Category Archives: Madness

There is only one person who brings drama and madness into my life, and that is my douche bag baby daddy from a previous relationship, whom I am tasked to deal with, courtesy of the Georgia Judicial system. I hope he DOESN’T get hit by a bus this week…

Open Letter to My Baby Daddy: No, I will not take you off child support.

Dear Douche Bag:

Wait. That’s not fair. I don’t really think of you as a “douche bag” anymore. You’re more like an unused, empty Ziploc bag with a slight hole in the bottom: full of potential, but will probably remain at the bottom of the drawer until there is the need to marinate a flank steak, after which you will be summarily discarded. Because, the hole.

Anyway, this letter is not about your numerous shortcomings and failures…

I’m lying. It is.

I must confess I was surprised to receive your text last night around 8pm, telling me that you needed to speak with me the following morning.

“It’s important,” you said.

Well, what could possibly be so important that you’d want to speak about it the next day as opposed to in the moment? I figured you were about to tell me about some “big move” you were about to make, which is usually the same song and dance you jig about whenever you want to gauge how much I care about your wellbeing –if at all.

I was right, but what came next was a complete shock.

“I want to go back overseas and work,” you said.

“Oh? Okay…” I replied.

“But I need you to take me off child support,” you said in a rush, as if saying them hurriedly would make them sound less ridiculous and more likely to come to pass.

“I don’t see how taking you off child support is going to prevent or help your going overseas,” I stated flatly. “And I really think you should challenge whoever it is that’s telling you you can’t get a government contractor job because you pay child support.” (You remember when you tried to sell that crap to me late last year, don’t ya? News flash, ninja. I gots friends who work in DC and they ALL pay child support and they are ALL government contractors. Try again.)

You went on to remind me of how the last time you went abroad and how badly it went for you. You were nearly $10,000 and 2+ years behind on your support payments. Through it all, I never called you, harangued you, or stopped you from seeing your second born. I didn’t do what your first baby momma did to you, which was to disappear entirely on you. I just let you keep living life, carefree as a koi fish, until the law of karma caught up with you.

“Malaka, you remember that they almost didn’t let me work. I had to take out an advance on my pay just so I could get my driver’s license reinstated.”

“Yes. I remember. But you are not 2 years behind on your payments. You aren’t paid in full, but you aren’t even a month behind on your payments. I don’t think the situation is the same.”

“Yeah…I know, but I can’t be on child support when I go over there.”

“That’s not true, Ziploc.”

“Okay. What I’m saying is, I have bed credit and I owe, and it would just…*sigh*…it would just really help me if you could take me off. Imma always be there for my daughter. You have my word on that.”

I stifle a snort of contempt as you speak, and remind you of the following.

“Sorry to be the one to drudge up old news, but for the first FIVE years of her life, you gave me a total of $1400 for her upkeep. I had to get on welfare just for us to survive.”

There was silence from your end. I carried on, telling you that unfortunately, I could not stand by your word. I promised to “think about it”. Every time you ask me about something foolish, to which my reflex is to respond with a resounding “NO”, you ask me to think about. I beat you to the punch, knowing what my reply would be in two hours. Two hours is a respectable amount of time to “think about” things.

My pet peeve where you are concerned, Ziploc, is that you do not think 5 steps ahead before you talk to me. Hell, I don’t think you consider what consequences will come to bear in the next 45 seconds. I suppose it is my place to remind you that I did not put you on child support, and therefore it is not my place to take you off. The first 5 years of our daughter’s life were difficult for you financially. You bought a house that you were not prepared to pay for because you were tired of living in an apartment. You went out on numerous dates and spent money you didn’t have. You purchased a car you could not afford. You eventually lost 4 jobs in 1 year because you continuously stepped over the bounds of your responsibility. Meanwhile, I went on WIC, married my husband and lived frugally. You think I like raising a family of 6 in 2 bedroom townhouse? Think again! I want a yard too, niggro, but that’s not in the cards for me yet.

And yet, knowing the sacrifices I and my family have had to make, you have the audacity to ask me to take you off child support? A position in which YOU placed YOURSELF? Have demons possessed your mind? Forget demons: it was a vagina that led you to this action. Oh yes. I remember it clearly.

I remember when the sheriff showed up at my house when a court summons. You had initiated visitation and child support proceedings because you felt I was treating you unfairly in terms of visitation. You black mofo!^#*^! Your house didn’t have any heat and you didn’t have any food. I was not sending my toddler over there to freeze, just so you could show her off to your new girlfriend. Oh, and don’t try to deny it. I still have the receipt from the heating bill I paid the previous month, just so she could come over. Your paramour, of course not knowing the full picture because you LIE so much, urged you to get some justice and take me to court! And that’s what you did. Spent $100 in court costs and filing fees to put yourself on child support so you would look like a man in her eyes.

Tell me, where is this woman now? Why don’t you ask her what to do, now that you are in this quagmire? Or has she fled your grasp, just as you fiancée wriggled her way out? At least she bought you a car before she showed you the door. You ought to be grateful for that. In fact, I don’t know how you were living up in her house rent free for a YEAR and was still unable to repair your credit or earn something. You mean Burger King wasn’t hiring? You didn’t have some leaves you could rake? I tell you one thing: Kroger is always on the look out for some new talent. You could have spent that year stocking shelves, but I guess you were too busy fronting.

And now, again, you want me to solve this problem for you. You wanted me to pay your bills, bring you food, care for your child, dress her in the best clothes, fix your resume, find you a job, put gas in your car, give you pocket money…and like a fool, I did all those things and more! Now you want me to “take you off child support”?

“I promise I will send you money if you do!” you said. “Imma always take care of my daughter. I’ll make sure you get every cent you’re owed.”

Ah ah. Why, you dey craze? Or you figga say I dey craze some?

Please. You are living with your uncle. Go and ask your uncle for a child support loan and tell him you will pay HIM back. He is a widower. He has money. Don’t move into this apartment you are trying to go to. Get some local work, no matter how menial and tell him you will offer him gas money if he will just bear with you. But you won’t do that, will you? You would rather look like you have it all together in his eyes, rather than give me the respect I’m due. What you are requesting is the epitome of impertinence!

Look, we both know the law won’t come for you because you are behind on your payments unless I send them for you, and I have no incentive to do that. That’s just one more thing to manage. I won’t do it; but for the love of sweet, hot kenkey, please don’t ever ask me about releasing you from the obligation you put yourself under. That is not my role.

This is your life and your mess. Fix it.

child-support

Sincerely and please believe me to me,

Malaka.

An Apology for Benedict’s Confusion in Thinking He Owes Us an Apology

Cumberbatch tired of Ôposh-bashing'Some people have suggested that I might be blind where Benedict Cumberbatch is concerned. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am an unquestionable and unapologetic deaf-mute where Benedict is the topic of conversation (or adoration). I hear and speak nothing else. Blindness to any of his perceived faults is only the beginning of the spectrum. If my feelings towards Benedict Cumberbatch should ever come into question, there is a YouTube video I created two years ago that should clear up any confusion. My frequency is not set to receive bad or disparaging news where Benedict Cumberbatch is concerned.

In light of this, you may well imagine my shock and horror when I saw headlines describing my dear, sweet Benny as a “racist” who had used the word “colored” to describe Black actors.

Wait.

What?

for-colored-girls-bookWhen did colored become a racist appellation? Do we not have an organization that fights for Black rights that boldly features a fat letter ‘C’ in it? (Hint: I’m talking about the NAACP.) Did Ntozake Shange not pen an entire book of poems entitled “For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is not Enough”? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard/read speeches wherein Dubois, MLK and Malcolm X have used the words colored and Negro interchangeably. If the word is anything at all, it is outmoded, but it is certainly not racist. Who are these people making these charges and what in the name of good grits are they talking about?

Tsewwww

I watched the video where Benedict used the “offensive” term in conversation during an interview with Tavis Smiley. In a nut shell, it went something like this:

Tavis: Why do you think actors of color aren’t paid as well?

Benedict: I think colored actors don’t get their due because they can’t shoot glitter out of their bums. I on the other hand, am English, and therefore can.

And for that slip of tongue (and it truly is) the PC Gestapo have come to hunt and incarcerate my Sweet Cumberbatch. Agents of Satan! They should all be ashamed!

Benedict, if you’re reading this (and I know you’re not, but that’s beside the point), I want to assure that no Black person – or person of color – thinks you’re a racist. You know why? Because we know what racism looks/smells/feels like. Unfortunately brother, you ain’t it.

The Black Caucus all got together and gave racism a definition we can all agree on. Nelson Mandela and Christ Almighty were present in the room. Racism is the belief in the superiority that one group of people has over another based on their race or ethnicity. These racists then go about setting up economic, social, educational and legal systems that will ensure their advancement and prosperity at the expense of other races deemed inferior.

Let me tell you who is a racist. John Boehner is a racist. Harry Reid is fo’ sho a racist. (Obama would have been your butler, huh? I ain’t forgot.) Nancy Pelosi is a eugenicist, and is therefore a racist. Ted Nugent is an anagram for the word racist. Rudy Giuliani makes Bull Connor look like he was playing house, he’s such a blood thirsty racist. Your ancestors, dear Benny, who owned slaves and a plantation in the Caribbean were absolutely racists. However, that doesn’t make you a racist…you are merely a beneficiary of racism. You come from wealth. That system built hundreds of years ago worked exactly the way it was meant to: in your favor and the favor of millions of other white folks.

But you know what? I’m not even mad about that. How can I be? I don’t feel oppressed by you for your use of the word “colored”, a word my own elderly aunt still uses in conversation. You know what offends me? When Jay Z calls Harry Belafonte “boy”, or when Kanye is dashing out n*ggers to hungry white audiences like he was a poki seller on a hot Accra day. Furthermore, you apologized for it, and swiftly. You were even self-depreciating in that apology, calling yourself an idiot. Never say that about yourself, my dear Benny. You are NOT an idiot. You know who is an idiot? Nelson Baani, MP for the Daboya/Mankarigu constituency in northern Ghana. After 82, 456 people signed a petition asking him to apologize for calling for the stoning or hanging women who  might be accused of committing adultery, this man has not only refused to apologize, he has withdrawn from society like the slithering bug that he is.  You recognized that you may have caused offense and were quick to repent. You are a MAN, Benedict. Slugs like Nelson Baani are not.

Let me assure you that there is no need for any angst you may be experiencing. I am sorry you were made to feel like you had to apologize for what is truly a non-issue. It’s not as if you were not in the midst of a tirade about how you’d love to conquer the savage races of the third world, or even asking why Black people don’t pull up their pants if they don’t want to get shot. In fact, you were attempting to explain the existence of what you feel is an injustice: unequal pay and opportunity for actors of color. That meddlesome American media and the handful of people who voraciously consume their fare dragged you through the mud and I’m sorry for it. Trust me when I say there are literally two Black people in the world who are offended by your use of the word colored, and that is because someone white told them they ought to be.

In the future, just stick to Black – or better still, call out each actor by name. African-American is now even controversial. Don’t you worry, Benny! I’ll be here to guide and protect you.

With love, devotion and spine-chilling adoration,

Malaka

Day 4: What it’s Like to Fall for Miss Forson – A Sonnet

I have not written poetry since that one time I had an assignment in Form 5 when we were studying Robert Frost and Sylvia Plath. It was a grueling task, forcing words to rhyme in a 2/2 format and something-something about stanzas and this that verse. Aba! Hats off to Poetra Asantewaa and Dzyadzorm (two of Ghana’s finest contemporary female poets) who do it so well. I’m sure I got an average grade for my poetry, because I didn’t pursue it after that assignment. I only pursue things that I am naturally good at.

But today, Lydia Forson has changed all that for me. Oh, Lawd!

Despite my trepidation about writing poetry and the slow, dull ache the prospect of creating meter and rhyme inspires within the walls of my skull, the beauty and brilliance of Lydia Forson has stirred me to give it a try. Lydia Forson is a Ghanaian actress who is known for her social commentary which she delivers without the mincing of words. She is stubborn. She is witty. She is unapologetic. She is the town crier. She is everything! I fell in love with her mind first…and then she went and put on some red dress and did a cover for some Nigerian magazine bi. Oh swoon! That’s when I knew I had to stretch myself to tell her how much I appreciate her mattah.

Let me not get ahead of myself. Ladies and gentlemen, MOM Squad and Random Readers, Trolls and Lurkers, I give you:

lydia

What it’s Like to Fall for Miss Forson

Eiiii! S’tah Lydia. E be you dis?

Look at the way you are staring into the camera

The way you have parted your lips

 

I saw you on the cover of Juice

Draped in robes of my favorite color – Red

A hue divinely similar to the words that Poetra bled

 

Your breasts are thick, but your thighs are thicker

Truly, they remind me of a tasty treat

A jumbo sized, $2.49 Snicker

(With tax)

 

On those occasions when you pen Open Letters

I think to myself

Can this get any better?

 

For you have all the wit of Chaucer

And are as intriguing as Hamlet

Oh Lydia Forson! I’ve fallen for you, damn it!

 

There are times when I came just to stalk you on twirra

I don’t make a sound

I just chuckle and titter

(To myself)

 

Oh? Is the thought of me stalking you super, duper creepy?

You just wait! I go hypnotize you

You are now getting sleepy

 

Lydia! Lydia! As for you, you be boss

On the day that we meet, I will gift you with fine things

Like Vlisco, and Delay mackerel in tomato sauce

 

In the future, when you receive your award for Letters from Adam

Just remember this sonnet and think

As for Malaka, this girl dierrr, o bↄ dam

 

You are loved and adored Miss Forson

This much is evident

It’s time to end this poem…because I can’t think of anything to rhyme with “Forson”.

 

 

*This is the 4th in a 7 day commitment to blog every day under the #YourTurnChallenge. Big thanks to Lydia Forson for being such a good sport!

 

Day 3: What it feels like to have your first yeast infection

I’m going to tell you this story in the strictest confidence. You must promise to keep it between you and me! Deal? Great.

I didn’t have my first pap smear until I was 27 years old.

Pause.

I need to call up my OB/GYN and schedule an appointment to celebrate our tenth anniversary. After all, this is the same man who once said with no small hint of admiration that I had “a uterus of steel”. How apropos is it that I should be writing to tell you about my lady bits on this era marked by the giving of tin gifts? Anyhow…

I didn’t have my first pap smear until I was 27 years old because there was no such thing as “vaginal health” when I was coming up in Ghana. If you wanted a healthy vagina, you kept your legs closed to boys, and the rest would take care of itself. Miraculously, as three secondary school boys who served as my boyfriends will tell you, I failed to follow this advice and managed to escape the ravages of a ruined vagina nonetheless. How then was I to ever suspect that there was a foe more treacherous than an erect penis and squirting seminal fluid, and that I would eventually succumb to its power?

You’re curious, aren’t you? For what could be more dreadful to a girl under the age of 20 than a rogue penis? I will tell you now: that thing is moisture. Yes! Moisture! While this element is great for a black woman’s hair, it wreaks havoc on the nether regions of ALL woman kind. But I didn’t know this, because again, vaginal health…or even peeking at one’s own vagina…is not something that Ghanaian girls of my generation did (or would openly admit to doing).

In 1997 I was a freshman at Hampton University in Virginia. Although I had lived in America when I was younger, I was the ultimate JJC. My pants were too short, my clothes were too “ethnic”, my accent was weird and I had no idea how anything worked. I was shocked and pleased to discover that I could go back to the food counter multiple times to get my fill of sugary sodas and sweet, creamy deserts. Ahaaa. You’ve figured out what comes next. Don’t spoil it by interrupting! Just wait.

I quickly packed on 40 lbs (18 kg) in my first year. With my new girth, of course I needed new clothes, and naturally I needed new underwear. I took the opportunity to purchase myself something “grown up”, a departure from the small girl panties I had been handed my whole life while living in Ghana. I left Wal-Mart one spring afternoon with an assortment of satiny undergarments in every color of the neon rainbow. The brand was Vassarette. I remember it clearly. One never forgets the name of the whore who inflicted so much pain upon one’s flesh.

If you know anything about the Tidewater area, you know it’s humid. Humidity, in fact, is Tidewater Virginia’s mascot. Humidity is everywhere in the spring and summer months in Virginia, and everywhere included the now clogged space between my thighs. Combined with my new diet of sugar, sedentary lifestyle and “satin” Vassarette panties, fungus found a happy home in my tulips. I began to itch, and uncontrollably so.

Then came the burning.

Next came an opaque discharge.

Then came the smell.

Sweet heavenly Jesus! Had I not just given my life to Christ? What was happening to me? Could anyone else see/smell/know what was going on with me? Had I offended God in some way? I was no longer sexually active in this new country…could it be He was finally punishing for my misdeeds from years past? You know how it is with we Africans – bad things only happen because we have done wrong and God is exacting His revenge for your transgressions. My mother was right: I had left Islam and now Allah was having it out with me.

For two weeks I took scalding hot, extra-long showers with the hope that water could cure whatever it was going on between my legs. It didn’t. I tossed medicated powder on my mound with regularity. The minty sensation was pleasant for the first 5 seconds before eventually giving way to an intense and painful burn as the medicine found its way into the cracks of my chafed skin. I was sure one of these akata girls had given me something. I looked at each of them with suspicion. Yes…they had to be to blame! I offered anyone a mistrusting glance whenever I was greeted in the hall. Their witchcraft was powerful indeed.

Finally, (and I can’t recall who) someone stopped me as I trudged slowly to class and asked, “Malaka. Why are you walking like that?”

I had been in pain for so long that I had to confide in someone. I described my symptoms to this person whom I’d obviously trusted and who obviously cared enough to ask about the genesis of my odd gait, now resigned that this was to be my new lot in life: to stride around my campus, buttocks bent outward and legs slightly akimbo because it was the only way to achieve some sort of reprieve.

This kindly soul explained that I had a yeast infection. In fact, she had had one a few weeks prior herself.

moni

“Get some Monistat and it should clear it up in a week,” she said. “I got some from the student clinic. It was practically free.”

The student clinic? Oh no, no. I couldn’t go there. Only bad boys and girls with gonorrhea went there. I heard one of the nursing students say so. If someone say me coming out of there, I would never live it down. Instead, I took what few dollars I had on me and went back to Wal-Mart and spent a fortune on Monistat. It was money well spent if it kept people from thinking I had gonorrhea.

I have never worn Vassaretta or gorged on cheesecake since.

 

 

*This is the third post in the seven day #YourTurnChallenge

David Oyelowo’s Wife is Wicked

Last night’s Golden Globes Awards ceremony was chock-full of surprises and memorable moments. Prince, His Royal Purpleness and wielder of diamond studded scepters, made an unexpected appearance and doled out the award for Best Original Song. After accepted the award from His Purple Majesty, Common went on to make an electrifying speech in which he referred to Ferguson, slain police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and a part of his humanity which had been awakened during the making of the film ‘Selma’.

“I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but was instead given a bullet,” he said.

And then there was Ricky Gervais, who with the dismissiveness and aloofness of a colonial era slave auctioneer, purposefully mispronounced Quvenzhané Wallis’ name.

But of all these water cooler chatter worthy moments, none eclipses David Oyelowo’s choice of garb for the evening. Just as Lupita stunned the world of fashion on the same night just twelve months before, David Oyelowo left the world breathless in this suit…though for very different reasons.

Look at his suit. Then look at his shoes.

David O

My brodda. Why. Eh? WHY?!?

Look, just because you are a star, it doesn’t mean you have to dress like one. What do you mean by leaving the house dressed up as the Milky Way? Are you a galaxy? No, no, no.

But it is the wife I blame. She is not a good woman. Look at how nicely she was dressed. Now look at how she allowed her husband to leave the house. And she is totally to blame, because she knew weeks in advance what he was going to wear! One does not procure a glittering disco ball of a suit like this from a shelf at Brooks Brothers. No, no. This suit was made to order, and it was ordered by someone who hates Black people – someone like John Galliano. Because anyone who hates Jews certainly couldn’t care one whit for a Black male. You mean to tell me Mrs. Oyelowo looked at that suit and said “Yes, babe, you look dashing in those sparkling trousers, and people will take you seriously?”

Wicked woman!

Let me advise my white sisters who marry Black men: You don’t have to let them do whatever they want oooo. You are his rib. Ribs don’t let the other side of the chest collapse in this manner. Mrs. Oyelowo. Yes, you! I’m talking to you! Is your husband auditioning for a part in ‘Sailor Moon’? Then why did you let him leave the house in those twinkling shoes? His money is your money ooo. His image is your image ooo. Please, next time, advise yourself accordingly.

David Oyelowo is not the first African man to play the fool with his clothing on such an auspicious occasion, and he won’t be the last. Look at these two men of West and South-eastern African descent, for example. Obviously, these men were heading down the aisle towards wedded bliss and towards the total surrendering of their fashion choices to soon-to-be wives…and for good reason. These are not men who can be trusted to dress themselves, and they know it. This was their last hoorah.

photo 2(1)

One of them came to meet his wife dressed as a horizontal silver serving tray, and the other as King David. What are you supposed to tell your great-great grandchildren about that day? What answer do you give when they ask you why Grand Poppi looks like an extra from the Wizard of Oz? Of course these unsuspecting wives couldn’t have known that their new husbands were going to pull this stunt on the most important day of her life. A man shows up in a black or white suit to a wedding. He doesn’t come dressed as a slice of cake or the dish on which to eat it from. These women can be forgiven for their ignorance. How could they have anticipated this? They were as shocked as the rest of us!

photo 1

There is no excusing David Oyelowo’s wife.

He is a Nigerian, and you are the wife of a Nigerian man. Your husband is a rogue by nature of his DNA. You cannot be scared to tell him ‘NO!’ You think it’s easy to marry and help carry the legacy of an African man in Hollywood?

Humph. Know your place and do your job accordingly.

Tsewww. Look at her wicked face.

New Year, No Edges

My first post of the New Year was going to be a blog entitled Things Only the Blood of Jesus Can Fix featuring these poor, misguided souls. You may have seen these faces in the news:

This woman went to style her hair like the German Eagle of war. For why?

This woman went to style her hair like the German Eagle of war. For why?

See?

See?

Abaaaa. Warren this??

Abaaaa. Warren this??

This guy needs no introduction. The dude who spent $150K on surgery to look like Kim K and ended up looking like this?

This guy needs no introduction. The dude who spent $150K on surgery to look like Kim K and ended up looking like this?

me no edgesBut then I went to the salon to get my hair done two nights before we crossed into 2015 and decided to take a step back after I looked in the mirror after the stylist had finished her work. She had robbed me of my hairline, like a robber in the night or like a politician exacting an Edges Tax. This woman had taken it all! This was no time for me to be worrying about the woes and fopperies of others. I needed Jesus’ transforming power to fix me – or my edges, more precisely. I needed the Lamb’s transfigerational, redeeming, hot and holy blood poured out all over my edges, for it is only Christ’s magical hemoglobin that has the authority to restore them. Hei! I am so distraught. It’s six days into the New Year and I’ve just now mustered the strength to write about my anguish. rifocus 2014Ghanaian born artist Peniel Enchill drew what can only now be described as an iconic image of a woman leaving behind a certain set of weights that beset her in 2014. (It’s ‘iconic’ because Rihanna re-pinned it, and anything that Riri pins is blessed.) If you take a look, you’ll see the typical list of things grown women seek to leave behind them as they grow in age and wisdom. These things include, but are not limited to: heartbreak, fake friends and jealously. I wholeheartedly connect with this list, however I need Ms. Enchill to consider adding another item… another dimension to this spiritual liberation that she depicts in her art for it to resonate with me completely. I left my edges in 2014. Is there any room for a block at the woman’s feet marked “edges”? Woi. But you may be reading this and asking yourself: “Oh, Malaka. What is the big deal about these edges you are going on and on about?” There are only two circumstances – possibly three – in which one would feel the need to ask such a question:

  1. You are not a Black woman
  2. You are a White man
  3. You are a Black woman who hasn’t seen her edges since the last time Oasis sat down to a peaceable Sunday dinner.

Silly as it may sound to the rest of humanity, a Black woman’s edges are a status symbol. They are an indicator that you have been well loved and cared for your whole life and that as an adult, you have taken on the duties of preserving that tradition of care. Baby hairs that lay just so are coveted. Good edges mean good nutrition. Tamed edges mean good parenting. Laid edges signal self-respect and dignity. You can be broke and homeless, but the world would never know it if you walk into an establishment with your head held high and your edges intact. So in fact, any attack – planned or successfully executed – on a Black woman’s edges is considered a threat of the highest order! You may as well take her soul! It’s a stupid, stupid code, but I don’t make the rules. I just live by them. My only consolation where my now-stripped and receding hairline is concerned, I am in good company. There are several powerful women who have defied the odds, taken the world by storm and asserted their power despite their jacked up follicular barriers. There’s Gabby Douglas, winner of two gold medals at the London Olympics, for example. Though she earned the ire of African American women everywhere for not slathering on an acceptable level of gel on her forehead before attempting the balance beam event, she won the heart of the globe. gabby_douglas And then there’s Naomi Campbell, who at the ripe old age of 612 is still ripping the runways with NO edges to speak of at all. (Fyi: Models age differently from other humans; sort of like dogs. 1 year in an average human’s life is like 14.82 years in that of a runway models. This is why at the age of 22 you can be considered “too old” to model in the fashion world. See? You learned something today!) naomi_campbell_tractionalopetia_2 But of all the sisters of power without edges, my most favorite has to be aspiring presidential candidates, Samia Nkrumah. The woman is a power house…but her edges are in retreat. I mean retreating like a British battalion in the face of an Ashanti onslaught. It’s magnificent to behold, and very, very memorable. We will remember and vote for Samia in 2016! May her opponents scatter and surrender just as her edges! samia Mmmm. Me too, I’ll face 2015 without my hairline. Perhaps it is the key to doing great things. Maybe people will be better able to see into my brain this way. Help ya’ll see what I’m thinking. Happy New Year.

Is KKD Ghana’s Bill Cosby or is he Just “Misunderstood”?

Note: I am writing this post today with the understanding that several things are going to happen, because we’re dealing with the Ghanaian public, and it is a citizenry that excels in hypocrisy and assumptions. Ghanaian attitudes about rape are right out of an 18th century Russian melodrama: hardly factual, deferring to the strength and rights of men, and not progressive in the least. A woman literally has to be kidnapped, beaten and gang raped for the act to be considered sexual assault. Outside of that, she was asking for it.

Before any of you descends into my comments section with your theories about why I’m writing this today, know that I am debt free. I am not seeking pecuniary tributes for telling this tale. I am an author, and I write for a core audience, not for the masses. I’m not “trying to sell books”. I’m not writing this because I need new followers on Twitter. What for? In fact, the sort of attention this article is going to bring me is hardly inviable. I’m not a celebrity. I’m a mom, a wife, and on the night KKD asked me out on a date, I was someone’s 12 year old daughter.

****MOM MODE*****

In the 1990’s Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (alias KKD) was arguably the best DJ on Ghana radio. His tagline, to wit, was “KKD – the finest”. He spoke the best English, played the newest and hottest tunes and had a voice made for radio. From the most impressionable third grader to the cool kids in Uni, listening to KKD’s program was the height of everyone’s day.

The 90’s were a boom time for Blacks on the Continent and in the Diaspora. As a race and within our specific cultures, we were making inroads with music and fashion. Hip hop was now well established with acts like Wreckx-n-Effect, Naughty by Nature, Queen Latifah, Biggie and Pac dominating the charts. There was a connection between African American music and African clothing. As a pre-teen, nothing filled me with more pride than seeing Queen Latifah in Nefertiti earrings and a towering crown trimmed in kente cloth. Likewise, Ghanaian kids were learning to rap and doing so with their best (and very fake) American accents. Fashion featuring more “traditional” elements was growing in influence, and St. Osei – one of Ghana’s premier designers – was a trailblazer in that arena. Imagine how excited I was when I recruited to come and model his children’s wear at a show he had organized. My childhood friend Alice* had been modeling for him regularly, and he needed 3 more kids to show his clothes. Alice asked Adj, a kid named Prince and I if we’d like to be in the show, and of course we said yes. Alice was leggy, slim and dark with sweet eyes and round cheeks. She could sell sand to the Tuareg. It made sense that St. Osei would hire her. I, on the other hand, was chubby by Ghanaian standards and had poor posture…but I had an interesting face, so St. Osei yelled at me to stand up straight and let me walk in his show. I was beyond thrilled!

eVEy2M_KKDBut that wasn’t even the best part. I had heard that KKD was going to be MC’ing the event as well. On the final rehearsal night, the rumors were confirmed. The Finest himself showed up in all his radio splendor. He was the consummate gentleman; full of hilarious stories which he delivered with impeccable timing. By the end of the evening, he had taken a particular interest in me and because of his particular attentions, our little group of child models didn’t have to either walk or take a trotro/1-1 taxi back home that night. KKD let me sit in the front and made all the other kids sit in the back. He asked me if he could take me to dinner. I remember looking out of the window and thinking it was getting late. The sun sets at 6pm in Accra. By 6:30 the sky is dark as midnight. I was never out of the house after 6:15. I was 12! I told him I thought it would be okay…we’d just have to ask my mom.

“Where do you want to go?” he asked.

I replied that I wanted to go to Bus Stop for ice cream. It was settled.

I burst into the door with the biggest grin on my face. My mother was pacing, because we were supposed to have been back an hour before. I explained that KKD had dropped Alice and Prince off at home before bringing us and apologized for being late.

“Who?” she asked. I can still hear the edge in her voice.

“KKD! From the radio!” I gushed. My sister was showing him and the friend who had accompanied him into our house. He greeted my mother cordially. She looked at him with eyes of glass and an expressionless face. I was mortified.

He explained (again) that he had met us all at the show rehearsal and had dropped the kids of individually.

“And now, I’m going to take your daughter out!” He gently grabbed my hand and said the words with a winning smile. I looked at my mother hopefully. KKD was going to take me out for ice-cream!

Now, my mother, being a devout Muslim woman would never cuss a man out, but she didn’t need to. In her eyes I saw all kinds of “niggas”, “the f*ck you say”, and “I’ll cut your cock off if you take one more step.” Her skin was unyielding when she spoke, and looked like marble.

“And just where do you think you’re taking my daughter?” she asked in measured tones.

KKD mumbled something about going to dinner. Mom replied that we had dinner here, and that he was welcome to stay.

“We’re having rice and stew,” she said, pointing to what I recognized as yesterday’s rice and some chunky tomato sauce.

He declined and said he would take his leave now.

Ooooohhh! I was so pissed! Why couldn’t my mom have just him take me for ice-cream? I sulked for days, until it was time to perform at the show. I waved at KKD when we arrived and prepared to go on stage, but he looked at me coldly and didn’t return my affectionate greeting. I was shocked. It wasn’t until I got much older that I realized that my mom most likely saved me from ruin that night. What 20-something year old man takes a 12 year old he just met out for ice cream in the middle of the night? I’ll wait while you answer that, and if you can justify that act, well…you’re probably a pedophile too.

******

In the coming days, within your own circles, you will hear several women tell their stories about their encounters with KKD. Like most powerful men in Ghana, he is a predator and he feels he has the right to any woman – no matter her age – when and where he wants her. The reason KKD is in the news today is because he wanted a 19 year old girl and took her in a hotel toilet. That could have been me, but I had a mother who was not having it. At all.

People in his circle know he’s nasty, just like people in R. Kelly’s circle knew he was nasty, just like people know the Rev. Jesse Jackson is nasty. (One day I’ll tell you about his shenanigans down here in the A.) However, y’all still buy R Kelly’s music and many of you reading will accuse me of ‘judging’ KKD. I’m not judging him. I’m just calling a spade a spade and telling you he’s a nasty man. The problem with Black people – and yes, this IS one of our unique problems – is that we do not hold our men to account for their misdeeds. Black women are expected to protect Black men at all costs, even if it costs us our own lives. That’s how we show we “love them”. That’s not love. That’s cowardice. That’s being complicit in covering up a multitude of sins and crimes. Let me tell you something: Christ died for that, so I wouldn’t have to. You want your sins covered in someone else’s blood? Go see Jesus, not your local Black woman.

To all the women who don’t have a blog, or a book, or a radio program who wished desperately that they could tell someone in details about an attack you suffered: don’t be afraid to tell. Women in Ghana are raped routinely. Rape isn’t just about physical force and violence. It’s about control and coercion. A man doesn’t have to use his fist to threaten you. Words are often enough. If you don’t feel in control of the act you are engaging in, it’s rape. Period.

Any questions?