The poem was written here first, now comes the video. May it inspire you and move you into action as we bring about Justice, Emancipation and an End to Oppression.
I was 18 when I started this blog. I was sitting in a room, it was clothed in shadow, with a yellow desk lamp, the same one that illuminates my food stained keyboard now, glaring at the screen, as I Skyped my older brother. I was depressed. Not in a suicidal manner, but I had lost any spark that ever glared behind newly framed eyes. I was apathetic. And my chest was burning. It was burning because I had this scream that was locked up deep inside of me, and it was tearing the enamel off my teeth, scraping the bristles off my tongue, inflaming the sores I had chewed into the lining of my cheeks. It was my voice. Disabled, disused and highly confused, and it lay mangled and crying in the back of my throat, trying to make me scream to release it. But I had no constructive way of doing so.
So came the idea of this blog. Coming to the end, albeit a month late and not in the fashion I wanted – this is more like the salutary face-plant I ended my first-year of Uni with – I have arrived in a heap of words, and thoughts, and comments, and life lessons, here, in the last post, on the last day of January. And I have grown.
It’s bizarre. This blog has seen me age three times. From 18 to 19 and now to 20. When I began this blog, I tried to be extremely covert and dissembling. I wrote critical pieces about the representation of ‘Africa’ in the media. I spoke about my broken heart for the dispossessed, for sex trafficked women. My pain at the industry that promotes prostitution. I began to voice the niggling sensations that clawed at my mind about identity and being a post-colonial being, a British Nigerian who is neither and both and somewhere in the middle. I talked about being tall, having big feet, being a gawky student, not able to get down in ‘da club.’ And then I began to write poetry?! Some of it was at 3am in the morning, raw with spelling mistakes and odd imagery. Some of it was down right contrite. A lot of it was self-indulgent and a poor man’s escape from reading the news and commenting in a socio-political manner. I began writing Life Lessons, the easiest way to get a quick post done. I travelled to South Africa and worked with Ithemba Projects. I came back and was unable to write. I then re-wrote Psalm 119 in a series of meditative posts. At each centenary mark I worked with my sister and produced 100 words and photo – and that was a beautiful experience.
I re-created my identity in this blog. I discovered, I destroyed and I forced out a voice on this webpage. I became a woman. And I came to the end of my 365 days writing. And it really was a process that killed the writer. It is the Death of the Writer… and the birth of a person who has re-learnt how to speak, and found a multitude of avenues to express her voice. And that voice is wholly polyphonic, just like the truth, just like my identity. It bursts out, it sings, it cries, it laughs, it writes, it speaks and it has learnt – most importantly – how to be silent.
So where do I go from here? Well, in the mix of this journey, I have begun to write for a wonderful women’s magazine called Magnify Musings -so check that out for more of my work.
Oh, and that poetry that just appeared? Well…check out the video below.
I wondered whether, amongst ‘the pile of shit’ that no doubt clutters this blog, if you, the reader, would ever find a piece of gold. I hope you have. If you haven’t… search harder.
So…How to end this journey?
I bow out, with grace. Born on a Thursday 20 years ago, I end this blog on a Thursday, and look forward to the many more years, strung together with words, that are yet to come.
Good night, God Bless, and a lot of love.
Thank you for walking with me.