Author Archives: Malaka

The Most Impactful Moments of 2015

2015 will end in just two days. Incredible! It feels as though it was just a few weeks ago that we were doubled over in laughter in response to Two Thoozin’s hopes and prayers that “evultin will be vibely on Nachurrr Gawd!” – and yet a whole year has gone by!

This year has been fraught with memorable events, both good and bad. Personally, 2015 marked what I consider the best year of my life to date. I mean that earnestly. I connected with wonderful people, achieved an astounding number of professional and personal goals, and finally experienced what it was like to walk in divine favor. I believe these successes had a lot to do with my decision to choose to be more selfish this year. I wouldn’t consider myself a “people pleaser”, but I do acknowledge I have a near uncontrollable propensity to come to the ready rescue of others; whether they deserve it or not, whether I am fully equipped to “save” them or not. This has repeatedly cost me heartache and money in the past, and this year I just said “NO!” to all of it. It is the first time in my life I have felt empowered and comfortable with saying “no”. Those “nos” also affected what I decided to write about. I chose less weighty topics for the majority of the year, and it’s done wonders for my psyche and my spiritual health.

I have not yet decided if I will return to fighting form in 2016. Honestly, I’m a little scared to.

And I got to focus on writing and completing a bunch of books!

Plus, I got to focus on writing and completing a bunch of books!

But this post isn’t about my year. It’s about our year as an online family! I’ve asked a number of you to share what you consider to be your most impactful moments of the year and have compiled them here. I have to say, I agree with ALL of them. Some were amusing, others disturbing, some soul-rending and all of them truly stirring. So without further ado, I present to you – in no particular order – the most important moments of 2015, according to the MOM Squad!

 

Social/Political Moments

The Circumstances Surrounding Sandra Bland’s Death: Sandra Bland’s death (some say murder) rocked the conscience of the entire nation. It set us ill at ease. Sandy is but one of many persons of color who lost their lives to police brutality under suspicious circumstances. We were left feeling less safe; more certain that we are being hunted in this country. It didn’t matter that she was “woke”, or knew her rights, or that she hadn’t committed a crime other than resisting arrest while not being under arrest in the first place…she still ended up dead in a rural Texas jail cell. Never forget Sandra Bland.

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Key & Peele Perform Negro Town Skit: Like 2014 (and 2013 and 2012 and…1643), 2015 saw its fair share of public executions of unarmed citizens. Through it all, we used music and/or comedy as a balm to soothe a never healing wound. Often criticized for their failure to/fear of addressing brutality against the Black community specifically, comedy duo Key & Peele ended the five year run of their show with a sketch called Negro Town, a brilliant response to the many ills affecting the Black community frequently wrought by racism. Hilarity did ensue. We were comforted, grateful…even hopeful. A couple of us are still trying to navigate our way to this fabled town.

POTUS pop off play list: Please…! Don’t pop off about President Obama’s response to ISIS or any policies regarding it unless you have some alternatives. If not, get ready for that clapback!

100 Black Pastors shame us: This was a low moment for the Kingdom of God and all who call themselves sons and daughters of the King. 100+/- Black clergymen and women pledged to endorse a hate-mongering bigot and wearer of a strange hairdo. Yes, we are talking about Black pastors who publicly support Donald Trump for no discernible reason other than the fact that he “can’t be bought”.

Y’all.

Judas tried to return his 30 pieces of silver after betraying Jesus, and for a moment, he couldn’t be “bought” either. My Lord n’ Savior still ended up battered on the cross though.

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Music and Entertainment

indexReggie and Bollie nearly win X Factor: Ghanaian music duo Reggie and Bollie catapulted themselves to international fame on the sheer power of vim and determination. While energetic and wildly entertaining, it can’t be claimed that the beloved pair are musically gifted or truly possess any musical talent. They are, however, the ultimate live performers. And they nearly succeeded in carrying out the ultimate coup – and borga fantasy – when they came dangerously close to winning the top spot on the popular English TV show, X Factor. Vim!

Viola Davis’ Harriet Tubman quote at the Emmys: This moment was the epitome of Black Girl MAGIC!!! You hear??? Everything about this moment was magical – from her dress, to her hair, to Taraji leaping from her seat and bearing Viola up with the sister love of the ancients. Just…just watch it again. Relive the moment and fall back in love.

Jem Movie Boycott: I have never seen another movie so roundly rejected. Have you? This movie was doomed to fail from the moment they released the trailer depicting Synergy as an iPhone accessory instead of the intricate holographic program she was designed to function as. There was no saving this film. The words “source material” and “fraud” were bandied about with good reason: the Jem movie offered the ultimate disrespect to all who grew up with and loved the show. The boycott was proof that Hollywood should refrain from screwing with iconic characters, especially if they are female. May the sales numbers serve as a warning – a proverbial head on a spike to all who dare to screw with Jem (or My Little Pony or Punky Brewster) in the future!

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The Hamiltones Sing the Hits: God bless Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones for sprinkling Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and bacon grease on these pop hits and making them even Blacker and better. Genius!

Wizkid, Drake, Skepta ‘Ojuelegba’ Mix: For as long as anyone can remember, there has been tension between Africans in the Diaspora and those on the Continent, despite the intermittent spurts of effort to reverse that trend. (Think Nkrumah, Ali, Mandela, Maya n’ dem.) This year, the author of a certain article went further in flaming the fans of unnecessary tension by claiming that Blacks in the Diaspora and African Americans (in particular) ought to stop “appropriating” African culture, because reasons. But in all that noise and clamor, 3 artists quietly collaborated to reprise Nigerian hit-maker Wizkid’s Ojuelegba in a stunning mix of simple creativity and cross-cultural partnership that hasn’t been witnessed in recent history. Naija, UK and Canada one track? Come ON, now!

Pop Culture

Walaba U Girl: This child singlehandedly got an entire nation to look within, reflect and ask their neighbor/hater to do the same with the repeating of one, singular, probing question: Walaba yew?

The Wiz Live: We needed The Wiz, and we needed it at the moment that it aired. We needed to see a star being born. We needed all that Black Excellence on screen and in our homes, and on a mainstream platform. The Wiz Live is/was our crown jewel this year. Watching it with all of America felt like being in a giant living room, filled with love. We needed that moment of unity, even if it came with 4,000 commercials between scenes and a few dozen inbred racist Twitter trolls.

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Patti Pies: Unknown to the rest of the world, Miss Patti Labelle’s sweet potato pies had been on shelves at Walmart for months with tepid sales. Then a little known backup/jingle singer named James Wright Chanel did a review that went viral and one Patti Pie was sold per second for 72 consecutive hours, netting just under $1 million. On that weekend. Never underestimate the power of your voice and a bedazzled hat.

Adele’s Comeback with ‘Hello’ and all the Parodies that Ensued:

Black Twitter featuring #ThanksgivingClapBack, #AskRkelly #masculinitysofragile #BlackLivesMatter #YouOKSis: As Black Twitter is not done doing the Lawd’s work as 2015 has not yet come to a close. In the meantime, I invite you to get online and check out these and other hashtags for yourself in order to witness the glory!

Rachel Dolezal makes ‘Transracial’ a thing: This chick doesn’t deserve any of our energy, and yet, here we are. That’s all I have to say about that.

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Events Shaking Africa

john-boyegaJohn Boyega: Young Mr. Boyega is doing the entire continent proud, and is the latest centurion to join the Nigerian Actor/Mogul World Domination Force (NAMWoDomF). We’re looking forward to seeing what he does in his career in the future!

_82760522_027049507-1Burundi: The violence that has broken out in Burundi – a nation that has already seen its fair share – has all of us watching nervously and waiting.

 

Sucka!

Sucka!

Nelson Baani loses Parliamentary Seat: Known as the ‘Sharia MP’, the man who proposed stoning adulterous women as recompense for cheating on their husbands in 2014 lost his re-election bid almost to the day his absurd utterances came to light. Karma is sweet.

 

Burkina Faso has issued an international arrest warrant for ousted leader Blaise Compaore in connection with the murder of former President Thomas Sankara. Sankara’s death has never been properly investigated, nor justice done on his behalf. This is a day many Africans have waited for for decades.

Africa Trumps Ebola and Sends it to America: This isn’t something to celebrate. This is actually very serious. Considering that Republicans (and closeted racist Democrats) lobbied hard to close off Africa while this disease ravaged an entire region, but then ended up having Ebola resurface in the US by proxy of American carriers was the ultimate boomerang.

KpyRymuOStoreFoundry rips up the online merchant game in Ghana: There’s not much else to say about this. SF is KILLING the game! And if the competition doesn’t get their act together, they will find themselves a distant third in the POS market. (Of course, I confess I’m biased, because they serve as my exclusive online retailer on the Continent. :) )

 

Kantanka-SUVKantanka Cars Available for Commercial Sale: At long last: Cars made in Ghana for the Ghanaian market (and hopefully, beyond). What’s not to love?! Let’s hope 2016 sees this pioneer building a website as part of their brand marketing. I mean…because it’s 2016.

 

 

Sports

Serena Williams: A picture is worth ALL my words.

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Biggest upset of the year: Rhonda Rousey got the smack smacked out of her by a woman who seemed to rise out of the mist like a phantom. In the biggest upset in women’s MMA history Holly Holm handily handed Rhonda Rousey her ass. With a kick to the neck. It was unbelievable. I don’t think Rhonda still believes it.

Holly-Holm-beats-Ronda-Rousey

 

The Heavens Unify the Globe

The world gathered to see the Blood Moon: This was my personal favorite moment of all of 2015. The entire world gathered to watch a historic cosmic event, and for those few hours, we weren’t Christians or Muslims or atheists or pro-gun or anti-abortion. We were just human beings trying (in vain depending on geography) to get a glimpse of a rare blood moon on a cloudy night. Many of us had to rely on technology to get a glimpse. (That’s how I got this shot.)

We congregated in awed silence to witness nature’s majesty…and for those few hours, nothing else mattered: Not our political positions, not our race, not what the Kardashians were wearing to their weekly anal bleaching session.

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It was a monumental moment of unity, and it gave me shivers.

 

Deaths

We all lost a number of good friends, family, villains and heroes this year. Not wanting to claim that the passing of some people is/was of more importance than others, I opted not list any names out of respect for all. Most will be missed dearly. Other people left the Earth in a better (happier) position with their passing. That’s our reality. If you lost a loved one this year, may fond memories of them forever live in your heart.

 

What were your favorite moments of 2015? Did this year turn out the way you had hoped, or better?

Well, this is my last post for the year! What will be your last comment? Here’s to a healthy, prosperous, fulfilled 2016, MOM Squad! You all mean the world to me.

New-Year-2016-28

 

What Would our World Look Like If We All Got as Excited as Wisa Greid During Special Moments?

*Warning: This post contains gratuitous (and crude) references to the male reproductive organ. If you take offense to the words “penis”, “dangle” and “cock”, you should probably stop reading right abooouuuut…NOW.

 

It would appear that we’re all going to have get comfortable with seeing penises in places we are not traditionally accustomed to encountering them. Whereas environments like bathrooms and bedrooms are normal grounds for penile exposure, we are now discovering that loin beasts are encroaching on nontraditional territory. It would be behoove us all to be ever vigilant, because you don’t know when someone’s cock is going to strike and/or make an unexpected appearance.

For instance, earlier this year, Lenny Kravitz’s penis shot through his leather pants like a little brown missile while he was performing on stage. Wanlov the Kubolor had his nudes from a video shoot industrially distributed on social media by a TV anchor/radio personality (whose name escapes me now). That was not his choice. But prior to that, he glibly lifted his skirt on the Delay show to demonstrate that he doesn’t wear underwear, an act for which her was soundly admonished for by the more prudish members of society. He has since claimed that he would expose himself again, given the opportunity.We were shocked, shocked I say by his brazenness! And just 48 hours ago, an up and coming artist named Wisa Greid eclipsed all these moments when he whipped out his dick during what he describes as a moment of euphoria on stage.

Yes. You heard me right. Dude, freed his little Willie and left it stranded on his elastic band like a chubby baby penguin. (He has since apologized.)

His management team said he just “got caught up in the moment”.

On December 24th, 2015, Citi FM hosted its annual ‘Decemba 2 Rememba’ celebration of music and the arts in Ghana. It was a packed house, with the audience uniformly clad in white t-shirts and blue jeans. All of Ghana’s Twitteratti was in attendance. Reviews of the show were mixed, with many people claiming the performances were just a’ight with the exception of Reggie Rockstone, Eazzy and Stonebwoy who rocked the crowd’s entire face off. But as exceptional as these artists may have been in delivering their talent, there is only ONE moment that has dominated the chatter on social media for the past two days: And that is the introduction of Wisa Greid’s cock to the whole of Accra…and to the rest of the world, thanks to the magic of YouTube.

I had never heard of Wisa Greid – an artist who has one hit under his belt – until this weekend. I know this may sound “controversial”, but I think Wisa did himself a favor by exposing his genitalia and attempting to dry hump his backup dancer during a live performance. I’m sure it was unpleasant for the dancer, (and we’ll have to talk about her feelings about being publicly violated and the liberties men take with Ghanaian women’s bodies in general in depth another time) but if you look at this faux pas and compare it to say, a certain Ms. Universe event, it was brilliant. Let’s be honest: had Steve Harvey not crowned the wrong winner last week, very few of us would have known that Ms. Universe had even been televised. Why? Because no one really cares about Ms. Universe, or the contestants, or their platform. Likewise, if Wisa Greid had not jiggled ‘little Wisa’ to the crowd, no one would really be focusing on him past Thursday night.

Ei! But we’re all talking now. It wouldn’t surprise me if ‘Wisa’ is about to become an adjective/adverb/verb relating to poor decision making somewhere in the very near future.

“Chale, I Wisa the whole exam!”

“Mehn…this MP wan’ Wisa me, eh?”

“You be Wisa guy!”

It’s just the Ghanaian way of doing things.

dryhump

I have to admit: I saw the video and I was shocked. When people were tweeting that Wisa had pulled out his penis on stage, I thought perhaps he had just dropped his trousers and was showing more Fruit of the Loom than we’re all accustomed to. I didn’t realize he had his actual twig and berries in his hand and was chasing his backup dancer around the stage, vainly attempting to penetrate her shorts. I mean…dag!

A few people have come to Wisa’s defense, the most vocal being Ameyaw Debrah and Jayso, both of whom I have great respect for professionally.

In accordance with the Bro Code, they have also defended him against those who have ridiculed the size of this man bits.

I had to pause on Jayso’s assertion though. Bruh. If part of your creative process is to stroke yourself while you’re singing, there’s a time and place for that. Like maybe in the studio…or in the bathroom while you’re dreaming up new bars. But you just CAN’T just do a shlong song – and brandish said shlong – on stage in front of thousands (and now millions, because YouTube) of people because you’re school-girl giddy about performing for such a large crowd for the first time. What if we did that in other areas of our lives?

I have spent some time thinking about this.

Wisa gets a visa

Immigration officer: Well Mr. Greid! It looks like all your papers are in order. You’ve been approved for travel to London.

Wisa: Really? This is fantastic!

Immigration officer: Yes. This is one of the few times I’ve seen the paperwork go through so quickly. You’re a very lucky man.

Wisa: I’m so excited. I’m going to pull out my penis.

Immigration officer: What?

Wisa: Shhhh…*pulls out cock and tries to poke immigration officer with it through the window*

Immigration officer: Mr. Greid! I never!

Wisa: I’m so sorry. I just got caught up in the moment. This is the first time my visa has been approved for travel. Can I offer you some groundnuts by way of apology? I keep a pack next to my other nuts…

 

Wisa proposes to his girlfriend

Wisa: Baby. I think it’s time we took our relationship to the next level.

Girlfriend: What do you mean, Wisa? I thought this was as far as we could go. I mean, with your career and these groupies and all…

Wisa: Baby, you know these thots don’t mean a damn thing to me. I’ll prove it to you. *Pulls out a diamond ring*

Girlfriend (gasping): Wisa! It’s beautiful! I’m so excited! Of course I’ll marry you!

Wisa (pulls out dick and chases fiancé around the restaurant): I’m excited too, baby!

Girlfriend: ….

Wisa: ….

People in the restaurant: ….

 

Wisa buries his grandfather

Wisa (weeping): Mehn…This nigga right here? He was my world mehnnn. He was my rock! I’m going to miss him so much.

Priest: Yes. Your grandfather was a very good man. Very devout. He will be missed by the community.

Lawyer: You know, Mr. Greid, the old man left you a sizeable inheritance. You will be a very wealthy man, once these papers have been signed. Your wealth could rival the Jonah’s easily! You may be sad about your grandfather’s passing, but your life is about to change drastically and for the better. How does that make you feel?

Wisa (smiling): Heh heh heh….

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You see how whipping your dick out because you’re excited might NOT be the best (or wisest) reaction during pivotal moments in our lives? Nevertheless, congratulations, Wisa Greid. You have succeeded in doing something that no other Ghanaian man has done before, and will probably never do hence: Your name has become synonymous with the public exposure of your genitals. You have become a Kardashian. Things can ONLY get better from here!

 

 

How About a Little ‘Madness & Tea’ for Your Christmas Morning Treat!

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merrrrr’ Kritmah!

christmas-story-bunny-suitThis is a special time of year for most people. For others, the holidays can be very hard for myriad personal reasons. They are a reminder of people whom have been lost, or of broken relationships, or that one crazy aunt who handcrafted pink bunny pajamas and who truly expected your mom to share photos of your miserable middle-school-self clad in said pajamas on all her social networks, effectively guaranteeing your public humiliation for decades to come. Maybe your mom was one of such wicked women. Maybe that’s why you hate Christmas now. Whatever Kritmah means to you, I personally wish you the very best the season has to offer!

If you’re on the blog today, color me surprised. I figured most of you would be settling down to a cup of Christmas pudding, roast goose sandwiches or cow foot soup (for my West African people), not hanging around on the interwebs! But now that you’re here on M.O.M. today, I say welcome and I’m glad you decided to stop by…because I have a gift for you. Yes, YOU! (But you knew that already, because I’ve been gabbing about it for almost two weeks.)

I have just completed my fifth book, ‘Madness & Tea’ – a book I wrote just for the MOM Squad.

…and my dad. (Who has never read my blog, although he’s heard it’s very popular.)

…and DK Yaw Osei. (Who challenged me to a literary duel when he dared me to write a book without approaching the work with an “agenda”. Humph. That bruh doesn’t know the depth of nonfa I’m capable eh? This is an agendaless agenda book if there ever was one!)

But outside of those two anomalies, this book and the stories therein were written and compiled just for YOU, my faithful, silent readers! I love your creepy little ways ever so much. I never know if you’re really there even though I know you’re there. You know?

My goal was to have this work available for free on all platforms, but the enemies of progress would not have it be so. Nevertheless, I did manage to beat the prices into submission depending on the platform. There’s something here for everyone! Just pick whichever price range and reading experience works best for you!

Google Books: Free (May be best viewed on a PC or laptop)

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Barnes & Noble NOOK: $0.99

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CreateSpace: $9.05 (50% your print copy when you use discount code DAEJN3HM)

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Amazon/Kindle: $2.99 (e-book) $9.05 (print)

Amazon UK: 1.96 Pounds

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‘Madness & Tea’ is a pet project I started working on almost two years ago and tabled in order to focus on other pursuits. I’m glad I postponed its completion and release, because I believe the timing works better now, where laughter and frivolity are so sorely needed and probably better appreciated. There’s that and the fact that if I’d released it in 2013, I wouldn’t have been in a position to capture and place that awesome picture that graces the book’s back cover…a picture I took in the fall of 2014. See? It’s like I always say: Eventually, everything comes together – like butt cheeks.

Oh, and a couple of things by way of warning: This book contains vulgarity, bushness, insensitivity and juvenile humor, which are essentially the reasons that the Madness group come to the blog anyway. As for the rest of you, please don’t say I didn’t warn you. :)

Merry HanuChrisKwanFestivus, my friends! Make sure you alert me to any issues, feedback, or uncomfortable stares you’ve received from strangers on the train because you’ve been snort laughing!

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All Your Favorite Christmas Songs is NasTAY!

There are two types of people in this world where Christmas music is concerned: Those who love it, and those who don’t. You can’t be “neutral” about Christmas music. It’s just not possible. As for me, I happen to fall in the category that loves the hokeyness of holiday tunes and like millions of other Americans, I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving when Top 40 radio plays all Christmas, all day long until December 26th. So, as you might imagine, I have dedicated innumerable man hours to consuming the genre.

For many years, I have sang merrily along with artists who have put a country, rock and/or hip-hop spin on classics such as ‘Mary Did You Know’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’. I have my opinions on whether Mandisa is actually a better Christmas carol crooner than Mariah. I have spent a lot of time pondering whether CeeLo Green is an evil genius for releasing an album of carols or just desperate for public acceptance after being ousted from his job on ‘The Voice’ following his outrageous assertions about rape. (I have to admit, it is a very fun, well produced album. You should check it out.) However, this is the first time in my life that I have dedicated the effort to actually analyzing the lyrics of some of my most favored carols. In doing so, I have discovered that a number of them are just downright debauching. You may find this hard to believe, but let’s just take a look at these four songs which are played in heavy rotation year after year. Given the sexually driven climate of pop culture, I don’t think that this is by mistake that these four get so much air time. Let’s deconstruct them.

Santa Baby

If you were looking for a manual on how to manipulate Santa Clause by appealing to his primal nature, this song is it. ‘Santa Baby’ is a song purred by a gold digging floozy who has corrupted the good Mr. Clause and encouraged him to take leave of his senses. This is a song about seduction and financial coercion using sex as a weapon. She doesn’t hesitate before she pounces with:

Santa baby, just slip a Sable under the tree for me;
Been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a ’54 convertible too, light blue;
I’ll wait up for you, dear; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’ve missed;
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed;
Next year I could be just as good… if you check off my Christmas list…

Herh! Who should hurry down “your chimney”? And because you haven’t been thot bopping around town with unemployed scrubs, you think that entitles you to a new drop top? Filthy slhore! This is a married man. Let him have peace!

Baby It’s Cold Outside

This song is a duet about date rape. It just is. There is no denying it. We’ll be better off once we all accept it.

My husband has always been uneasy about this song, and I never understood why. Now I do. I can see this poor girl pleading to leave this man’s house while he peppers her with rebuttals like a door-to-door sales man trained in the ninja arts of overcoming customer objections. It’s like he can’t hear her “no”, and could care less about the emotions her family might be going through while waiting up for a daughter/sister out later than normal. I cringe every time this song comes on.

(My mother will start to worry) Beautiful, what’s your hurry
(My father will be pacing the floor) Listen to the fireplace roar
(So really I’d better scurry) Beautiful, please don’t hurry
(Well, maybe just half a drink more) Put some records on while I pour

He even spikes her drink to lower her inhibitions:

(The neighbors might think) Baby, it’s bad out there
(Say what’s in this drink) No cabs to be had out there
(I wish I knew how) Your eyes are like starlight now
(To break this spell) I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell

‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ has been performed by numerous artists over the years. And as disturbing as the lyrics and the intent behind this song are, I am even more perturbed by the fact that there now exists a female-to-female version of the song.

I don’t know… it just seems anti-feminist for one woman to drug another with the intent to get into her panties, all the while employing the sorry excuse that it’s cold outside.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause

This is a song about a poor kid who has witnessed his mother’s infidelity and is uncertain about what to do next. He tries to use humor as a shield for his mixed up emotions. The boy is able to recount – in great detail – the series of amorous events that take place between his mother and this deity underneath the mistletoe. This woman thought her son was fast asleep and therefore felt free to invite this man to “slide down her chimney” while in the confines of her martial home.

She is tickling Santa.

She’s kissing Santa.

And meanwhile, all this young chap can think about what his father’s reaction would be to seeing his wife nuzzling with a man 300 times her age.

Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night

No, baby. Daddy would not be laughing. Nobody would be laughing. This song chronicles the events leading up to a broken home, and potentially, a domestic violence situation.

Look at them boots. Look at that cape. Santa is a freak.

Look at them boots. Look at that cape. Santa is a freak.

Let it Snow

This song. This song is the most subversive of them all! But me, I have seen through it! Look at this:

When we finally kiss goodnight
How I’ll hate going out in the storm
But if you’ll really hold me tight
All the way home I’ll be warm

The fire is slowly dying
And my dear, we’re still goodbying
As long as you love me so
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Yes, I know it looks innocent enough, but it’s not. This song is about two virgins dry humping at either one’s parental home…and in front of the fireplace, no less. A place where people gather to find peace and enjoy the calming crackling of burning wood. Ohhh, there’s wood alright!

Whereas the protagonist in ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is a seasoned sexual predator who roofies the drinks of his quarry, the young man in this song has brought popcorn with the hopes of gently snuggling with the object of his affection. Popcorn and his penis.

What else could “goodbying” be a synonym for but crotch contact? Yes! The only way he’ll be warm all the way home just from this young woman “holding him tight” would be from the heat generated from friction of dry humping!

Shocking, isn’t it? I should say so! Just remember my warning as you listen to Christmas carols with the kids tomorrow night. All is not as innocent as it seems! What is your favorite Christmas song/carol. Leave the titles in the comments and let me ruin it for you. :)

 

Let Your Haters be Your Progress Gauges

When I moved to Atlanta at the turn of the century, I used to ride the MARTA, switch on my Walkman and listen to the city’s favorite radio station: V-103. Everyone who was anyone that mattered (as far as the world of urban radio was concerned) worked at V-103. Frank Ski, Wanda, Ryan, Portia Foxx. Of the entire crew, Ryan Cameron was my absolute favorite. The man is the emperor of clowns. His inflection, intonation and his reactions and remarks to even the most mundane events left me and half the city in stitches.

Frank and Wanda were a’ight.

Portia Foxx was a’ight too. Something about her voice rubbed me the wrong way. It was a little too soothing… like Kathy Bates with a sledge hammer in that scene from Misery. I didn’t trust Ms. Foxx; not one iota. Nevertheless, there is one thing I appreciated about her presence on the radio, and that was her signature tag line/motto: “Let your haters be your motivators”. Though she went off V-103 in 2004, we in the Atlanta community still quote and live by those words today!

When I first heard the phrase “let your haters be your motivators”, I must admit I harbored a certain level of ambivalence towards the sentiment. I was fresh out of college, just interacting with the world independently for the first time, and therefore wanted everyone to like me…or at least not hate me. Neutral indifference I could handle. But hatred? Now way. So why were all these people who were calling into the radio station talking about their haters? And furthermore, why was Ms. Foxx facilitating a platform on which to “celebrate” this hateration? Well as they say, small girls are young and now that I’m a full grown woman, I understand the value of the proverbial hater.

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The idea that one should make their haters – or detractors, if you will – their motivators is not a new one. The sentiment is actually expressed throughout the bible. You just have to decode it. For instance, both books of Samuel are almost completely dedicated to chronicling one dude’s (Saul) ultimate quest to hate on another dude(David) and how the latter spent his entire life circumventing or triumphing over those hate-fueled attempts. We credit David for the book of Psalms, but what are David’s Psalms without the influence of Saul’s many micro aggressions and/or bodily threats, aka hate?

Selah.

Now that I understand the importance of the hater, I would take the idea of letting them serve as motivation a step further and add that one’s haters must also work in the capacity of your progress gauges. Look at the caliber of your average hater and allow that to serve as an indicator for how far you’ve come.

For instance, I was talking to a young man ago about this very thing. He is a recent acquaintance and is one of those guys who has set himself on a course to receive “everything” in life. He’s building a strong business, he’s talking to people about investing in future ventures, he has a beautiful, smart fiancé, he’s well-traveled and he’s only in his early 20’s. He’s on the track to becoming one of Forbes celebrated 30 under 30 or some such similar list in a similar publication. During our chat, he confided in me that his business (let’s call it the Lemonade Stand for for) has yanked quite a bit of market share from indirect competitors.

“When I set up the Lemonade Stand, we were literally begging people to give us a try. I said if I had 20 customers at the end of 2015, I’d be happy.”

“And how many do you have now?”

“Close to 200,” he replied. “And we’re getting requests from all over the continent to be a part of the Lemonade Stand.”

“That’s great! How has this impacted you personally?”

“Well…it’s interesting. Now that the Lemonade Stand is on the scene, the Ice Cream Stand is struggling because we’ve taken so many of their best customers. They’ve actually set out to destroy me.”

I was shocked. I know the Ice Cream Stand’s reputation and they are HUGE. They’ve had a stranglehold on the market for close to five years now.

“Dude. That’s amazing…but why are they mad at YOU? They sell ice cream. Sure, they’re both cold and sweet, but that aside, neither product is even remotely similar!”

He went on the confide that not only is the Ice Cream Stand out for his blood, but so are the Library and the Auto Repair Shop. His Lemonade Stand has siphoned business from them as well. This is where I got excited.

“You do of course realize that you have entered a whole different realm of influence, right? If within less than a year of operation you’ve been able to fulfill the needs of all these customers, the so-called titans of industry were not truly doing their duty in servicing a segment of the customer base that relies on their product and services. This is HUGE for you.”

He agreed that it was indeed a big deal (and somewhat flattering) to have this class of hater working against him, however with what he has in mind for Lemonade development, he will leave his competition bloodied and in the dust.

“They’re still thinking about meeting current market trends. I’m looking to create market trends,” he said simply.

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Well dag.

I took what he said to heart, and now I’m not just assessing my progress as a writer/mother/kung fu aficionado but also looking at the quality and class of individual criticizing my work as well. I advise you to do the same. For instance, if you are accustomed to that one underachieving account manager on your job taking stabs at you for the quality of your work and NO ONE else taking notice of what you do, it’s time to up your game and expand your influence. Get your work in front of someone who matters…someone who signs your check, for instance. Produce work that rivals theirs at their level. Whether they become a hater – in the hood sense of the word- is really up to them (they could turn out to be a congratulator), but at least you’ll know you’re operating in a different league. A better league. A stronger league!

As the old Bahamian saying goes: A dog only barks at a moving car. So get moving and take off at light speed! You are jollof rice. Don’t let white rice talk to you like you are supposed to remain on its level. Conduct yourself accordingly!

 

 

Don’t forget! Madness & Tea is coming out on Christmas Day! Check back here for details on how to get your free copy!

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Why Can’t We Have an ‘African Bond’? Okay, Since You Asked…

First of all: Happy John Boyega Day! Today –and forevermore, quite frankly – John Boyega belongs to all of us, not just Nigerians. Just like sister Lupita is for Africa. Kenya alone cannot commandeer all her shine!

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Much has been written and commented about Black representation (or the lack of) in film, particularly in the realm of fantasy and fiction. Even to the casual observer, it is obvious that actors of color get the most work on big budget films when there is a slave narrative to be told or the haphazard biopic depicting our two kings: Mandela and MLK. That’s what has made John Boyega’s casting as a Storm Trooper turned Jedi so exciting for many of us. I mean, according to Hollywood and science fiction, there are no Black people in the future… and certainly none in space! This notion has led to an outcry from entertainment critics and consumers alike. We want to see more people of color starring in iconic roles! We want to see actors and actresses of color portraying complex characters beyond the tired tropes we’ve been dished out to date! We want Idris Elba to play ‘James Bond’!

James Bond, eh?

This is where discord rears its head in our collective chorus. While we do want more representation in the mainstream arts, we can’t decide how to achieve that goal. Should roles that have traditionally been played by white actors be opened up for Blacks, Asians or – gasp – people of Middle Eastern descent? For instance, could Shah Rukh Khan convincingly played Matt Damon’s role in The Martian? (Personally, I don’t see why not. After all Chiwetel Ejiofor played a scientist named Venkat Kapoor, which is about as southeast Asian as a moniker can get.) Or is it up to Bollywood and other non-western film industries to produce their own versions of The Martian and cast the lead with their preferred ethnicity? Some people say yes, emphatically! We have a duty to stop feeding off the fruit of Hollywood and build our own industries!

That’s all well and good, but back to Idris and the ‘James Bond’ question.

Perhaps of all theoretical casting possibilities, this has given folks on both sides of the divide the most angst; has caused the most perplexity. There is no doubt that Idris Elba is a fine actor (a fine MAN, period), a great box office draw and has all of the qualities of a leading man. He would make a far better Bond than Timothy Dalton or George Lazenby, in my humble opinion. The only problem is Idris is Black. Blackety- Black. True, African Black. And a lot of people can’t see past his color and allow for him to portray a Scottish spy who serves in Her Majesty’s most clandestine intelligence agency. Because Black.

I understand and appreciate the struggle that these people find themselves trying to navigate. It’s far more comfortable and convenient to neatly categorize people and put them in a tidy box where they “fit”. Unfortunately, migration patterns and global integration mean that fewer and fewer people are able to identify as one thing specifically. So as Black as Idris Elba is, there is no escaping that he IS a British man – of African descent – and therefore could in real life function in the role of an intelligence operative. However why people are more comfortable with Black men performing the duties of an ‘everyday superhero’, but find discomfort with a 2hr 38min fictional flick portraying the same responsibilities is something only they can explain. It’s beyond me.

Personally, I do think it’s time that we developed our own iconic characters and I would love to see a globally recognized spy of African descent and origin in film. Of course, developing such a character would not come without significant challenges. Part of what makes James Bond such a universally loved character is that his existence is plausible and all of his feats –although Herculean – are feasible. A lot of that has to do with Bond’s supporting cast. Moneypenny is as efficient as she is dedicated to the cause of national defense. She is always at her post as you expect. Q has a first-rate lab in which he designs and develops gadgets for James in order to make each mission a success. But most of all, James Bond has the benefit of traveling around the world with a British passport in white skin.

Ei. Can an African man enjoy these same benefits and manage to get his spy work done? Let’s be realistic.

First we’ll have to pick a country in which to build our African James Bond. Such a man’s effectiveness will really depend on the country of origin. Mauritius James Bond would most likely be the most successful, since that country has the infrastructure and international integrity to support spy work at this level. Ghana James Bond? Not so much.

His passport would only allow him access to certain countries without a visa, and even then he may face discrimination at immigration. Ghana James Bond would frequently find himself selected for “random security” checks, have all his belongings confiscated and summarily his cover blown. Constant power failures means Ghana Q would be perpetually behind in his R&D for Ghana Bond. No R&D means we would constantly be putting Ghana James Bond at risk. As for Ghana Moneypenny, the less said about her, the better. Poor woman is probably rocking herself to sleep after dealing with the constant sexual harassment and requests from her family for money because she’s the ONLY one amongst the lot who’s managed to get a job in Ghana’s dumsor ecomini. Ghana Moneypenny is never at work.

And as far as field work? Kai! There would be no high speed chases to catch the bad guys because traffic patterns would always be clogged. The roads and networks in Ghana make no sense. If Ghana Bond were to rely on the services of the local police force for back up, he’d be S.O.L because the government will have spent the money needed to purchase police vehicles to brand city buses with NDC colors, thereby allowing Ghana Bond’s quarry to escape into the ubiquitous bush. Every thief and armed robber escapes into a ‘bush portal’ that materializes at just the critical moment. True story. Read the Daily Graphic. We don’t catch thieves in Ghana because they always find a bush to escape into.

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Oh! And let’s not forget the perpetual requests from Ghana Bond’s relatives to “carry something small” upon his return/departure to abrokyi. The sniffing airport dogs would have a field day with the koobi. This would only lead to further detention.

Ghana James Bond will never be great…or at least not as great as British James Bond. He could find some greatness at his job, but only within the confines of his office. He can be a superhero of spreadsheets, or something.

And that’s not his fault. It’s his government’s fault. If we were to develop such a character given out current realities, he’d be a tragic, uninteresting cartoon of a man…and that’s why no one has written a script for Ghana James Bond today. The struggles he would face are just not worth it, and no movies-goer would appreciate (or believe) the depth of lies and fabrications that Ghana Bond’s creators would have to descend to in order to make Ghana James Bond remotely interesting.

The struggle. The spy struggle is so real.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you’ll LOVE my new book “Madness & Tea”, coming out on e-books on Christmas day!

I Should Have Chosen My Own Happiness Over My Children’s

“If you could go back 10 years and advise your younger self, what would you say?”

As much as I hate this question because of the impossibility of the phenomenon ever taking place and therefore for the insatiable craving it creates, I find myself pondering and eventually answering it. If I could go back 10 years and advise 27 year old Malaka, I wouldn’t be sitting here tapping furiously away on this busted Gateway in my granny panties talking about the changes I’d make to my life. I’d actually be on a yacht tapping furiously on a sleek Mac in lime green bikini, watching dolphins moonwalk for my pleasure.

My life would look completely different if I’d had the foresight to avoid two people in particular at that critical juncture in my life. But this is my life now, and daggonit, I just have to live it such as it is. So do you. You have to live your life, such as it is. We all have to come to terms with and accept the life events that have shaped who we are and our present circumstances.

The biggest life event(s) I’ve had to date would be the births of my children. I always knew I would have kids, but I never considered exactly how I would raise them or what that process would entail. So when I found myself pregnant with my first baby unplanned and ahead of schedule, I went online in search of guidance. I spent hours on Babycenter.com and several “Mommy blogs”. It was from them that I learned what motherhood ought to look like: what feelings I ought to be feeling; what achievements and goals I ought to be setting up for myself; whether I should breast or bottle feed; if going back to work would make me a bad mom; what my future in general as a mother ought to look like. Most of these centered around feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and a life of sacrifice. And oh, was I a good pupil! I would feel more guilty and inadequate than any mother before me and I would sacrifice harder than I’d ever sacrificed before. I committed myself to the humblebrag misery of 21st century motherhood.

Yeah…I wish I hadn’t done that. It’s taken me 11 years to realize I never should have done that. I never should have subscribed to the idea that I was only doing the mommy thing right if I was feeling bad about it. You know what’s worse? I didn’t come to this conclusion on my own. This was not an epiphany I woke up with one day. As they often do, it was my own kid who showed me how wrong I’ve been mothering all these years.

The MOM Squad knows what type of person I am, so none of you will take offense when I say what I’m about to say in the way I am about to say it. (You Random Readers, however. Oooo weee! Just save it.)

I have been DESPERATELY looking forward to the day when my kids grow up and leave so I get my life back. I feel like these last 11 years and the 13 more I have to go feel like a prison sentence, and I can’t wait to break free. Why? Because I have made my life’s work about making my children happy. I take on extra hours at work so I can buy them new gadgets or enroll them in clubs. We take day trips to North Georgia and neighboring states so that they experience what it’s like to be in a different aquarium/zoo or navigate a corn maze in a new city. I don’t want to work extra hours, and I don’t necessarily want to spend half the day driving with four bickering kids in the back seat, but I’ve done it anyway because it made them happy.

Mind you, none of these are particularly damaging pursuits, except for one thing: they meant me giving up time for my passions and my interests for the benefit of theirs. The only thing I’ve kept intact from my life prior to motherhood is writing. Everything else withered and died. And I have been a very unhappy person AND mother for it. Again, it was my oldest – who of all my children is singularly adept at conveying truth in the most subtle, yet gut punching way – who made me realize how foolish I have been for this.

A few weeks ago our school celebrated Teacher Appreciation week. I always do my best to get meaningful gifts for our teachers and admins because consistently they do a fantastic job with our kids. Nadjah’s math teacher this year is a gamer and a geek with GQ swag, so finding his gift was proving particularly hard. I could only think of one place source something appropriate for him: Little Five Points.

L5P is a district in Atlanta where creativity feeds on steroids and Jamba Juice. You can literally walk around it all day and never uncover all the visual (and culinary) surprises that are lurking behind doors painted in blue, purple and azure. Once upon a time, I could recommend a shop or three to pick up odd and exotic knickknacks. But now? Not so much. Until the weekend in question, I hadn’t been to L5P since 2005, and believe it or not, I’d even forgotten HOW to get there. After querying a maintenance man and a tattoo artist, we found our way to Junkman’s Daughter, a store that is a treasure trove for the sexually depraved and the chaste alike. I know, it’s weird. And yes, I took all four of my kids in the store with me.

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Nadjah was elated by the trinketry for sale. There were amulets, wizard hats, Star Trek paraphernalia (other paraphernalia) all over the store. Finally, she found an Adventure Time themed gift for her teacher which she deemed “perfect”.

“Mr. Nguyen came dressed up as Finn for our Character Day. I think he’d like this.”

We put it in the bag and that solved our gift idea dilemma. Of course, Nadjah wanted to know why we’d never been to this particular (so awesome, Mommy!) store before.

“You like Star Trek n’ stuff, Mommy. Aren’t you a geek? How come you don’t come here more often?”

“I used to be a geek,” I mused, (my sister and husband will dispute this) “but I became a mom instead.”

Nadjah bristled. “Just because you became a mom doesn’t mean you had to stop being a geek.”

Well daggonit if she wasn’t right. Suddenly, all those years and hours wasted on pursuits that were near tortuous for me seemed like a waste. I had wasted the first half of my motherhood experience for nothing. I could have been happy…and that would have made my children happier. (‘Happier’ because I defy these Negroes to tell me I haven’t provided them a delightful existence thus far!)

A few days ago, my younger cousin Nikki posted this picture on her social media page. She and her mother have a great relationship, primarily because they love each other so much. You know how some parent-child relationships only thrive because the child turned out exactly way the parent wanted? It’s not like that with these two. They love one another down to their warts. Look at this:

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I’ve been doing it wrong all these years! Message received. From now it, it will be different.

If you’re reading this, and you’re thinking about how much being a mother sucks just go on and admit it to yourself. Then change your perspective. Then choose your own happiness. Your kids will thank you in the long run.

 

…Of course, as long as that happiness does not entail you trading them for meth or stealing from their piggy bank to fund your gambling habits. That would make you a despicable human being. If that’s you, ‘sacrifice and guilt’ is your best course of action until they turn 18.

 

 

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