blessed flat iron for the other!

Look at this. My son had the audacity to wear this shirt to the last day of school. (I have to tell you all the story of how he ended up BACK in school. Principal McClure is the one to thank for this.) Homework is your only concern, eh? Small boys are young. You are only 5. Let’s chat again when you are 35. By the time you have kids, they’ll be doing field studies on Jupiter, and I will sit back and laugh at you with no sympathy.

Homework

I recognize that we are blessed and fortunate to have the discretionary funds to do all of these fun (because they are totally unnecessary) things for our kids. It’s sobering to remember that many, many American families cannot afford to participate in the avalanche of frivolity that classroom moms and club administrators conjure up and demand payment for at the waning of Spring.

It still hurts.

Has your end-of-year experience been similar, or do your kids just do Our Day and be done with it? I miss Our Day. I miss the simplicity of jollof and decorations made with newspaper. I don’t want to bleed anymore. Let’s boycott in the 2015=2016 school year. Who’s with me!

revo

Y’all lyin’. You ain’t ready to revolt. Our kids won’t let us. I’ll see you at the ATM same time this fall.

 

Governor Adams Oshiomhole Must be the *Nicest* Man in Africa

Last week, Marshall and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. *Confetti…yay!*

As we sat down to dinner, I casually opened my Facebook app (a habit of mine he has long hated, but has grown accustomed to) and saw that another couple in Africa had just tied the knot within days of our anniversary. That couple comprised of Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and Lara Fortes. Iara Fortes is (or was) an airline hostess. There are media reports that she is a model as well – but this is Africa we’re talking. Every light skinned woman above the height of 5 feet is a “model”. Iara Fortes needs to be proud of her position of a sky hostess and stop this attempt to disguise her true talents. If you are awesome at bringing businessmen ice water in first class, own it!

Although Marshall hates that I spend so much time on my phone during the precious few hours we generally have together, he can’t deny that I generally find interesting items to discuss and dissect. The marriage of Governor Oshiomhole and Ms. Fortes was definitely worth dissection.

Reaction to the union on social media has been pretty predictable. Obviously – according to the Twitteratti and Facebook Kids – Iara Fortes was marrying the good governor for money. That’s the only reason pretty girls/women marry dudes that look like this, right? Because he’s wealthy? No, please. That explanation did not sit well with either of us.

AdamsOshiomholeIara2

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is single and wealthy.

Idris Elba is single and wealthy.

Several footballers on several African teams are single and wealthy.

There was no reason for Iara Fortes to merge her body and soul with this man for the mere benefit of wealth…not when there are so many superior looking and equally wealthy men on God’s green planet. It’s not as if she wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet these men. As I said before, her job was to bring chips and ice water to business and first class customers in the sky! We surmised that something deeper was at play. This was a puzzle that needed solving, and my husband and I (okay, just *EYE*) am proud of what we came up with for possible reasons to make sense of this marriage:

Juju was at work

Nigerian men are not above using juju to get what they want…at least in films. The dark arts are employed to acquire wealth, revenge, super human strength. But when it comes to matters of the heart, the stereotype is that it is usually women who turn to magic to capture the affections of a desired mate.

I don’t think Iara Fortes used juju, but it would not surprise me if the governor sprinkled some ground chicken bones in her Coke and whispered incantations over her in her sleep to ensure that this union took place. I mean, ah. Look at the way he has gripped her hand to put on the ring. What woman allows herself to be manhandled in this way without protesting? He is manhandling her in public…imagine how he will treat her away from the gaze and clicks of cameras!

gripping

The Governor was a rebound

It is a known and proven fact that good looking men – and especially men who know/are convinced that they are good looking – treat women like crap. They know that they can, because even if you leave, there will be another woman in the wings waiting for her turn to be treated like garbage. As for this one, I have experienced it myself. It’s ridiculous. There is no explanation for it!

My theory is that the good governor swooped in at the right time and saw that Iara Fortes had some sadness behind her eyes. He offered her some kindly (and fatherly) words, offered her his card, told her to call him anytime she wanted to talk and BOOM! Before she knew it, she was saying “I Do”. He hit her with that ‘nice guy’ act and she was powerless to resist.  This leads into Marshall’s theory which is…

your-brain-on-love

Iara’s Right Brain Beat the Left into Submission

The right side of the brain controls emotion. It recognizes faces, controls creativity and is associated with intuition. The left side of the brain controls logic, critical thinking and reasoning. When a person is “in love”, your brain is in a virtual fog. It emits neurotransmitters into your bloodstream that produce a feeling of euphoria whenever you think about object of your desire or are in his/her presence.

Marshall thinks Iara is thinking (or not) with her right brain, and when that left kicks in, she’s gonna be like “Awww shucks…I’m stuck now.”

 

She’s trying to spite her parents

Look at the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Fortes. Do they look happy to you? The mother didn’t even bother to do her hair properly to witness the wedding. It looks like they had just come back from lunch at the Golden Corral and were like “Well, I guess we better head over to Lara’s wedding. Did you bring the vodka? I’m going to need it to get through this day.”

Parents-of-the-bride-Mr-and-Mrs-Fortes-650x407

We’re all being catfished

No. Seriously. Is this a joke?

kissing

Supporters of the marriage have come out en force to enquire why so many people are in arms about the union. If Iara Fortes is marrying Governor O, why does it concern you? Is it your marrying?

“No!” say their detractors, “but it is our taxes!”

African politics and social norms will never cease to amuse and amaze. I don’t care about the money. History is full of advantageous and powerful marriages that have shaped our reality today… but this one, I can’t understand.  I care deeply about unlocking this code. I want to understand.

 

What do you think? When Marshall and I first got married, many people thought we were oddly matched and couldn’t make sense of our relationship either. Do you think these crazy kids have a chance? Is she in it for the money? Is he in it for her body? Discuss!

couple

The Make Up Tutorial That Changed My Life

Sweet shegge! Every once in a while in the barrage of perpetual angst, vitriol and anger, Facebook delivers a nugget so precious that you grab a hold of it and flee. You never want to lose the light and joy this precious thing has delivered unto you. Yesterday, one such gem filtered onto my newsfeed and I am eternally grateful!

I don’t know who this woman is. Her profile looks like it’s written in Amharic, but her accent is Kenyan. She may be a Kenyan living in Ethiopia. I don’t know. All I know is that her make up video gave me SO much life that I had to try it for myself. And it wasn’t just about the make-up: It was the life affirming words she was sharing. It was the socio-political dynamics of femininity she explored. It was the way she popped her gum between every syllable! I have to tell you MOM Squad: I have never felt so powerful and alive in my whole life! It WORKS. I felt like a local celebrity when I was through. I highly recommend you try this at home.

Please watch her video and share. If you know her name, add it to the comments section so that we can send her our gratitude in the spirit.

Who is this Empress?

Click here to watch

makeup

 

I must be like her