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…

If Only I Could Solve All of My Problems Like A ThunderCat

Last night, I felt it prudent to lose myself in a bit of 80s nostalgia. The past 8 days or better have constituted a general failure in the spheres of civil rights, global peace and adulating in general, so an escape to a time when all of these principles were things for my parents to fret over at dinner was just what I needed. I gathered my family around me, fired up the old DVD player and popped in Season 1 of the Thundercats. Noises in the living room vacillated between stunned silence, disbelieving grunts and postulations about what each character meant when they employed certain puns during unambiguous scenarios. And if there’s anything any 80s cartoon is good for, it’s the liberal use of puns.

With the Thundercats as our guide, my family of 6 +1 house guest sprinted and leapt around Third Earth. Without warning, we found ourselves an audience to Lion-O’s Anointment Trials. Lion-O – like most African leaders – was the presumptive Lord of the Thundercats after his father’s demise. That means he inherited his position. Having never proved his worthiness or right to the title of Lord of All Cats, it was incumbent upon Lion-O to go through and successfully complete the Anointment Trials to earn this title. The Thundercats code of honor required his friends to do all they could to stop him. He would have to be as strong as Panthro, as swift as Cheetara, as cunning as Wily Kit and Wily Kat and beat Tygra in a battle of the mind.

Oh

My

God

Somewhere along the line in 1985 as a latchkey kid, I’d missed all of these episodes. Tragic! No matter. Watching them 30 years later was just as exciting, if not even better. I was rooted in my seat, transfixed by what I was witnessing. A thought came to my mind – a silly one, if I’m honest. I didn’t banish it. I entertained it. What…what if *EYE* could solve all of my problems just like a Thundercat? What would that look like? Well first, I’d begin by:

 

Shouting ‘Hoo!’ At Every Freaking Thing

Lion-O was not permitted to use the Sword of Omens or the Claw Shield during his Anointment Trials, and for good reason. The Sword of Omens makes him invincible, and on a regular day, he’s encouraged to make use of his weapons. At stasis, it’s a pretty sharp dagger that becomes the length of his body after the impassioned scream of one word: Ho!

Ho (or heaux, as I’d pronounce it) is imbued with magical powers. Yell ‘heaux’ and your whole squad shows up to help. Yell ‘heaux’ and fierce light will emit from your accessories, blinding your opponent.

Man, I could see myself now. What’s they problem? Chicken salad too dry? Sweet tea ain’t cold enough? Not burning enough calories on the treadmill? Kids won’t leave me alone to make these pancakes they asked me for?

HEAUXXXXX!!!!

Everyone scatters…tasteless salad, annoying kids, everyone! Problem solved.

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Beating My Problems to Submission

You ever seen Panthro fix the Thunder Tank or any other mechanical object lying around Cats Lair? What’s the first thing he does? I’ll tell you. He smacks the crap out of it and yells “Dang BLAST IT!”. And guess what? The machine starts working again. That’s because Panthro runs a tight ship out there at Cats Lair. You don’t really want to go toe-to-toe with Panthro. I don’t care if you’re a spreadsheet or a coffee maker. You take one look at Panthro’s biceps and that grimace and you know it’s in your best interest to comport yourself. How awesome would it be if you could just smack the pudding out of a pile of reports and yell “Dang BLAST IT!” and everything work out fine? Like, your boss and your colleagues just think you’re a wizard because you can just beat your way to success?

Heck yeah. You know you would.

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Sprinting and Back flipping Away from Undesirable Situations

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Police brutality was (and if this annual trend stays true, will continue to be) a big problem last week. The world watched two men DIE on their smartphones and televisions…in one case in real time.

But what if you had another way of escape.

A person can pretty much tell if a store clerk, the lady at the DMV or a cop is going to give them a hard time. What if instead of suffering through the entire nasty encounter, you could just backflip your way to safety and peace? Or, OR, how about this. What if you’re taking an evening stroll, minding your own business and all these fuqbois on the sidewalk just won’t let you have peace. They keep harassing you. They keep touching you. If you were a Thundercat, you could use your super speed and just get to the QT to pick up that Freezoni and get back home. Because sometimes, all a girl wants in life is peace and a slushy, syrupy drink.

Making a Joke Out of Everything…and Being Cute While You Blunder

WilyKit_WilyKat

There are some people who do this anyway; make a joke of serious issues, I mean. Everything is a bloody joke. They lost your luggage?

“Oh…it’s funny how that happens. Have a nice day, eh?”

They put a hole in your wall while moving in your furniture?

“Hahahaha!!! Oh, don’t worry! You can file a claim with my company. My boss will give you a call. I get off at 5pm.”

Braided your hair with Yaki number 613 instead of number 27 like you asked?

“Oh. Ehehehe….But this one too is a style.”

Maybe you yourself are one of these people. Maybe you are just prone to screwing everything up.

But you ever notice how SOME people manage to get away with this? It’s because they are cute! Somehow, when you’re CUTE, your blunders don’t seem so egregious. Just like who? Willy Kit and Wily Kat. Don’t be a screw up and be ugly. You’ll get kicked off the team.

Pretend None of Your Problems Even Exist. Like, Just Don’t Acknowledge Them.

This has got to be my favorite coping mechanism by FAR. During the fourth day of Lion-O’s Anointment Trial, he had to defeat Tygra in a battle of the mind. I suuuuwear, I’ve never seen anything like it. Tygra was standing at the top of the hill, right? And Lion-O had to get up to him. All of a sudden, Lion-O stops and starts fighting AIR. Actual, empty air. Because why? Because Tygra is at the summit, all mystical and Asian talmbout some, “Let him see what is not there…”

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Yo.

You can do that?

Because I SHO NUFF would be at Suntrust’s Headquarters with my mortgage in my hand hollering “Let them see what ain’t there! Let them see a zero balance!”

That’s not how it works in real life, though. In real life, if you don’t pay off your balance, you have a foreclosure.

I’m sure my kids would love to have this Tygratic ability to make ish disappear. Like that stinking room and those bad grades.

“Let Mommy see what’s not there!”

 

 

Yeah.

ThunderCatssss….Heaux.

Thundercats.ws-Site-Relaunch

 

Is Tomi Lahren REALLY The Right Voice for White Moral Outrage?

Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of Tomi Lahren. Tomi is a conservative pundit who makes her living trolling Black pain and mining Black disenfranchisement for every cent its worth. She’s a worm who moisturizes herself in the tears of Black orphans. Just evil. Tomi uses Black culture, its heroes and its villains alike to provide herself with relevance. She and Piers Morgan – that unctuous British bigot – have that in common. Lahren currently works for the Blaze, but given the outrageous nature and asinine commentary on social events, it’s safe to bet that she’s jockeying for a position as one of the Fox News Blondes.

One of Tomi’s most recent targets was Jesse Williams…or specifically Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech at the BET awards. She asserted that BET was giving Mr. Williams a humanitarian award for spreading ‘racism and hatred’. Anyone with half a brain listening to that speech would never come to that conclusion…but we’re not dealing with someone operating with a full deck of cards. We’re working with Tomi Lahren. Watch her videos for yourself and see if I’m exaggerating! Every time I hear her voice, it’s like hearing human bone scrape against asphalt. Just torturous!

Anyway, this week, Ol’ Missy Lahren hopped onto her embossed leather soapbox with the intent of tackling the murder (and it was a murder) of Alton Sterling, who was selling CDs in front of convenience store when two cops tackled him and put 6 bullets in his back and chest. Her voice got thinner and thinner as she launched her high pitched whine about why Black folk have this penchant for turning criminals into martyrs, Alton Sterling being the latest. To demonstrate that society was better off without Alton Sterling’s existence, she offered the following tirade as evidence of his apparent unworthiness to live:

“Here’s what know about Sterling. Sterling was a registered sex offender. He was previously arrested for aggravated battery, criminal damage to property, unauthorized entry, domestic abuse/battery. In 2009 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for marijuana possession and for carrying an illegal weapon with a controlled dangerous substance.”

I’m listening to and looking at this woman this woman rattle off all these “stats” on Alton Sterling, looking at her lips grow tighter and tighter as she screeches her faux outrage, and all I can think to myself is ‘Wow. This sounds like the average weekend itinerary from whatever trailer park you just extracted yourself from.’

What we ALSO know about Sterling’s sex offender registry is that his was 17 at the time and the girl he was engaging in sexual contact with was 15. Similarly, you may recall in 2003 when 17 year-old Genarlow Wilson was convicted and handed a 10-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex with another teenager. I would imagine that there are many Altons and Gernalows unfairly charged and floating through the American justice system, thus providing harpies like Tomi Lahren the ammunition to deem these men’s lives worthless.

Everyone knows that Black people are handed harsher convictions by the criminal justice system for the same offenses that white Americans commit. The long-term repercussions for Black people are far more devastating than they are for white Americans. Study after study has proven this. Again in 2003, The American Journal of Sociology published the results of a matched-pair experiment in which the participants were split equally by race, black and white.

What the study revealed is that employers were more likely to call Whites with a criminal record (17% were offered an interview) than Blacks without a criminal record (14%). And while having a criminal background hurt all applicants’ chances of getting an interview, African Americans with a non-violent offense faced particularly dismal employment prospects.*

That’s important. But what’s more important is that Tomi Lahren is proof of this phenomenon herself. While this woman sits on TV night-after-night, delighting her bigoted viewers by insinuating that the deaths of these Black men, women and children at the hands of the police are somehow justified because of their criminal pasts, Ms. Lahren forgets that she has a past of her own that isn’t so squeaky clean. In a stunning turn of events, Tomi Lahren found herself exposed…by none other than Black Twirra.

Aubrih Stan, who goes by the handle @yauniexo had finally had enough. She exposed Tomi Lahren for the prostitute and shoplifter that she is and came with receipts. Twitter, who like Facebook, is deeply invested in preserving white integrity, deleted Aubrih’s tweets and from what I gathered, shut own her account for a time. But it was too late, because the innanets never forgets and the innanets makes copies. Within hours, everyone knew that Tomi Lahren had spent 14 years of her life whoring herself out for pay and stealing items from Target in 2008. And yet here she sits, with her own show on the Blaze. If all things were equal, we could call Ms. Lahren’s good fortune “the American Dream”…a dream that allows you to trade your nightmarish past bent over the arm of a sofa, sucking oily old-man-cock for a few 20-dollar bills for a lucrative career in media. In reality, it’s nothing more than White Privilege. I can’t think of any former hoes of color in this century (besides Mama Maya, God rest her) who the establishment would even let remotely close to becoming the voice of righteous indignation.

And don’t get me wrong. I do love my prostitutes. They have changed the course of history and affected social events from the days of the Rahab in Bible to Cardi B in 2016. And I applaud Tomi for having the strength to pursue that….career. It takes a great deal of inner fortitude to participant in the sort of anal play for pay that I’m certain her clients demanded of her. But is THIS REALLY the woman that hateful white America (and all you coons who cape for their cause) has chosen to be the voice of American morality? Because that’s what it comes down to in our society. If you’re Black and have any blemish in your past, you deserve to die at the hands of police. It doesn’t matter if you’re just walking home, or going for an afternoon drive, or selling CDs, or listening to loud music when you’re killed. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t engaging in criminal activity in the moment when you were killed. As long as you have a record, an infraction even as mundane as a trip to the principles office, you deserve death in this moment or the future.

Heaven forbid, we apply the same standards equally. Heaven forbid Tomi Lahren finds herself a victim of sexual assault. How callous and asinine would it be to say “Well, you know she’s be a whore for half her life. She deserved it.” No one deserves to be raped, just like no unarmed person deserves to be murdered by the police.

People like Tomi Lahren, who live high in their towers, made of ivory and glass shouldn’t let the altitude make them delusional. You can’t be a ho in a pencil heels lobbing grenades while you’re sitting on a drum of liquid nitrogen with your name on it. That’s just unwise. The last time I checked, prostitution and theft by taking were both criminal offenses in Amurrrca, Tomi.

Have you heard of Tomi Lahren? Do you find her as despicable as I do? Discuss!

 

*Source: thesocietypages.org

The Upside to Brexit: Britons Disprove Their Presumed Superiority

None of my English friends are actually “English”. They are English men and women of Nigerian/Ghanaian/Jamaican decent. Their ties to England (and to their precious, burgundy UK passports) usually begins with some 419-marriage-for-papers; or with their parents lucking out by getting pregnant and delivering them in the UK whilst in university during the 70s; or by overstaying their student visas and slotting themselves firmly into the cog work of English society. They are English in the same way that I am American: African by birth, Western by chance. And yet despite this cumbersome, shaky relationship with our adopted countries, each of us has taken on the mantle of continuing the old rivalries from the original inhabitants (or invaders). African-English folk refer to us African-Americans as “you Americans”, an appellation that is usually followed by the phrase “are so dumb”.

Among our many crimes as Americans are:

  • Voting George Bush into office twice. (I want to add that that wasn’t the fault of the people. That was the Electoral College.)
  • Failing to enact gun control legislation.
  • Refusing to add an extra vowel in the spelling of words such as ‘color’ and ‘neighborhood’, or reordering the placement of the letter e in words like ‘center’ and ‘meter’.
  • Our insane insistence on driving on the other side of the road.
  • Our inability to control our portions, leading to an epidemic of obesity and heart disease.

You get the picture.

There is a tenuous relationship between Britain and America, one built on admiration won and disgust earned in equal measure. Yet through it all, the English have always maintained their position of racial, cognitive and social superiority. America’s latest offense? Allowing Donald Trump to get this close to the presidency. How stupid can you Americans be?

Well, now thanks to Brexit – a contraction and joining of the words Britain and exit – you Brits can answer that question simply by looking in the mirror. Muahahahahaaa!!!

Can I tell you how delighted I am? This is just fantastic!

As I watched the Pound slide to 30 year lows after the results of the vote were announced, I was met with a sense of awe. This quickly gave way to a perverse sense of pleasure. Yes! All your too-known. All your fear mongering and xenophobia. Here are the fruits of the bitter seeds you’ve planted. Who’s the dummy now?

The English STAY dogging the American education system. But how do you send out legions of people to vote who don’t even know what they are voting for? Eh? Did you see this? Did you see what the British were Googling after they realized what they’d done to themselves?

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And then there was THIS chick, whose regrets apparently represent a fair majority of the voting populace. Look at her face.

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Like the guy who found the perfect relationship, couldn’t decide if he wanted to pull out or not, makes a hasty decision, and now he can’t live happily squandering the fruits of Oprah’s hard earned labor. This coulda been YOU, England:

Now, top EU leaders want England to pack its stuff and get out as “quickly as possible”. Hei! Talk about a bitter divorce!

Now, of course these setbacks – the pounds sharp decline, their economy shrinking by 100 billion in ONE DAY, the hysteria and morning after regret – are only temporary. I mean, this is Britain, conqueror of the entire world. They will rebound, because allowing this once great superpower to collapse completely would signal a devastating end to Western superiority as we’ve always known it; And though they may want to punish Britain in the short term, those who believe in the cause of white supremacy will never allow this to happen. Britain can’t become a failed state. It’s not like it’s Ghana where corruption is the norm and patriotism is a myth. This is Britain. The Queen lives there.

Nevertheless, this is a great day for America and Americans. We get to look at England and thumb our noses back, for once. We are finally on equal footing. You Brits, with your cricket and your afternoon tea and your NHIS are no different from us. Our paths our now firmly entwined. Welcome to the future.

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Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport Gets A Facelift – But Corruption, Bribery Prevail

There’s ALWAYS some sort of bribery or money bilking scam going on at Kotoka International Airport. Between the yellow fever vaccination booklet scam, the baggage handlers stealing your luggage, and the customs officers’ expectant query about what you have “brought them from America”, it’s always a miracle when the traveler exits the airport’s sliding doors with their wits intact. Kotoka is a den of iniquity. It is a chaotic, incomprehensible hellscape. If you’ve entered Ghana via that airport in the last 20 years, you will attest that this is no exaggeration. Ice Cube got outta Compton with more ease than you will through Kotoka and its parking lot.

But there’s great news! The linear processes aren’t getting any better and the staff are just as arrogant and deceptive, but the airport is getting a facelift! *confetti*

Jemila Abdulai, my sister in blog, recently returned from Germany and had Ghana’s special blend of corruption thrown right into her face as she was trying to Uber home. And since we are storytellers, she did what was only natural: she told the story of how she was subjected to extortion by the airport’s workers. For that ‘crime’, her award-winning blog was hacked. (It’s back up and running now. I personally think the hack was practice for whoever the IGP is going hire on election day, but that’s because I’m a cynic with trust issues.)

With her permission I am re-blogging her account of the ridiculous and heinous events here…because they can’t hack us ALL. And because we’re all tired of them pulling this ish.

Kotoka-branded
By JEMILA ABDULAI

Kotoka International Airport, Ghana’s only international airport, is getting a facelift and it’s beginning to show. From the new “visa on arrival” desk to the expanded arrivals immigration hall and luggage pickup carousels, the much-needed renovation project, which apparently started in 2014, is helping ease some of the congestion travelers experience through the port of entry. As they say however, beauty is only skin-deep. What about the other, more arduous surgery? The one that expunges memories of power plays and solicitation by airport officials and staff, saves the country millions of dollars, and securely establishes Ghana as the gateway to West Africa it claims to be? When does that work begin?

Stepping off the plane around 8:30pm on June 16, 2016, I was tired, but happy to be home. After days of dreary, cold weather in Germany, I didn’t mind that I had walked right into a travel guide or blog post: the balmy, hot Ghanaian air rushing to envelope itself around me while the unmistakable hint of salt danced about. As myself and the other passengers were transported by bus from the aircraft to the arrivals door, I caught a glimpse of bright lights in the distance: the very lights guiding workers through the night as they worked on constructing the new airport terminal. Terminal 3.

Only moments earlier, a KLM crew member had announced over loudspeaker, “Photos and videos on the airport premises are prohibited”. This is a first, I thought to myself, before shrugging it off. Maybe they want to keep things under wraps until the official unveiling, I reckoned – to offer a pleasant surprise to those who have yet to see the renovations.

Having already filled my arrival form, it took me five minutes to get through passport control and make my way over to the carousel. It would take another 30 minutes before my suitcase came into view. While waiting, I checked the Uber app periodically to see whether there were any cars in the vicinity. I finally found one as I placed my luggage on the airport stroller and headed towards the exit: it was five minutes away. After putting in my request, I continued towards customs control, bracing myself for the usual questions: “What did you bring me?” “Where and why did you travel?” “What’s in your bag?” Nothing. Not a single question. Well, that’s different, I thought to myself. Different, but welcome. After 14 hours of total travel time on subway, train and airplane, I was tired and looking forward to taking a shower and going straight to bed. The clock said 9pm, but my body knew better: it was 11pm. Jet lag had me running two hours ahead of time.

Continue reading at Circumspecte.com

The Idiocy of Declaring a Woman a Hoe Based on the Length of Her Hemline

And the Bible says:

“If a woman wears a short skirt and tight jeans a man shall look upon her lustfully and commit adultery in his heart.” – Jesus H. Christ, 2000+ years ago.

No? That’s not what your Bible says in Matthew 5? Coulda fooled me! The way we police women’s sartorial choices “based on God’s law”, one could easily be forgiven for interpreting scripture this way. But I suppose this is the weakness of men rearing its ugly head again. What Jesus actually said was:

“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

There was no mention of what she was wearing while man was doing the looking and lusting. No mention of if he’d offered her a drink and she accepted. The responsibility was on the man to either tame his heart, or gouge his own eyes out if he could not contain himself. (That’s actually in the Bible. Matthew 5:29)

I don’t know what it is with men – and today I’m talking about Ghanaian men, though I’m certain that they don’t hold a monopoly in this trait – that makes them so averse to accepting responsibility for their own choices and actions. I believe it goes back to Adam, the prototype for the immature and reckless man at whose feet I lay blame for the caliber of men we have to contend with today. We might actually be regressing as a species. What did he say when God asked him why he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? “It wasn’t my fault, Yaweh! It was this woman that Thou gavest to me!”

And women have been dealing with men who not only cannot follow instructions, but also bearing the blame for men’s disobedience ever since.

Selah.

Dovetailed with the burden of carrying the failure of men is the burden of bearing the moniker “hoe”. Calling a woman a hoe has become the quickest (and laziest) way to silence and denigrate women. In 2016, a woman can be denounced a hoe for doing anything from posting yoga poses online to going to church. Safe spaces for women are shrinking exponentially, and as usual, women are being made to bear the blame for existing in a hostile environment neither of their choosing or making.

I have watched a series of exchanges between my friend Lydia Forson (she’s my best buddy now) and a certain columnist take place over the course of the weekend. I hesitate to brand this man a journalist, as that would require putting him in the same league as Komla Dumor, Nana Ama Agyemang Asante or Nana Aba Anamoh. He has yet to produce a piece of objective journalistic work that meets the international standard of the word. He gets paid to express his moral opinion rather than research, analyze and report , which is a pretty good gig. But nonsense like that is only rewarded in failed states like Ghana. I have chosen not to mention this moral crusader – as Lydia calls him – by name because this post isn’t about him, but rather the lethal cancer he represents.

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Last week former Miss Malaika winner Hamamat Motia found herself under sharp criticism and condemnation for a dress that she wore to the VGMAs. The picture of the mother and former model showed an off the shoulder strap, plunging neckline, a mullet-cut hemline. It also showed a bit of side boob. For this, Hamamat was branded an ashawo (slut) among other things in a society where privileged men drug and rape women and earn job opportunities in return for violating women’s bodies. Hamamat then did what you would expect of any woman who has had her spine expertly extracted by a violently patriarchal society like Ghana’s: she went on an apology tour for wearing that dress. A dress she bought and paid for, even possibly had designed. A dress that several people in her house saw her slip into and declared that she was radiant. And she was. She looked stunning in that dress. The yellow offset her skin like the sun fading into the night sky. Hamanat wasn’t really apologizing for wearing the dress: she was apologizing for being called a hoe. Which is quite a mind-fuq when you think about out.

The sartorial choices that women make – or have had thrust upon them – have long been used as a determining factor of her worth. And thanks to colonialism, mental bondage and the Ghanaian’s aggressive adherence to Western standards in just about all forms, from beauty to education, the archaic notion that the length of a woman’s dress is a viable factor for assessing her self-worth or propensity for promiscuity is firmly rooted in our collective psyche. How did this happen?

War… Or more specifically, conquest.

During Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign from 1798-1801 he discovered the Sphinx, the tombs of pharaohs and Egyptian cotton. He blasted the Afrocentric features off of the Sphinx and used the bodies of mummies as fuel for locomotives. And then he brought cotton back to France in order to revive the textile industry. All the noble women in Napoleon’s court were required to purchase yards and yards of material in order to meet the standards of fashion acceptable for coming to court. All women were also prohibited from wearing the same dress to court twice. Napoleon also had the fireplaces in the palace stuffed so that women would be compelled to purchase more material for pantaloons and other long underwear in order to keep warm in the vast, drafty halls. In this era, the empire waist dress (named for Emperor Napoleon’s new empire) was designed and became all the rage in Europe. Paris was now the fashion capital of the world. Not to be left behind, the British went over to India, fabricated an offense which led to a war, split the country in two and consequently took control over the country’s cotton production and manufacturing. Floor length gowns were the marker of a “lady” – white gowns even more so. A white gown signified that one was wealthy enough to do no toil because stains would be evidence of work (hence their popularity in the post Bad Boy era) and white parties were/are a mainstay for both the wannabe and fabulously wealthy alike. And the rest, they say, is history.

Except when it isn’t. Whether a woman is dressed “like hoe” or not is really just a matter of dates and global events, not design.

In the 1930s, women were routinely policed and arrested if their bathing suits did not comply with city ordinances. After WWII, all that extra material was needed to support the war effort (not modesty) and the bikini was born!

In the 1930s, women were routinely policed and arrested if their bathing suits did not comply with city ordinances.
After WWII, all that extra material was needed to support the war effort (not modesty) and the bikini was born!

We Africans have yet to overcome the imposed idea that a woman must be completely covered in order to consider herself confident, regal and beautiful. What’s worse is what the Ghanaian male has done to his female counterpart’s body…our bodies collectively. Once upon a time the female form was respected and honored in our society. You see it in our older wood carvings. But then with colonialism came the fetishizing of the African female form, followed quickly by its sexualization. And because of the guilt and shame that came with misinterpreted and misapplied biblical half-truths, our bodies were criminalized by the very same men who once respected us. With criminalization comes policing…and what do victims of oppression do when they crave recognition of their humanity? Frequently, they side with their oppressor. This is why patriarchal princesses industriously join in the fray when it comes time to shame another woman for what she was wearing/drinking/eating/studying and finds herself on the receiving end of a sexual or physical assault. Many (far too many) Ghanaians have captive minds and don’t even know they are prisoners. They don’t even know that the amount of material used for clothing has little to noting to do with morality , and everything to do with commerce.

My husband shared something he read about Saartjie Baartman. It was decided by certain bright minds in Europe that her body – with its large breasts and buttocks and elongated labia – was “sexually primitive”, and therefore appealed to the baser sensibilities of men. Saartjie’s proportions–though extraordinary – are typical of the average African woman’s. In sharp contrast are the proportions of white women, which tend to skew flat. Their bodies were determined to be “sexually civilized”, because they did not incite the base sexual desires of men to the same degree that an African woman’s would. This idea somehow found its way into the Ghanaian psyche and now we women are being punished for our physical appearance. If you have big breasts and a fat butt, you’ve got to be a hoe.

 

By definition, a whore is someone who trades sexual acts for currency. You can’t “dress like a hoe”. Money actually has to pass hands before the moniker can stick. Let me end with a tale:

A friend shared a story with me. His father had abandoned his family and his mother was left to care for him and his brother. His final exams were looming and he’d been sent home for not paying school fees. His mother – now a shell of herself, but still trying to hold the family together – promised he would get the money and be back in school before the end of the week. That night she left the house and was not seen until early the next morning. She had his school fees in hand…all of it.

Now, he strongly suspects that his mother had to go sleep with a guy in her office to get the money, but he’s never asked her. Likewise, she’s never revealed how she got the money.

If she did, did that make this church-going, God fearing woman a hoe? Absolutely, without a question. His momma was a hoe for a night, and now he works in a nice office, drives a nice car and her covered hair and long skirt couldn’t change that.

 

 

And now, I leave you with this gallery of our ancestors dressed like Akan hoes. Get your minds right, especially you fake journalists who see life with the clarity of a cataract.

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In the 1930s, women were routinely policed and arrested if their bathing suits did not comply with city ordinances.  After WWII, all that extra material was needed to support the war effort (not modesty)  and the bikini was born!

Why Picking Up the Mother’s Day Mother Load is the Best Decision You Will Make This Weekend.

Okay. Fine. Fine! I admit that getting a set of 5 books for a cool GHC 100 might not constitute the “best decision” you will make this weekend. I mean, you could make a first ever decision to invest in mutual funds that could yield you thousands of dollars eventually…but if you’re looking for immediate gratification, the Mother Load is the way to go!

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I often say that if you like my blog, you’ll love my books. MOM provides a snapshot into the vast world of the humble blogger you’ve come to know and love (dare I say adore) over the years. Deborah Ahenkoroah once described my writing style as “quirky African”.

I like that.

Makes me sound like a Gilmore Girl, but where Gilmore is pronounced “Gyekye”.

Anyways. Let me tell you about this promotion that’s going on from May 6th -10th!

YAY!!!

YAY!!! Promotions!!!!

But before I tell you about the promotion, let me tell you about Close to Home! (There’s a lot going on in my writing world.) Just released on Tuesday, Close to Home is the story of a little boy named Carlos Elamin who wants to fly and wistfully lusts after adventure. The oly trouble is, he’s afraid.  He ends up going on several exploits with his mother, all from his living room window. How does that happen, you ask. Pick up a copy and read along with your KG – 1st grader to find out! Guess what? No…guess! I have 2 copies to give away.

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The first two people in the comments section to correctly name the other blog I co-founded AND answer what Yaa’s consequences for trapping death in a basket were get a signed copy each!

I originally entered Close to Home in a literary contest sponsored by Lee & Low books and prayed I wouldn’t win. Ah. Malaka, why would you enter a contest and hope to lose?  Because I wanted to collaborate with Poka Arts Studios again for this book. Didn’t know if I could trust the publisher to get the images right…and Poka ALWAYS gets it right. Lee & Low were going to chose the illustrator for the winning title(s). So now, the rest is history… Or the future. You know what I mean.

Anyways. Close to Home is available on Amazon.com.

 

IF YOU’RE IN GHANA, YOU SHOULD GET THE MOTHER’S DAY MOTHER LOAD!

Seriously, where else can you get an entire library of books for just GHC 100? In this Mahama ecomini? I don’t see how! This is what you get in your Mother’s Day Mother Load set of reading awesomeness:

  • Sally and the Butterfly, the first pick your own path book written by a Ghanaian author.
  • Yaa Traps Death in a Basket, a graphic novel featuring demi-gods, a tokoloshe and a girl who finds her courage in the wilderness.
  • Lover of Her Sole, a Ghanaian-Nigerian Cinderella story.
  • The Daughters of Swallows, an action packed tome that has been described as Rambo meets Romancing the Stone.
  • Madness & Tea, a book about absolutely nothing…where “nothing” is utter hilarity.

With this fantastic set, you will experience a range of emotions, some that you may have long thought you were no longer capable of sustaining. You will be joyful, apprehensive, horny, angry, frightened, jubilant, nostalgic… But two books in particular are going to make you horny.

Have you noticed a pattern about my release dates? Sure you have! All of my books (Madness & Tea being the only exception) are released on or around Mother’s Day weekend. It’s because my books are my babies. I send them out into the world and hope that someone will love them as much as I do. Books need homes. Books need you. You need the Mother Load…

….which is only available on the African continent. But don’t worry! If you’re in the Dee-yah-spo-rah and want to get a gift for your mommy or auntie (heck, even your daddy) back home, StoreFoundry can take your order from any where in the world and make sure that your package gets there safe and in a timely manner. You have until the 10th! Don’t ask me about any discounts after that.

Order by clicking here.

Don’t forget to play for your free signed copy of Close to Home!

 

 

Prince

 “Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.” – 1999

It’s funny. The range of emotions one experiences when you lose someone you love. I’ve lost people before…folks I’ve touched and hugged in the flesh and I mourned their absence. Their departure from this world into the created a vacuum that in time, I learned to replace and fill with other elements.

I don’t think this is possible with Prince.

I know it isn’t.

Prince is irreplaceable.

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I won’t blame you if you decide to log out of this post early. This may be the singularly most rambling piece I’ve written on MOM. I have no direction that I can take. I feel so adrift. LeVar Burton said on Twitter that he felt “bereft”. That’s an apt adjective for what the legions of people who Adore Prince – fans that he’s gathered over the span of nearly forty years – are feeling now. Many of us are wondering ‘”What do we do now?”

Carry on, I suppose. What else can we do?

I had to attend a church function last night. I managed to extricate myself from the sheets that had formed a cocoon around me and took a quick look in the mirror. My eyes were not red. My face was not puffy. Good. I had not yet cried, and that was good. No one at church would ask me questions about why I looked forlorn, and I wouldn’t have to answer insipid questions about why I was mourning the loss of a man who spent the majority of his career creating unsanctified songs….”the devil’s music.” But my daughter knew something was wrong. Nadjah is incredibly adept at reading people. She called me out, naturally.

“What’s wrong, Mommy? You’ve been in bed since we got home.”

“Prince died,” I replied.

I didn’t think she knew who Prince was, (I mean, I’m not a complete heathen. Now that I’m a First Lady, I don’t generally play Darling Nikki on the ride to school.) so I was surprised when she reacted with sincere shock and grief.

“What? When?”

“Today.”

“I’m sorry, Mommy. So sorry.” Her face creased a little and my heart broke a little.

“You know who Prince is?”

She nodded. “He’s your favorite singer,” she said simply.

I looked at my 11 year old daughter in amazement. I had been in love with Prince since I was 3 years her junior; loved him for longer than she’s known life. I was touched that recognized and understood this special admiration I had for this man…this other wordly man. This man that so many of us were certain was immortal. Someone said that Prince hadn’t died, he had merely returned to the universe.

That made me smile.

To say that Prince has touched every aspect of my life would be an understatement. I have lipstick from the Lip Bar that I bought ONLY because it was called Purple Rain. He’s in my wardrobe. He’s in my ear buds. He’s in my writing. I have entire chapters of ‘Madness & Tea’ dedicated to what I’d hoped would become future memories of my escapades with Prince. A girl can dream, can’t she? You call them delusions, but I say that if you don’t court a little Controversy in your dreams, you’re doing it all wrong.

Can I tell you a story? It involves Prince, a stack of CDs and hell fire.

When I was in college and newly saved, the pastor preached against secularism and embracing the world…including its music. Lucifer was the cherub through whom wind passed to make music, you understand. And so it’s important to guard your ears against particular spirits who want to infiltrate and devour you! Ei! Devour me? How! So these people began to help me with the process of cleaning out my music selections.

“Should I give them away?” I asked.

“No, no!” said one particularly devout, mousy woman. “You don’t want to transfer that to someone else. THROW them away.”

So out my CDs (many of them just recently purchased) went. Oasis, Digable Planets, Biggie, Bob Marley. I threw away Bob Marley’s greatest hits y’all. But then I looked down at Purple Rain, which was the first Prince album I’d bought with my own money. These people were looking at me. I stared back at them. Prince was not going in the trash.

“Are you willing to put your soul in jeopardy over Prince?” they asked in shocked dismay.

Apparently so, because Prince ain’t going in the trash!

…And then I ushered them out of my room and my presence.

There’s another story I wanted to tell you, but I’ve decided against it. That story goes into the MOM Vault. When I heard that Prince commissioned a vault to hold music he’d created but never released, I was inspired to do the same. There are things I’ve written that will likely never be seen by the general public. Words that I experiment with just to see what I can do, rather than what everyone expects from Malaka the blogger. Prince showed me that it was okay not to share everything you possess with the world. He lived so, so free. He was limitless in his talent. Played 27 instruments. Sang with incredible range. And he was hilarious. And had the nerve to be able to ball, short as he was! If anyone showed the world what limits the human body and mind could achieve, it was Prince. He lived in the spirit. Can you feel me? 

I remember when his son died. I was little more than a “baby” myself, just starting life in earnest. His passing coincided with my first semester at school, and I grieved for the possible child prodigy the world would never get to know. I was never able to find the meaning in Baby Nelson’s death. It was poetic in its cruelty.

When it was announced that Prince was coming to Atlanta, I was elated. I would have one last chance to see him again before I left for South Africa. I have only seen Prince in concert once, and I went with my good friend and photographer, Bessie Akuba. She’s the only other person whom I share a spiritual connection to the Artist on this plane. Every picture, photo interview and class she’s taken to hone her skills has been with the aim of working with Prince. I caught that vision from her and gripped it, convinced that the three of us would tour the galaxy itself. When he caught the flu and had to postpone his appearance at the Fox, I was so afraid. That he was sick enough to cancel an appearance meant that he was truly ill. This was a man who performed in the torrential rain for the Super Bowl – in heels – like it was a spring day at the Met. He’s done appearances completely blown. (It was the 80s. don’t you dare judge him!) NOTHING stops Prince.

But the flu did.

And just a few days later, he was gone. He performed his last concert here in Atlanta and then he was gone. Just…gone.

At 11 pm last night, it’d been 10 hours since I’d first heard the news about his sudden departure from this world. All day, I had been trying to work out what it was I was feeling. It wasn’t sorrow. Sure, I had teared up…I’m tearing now…but this is far beyond grief and mourning. I sat in the car a moment after the church conference and tried to work through this foreign emotion. Nothing came to me. No epiphanies. And then I put the key in the door and walked into my home.

It was in absolute disorder. The lights were on. It was stuffy. The kids had had a wild ball and no one had bothered to clean up.

And the lights were on.

That’s exactly what losing Prince felt like. Like we’ve been at this amazing jam since 1979 and we’ve been partying like it was 1999 and getting to know strangers, and loving each other through this thing called life and laughing and just having a BALL. And like it is with the funkiest, crunkest, rocking(est) parties, we didn’t notice time slipping away. ….And then on April 21st, Yaweh – that great MC out there in the ether – cut the lights on.

Party done.

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*NB: Please excuse all the typos in this piece. I couldn’t go back to read over it. What are your favorite Prince memories? When was your first concert? Discuss.