YHUR-ZEST-4-LYF

you are sweet rice and stew on a sunday afternoon. you are juju music on a lazy afternoon from the record seller across the street who blasts it without warning. you are street closed for serious owambe. yorubas do not play with parties. you are jumping into buses and having no change. you are “owa!! owa!! na my bus stop be this oh!!” you are the bus conductor who tells the driver not to completely stop after seeing you are not pregnant. you are “make una shift oh! na four people dey siddon there” as you ask yourself why you are crammed in a molue bus. you are third mainland bridge in traffic. you are hawkers on the streets, selling everything. you are muslim neighbors sharing meat after ramadan. you are school closing early on friday for classmates to go to mosque. you are christmas eve mass. you are fireworks and so much laughter. you are dancing in the rain when you are little. you are 4pm, waiting for the television program to start. you are “UP NEPA!” as the screaming turns to “STUPID IDIOTS!” when the electricity gets turned off yet again. you are rushing to grab the iron. you are laughing till it hurts. you are hustling till you see you shine a little. you are sharp mind and no johnny just come movement. you are yoruba mixed with pidgin served with a little slice of igbo. you are sweet pidgin english. you are preachers with bell early in the morning screaming for you to give your life to christ. you are five churches in one street. you are early morning call of prayer from the nearby mosque. you are the neighbor who has three christian wives yet he is a muslim. you are crazy drivers and cursing lips. you are so many languages and so many souls. you are black, hustling, ocean filled souls and historic. you are harmattan. rainy season. sweet mango. agbalumo & seven days rain.

Lagos

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

(via theijeoma)


We are tired of carrying our fathers sins. We are sick of cleaning the wounds of our mothers. Here, we are growing new flesh in pain. Here, we are sinking our teeth into earth and coming up with new histories.

Wash

Ijeoma Umebinyuo.

(via theijeoma)


However big the burden, place it on my head. My mothers have taught me how to walk with grace even with a bucket full of water and a child tied with wrapper on their back.

— Ijeoma Umebinyuo (via theijeoma)


i tried shifting my tongue

one day,
my mother called
i kept talking,
she was quiet

i asked her to say something
she said,
“my daughter, i did not understand
anything you just said”

i tried coating my tongue
with another
so ashamed of my people
i forgot who birth me.

Ijeoma Umebinyuo (via theijeoma)


theijeoma:

Chinwe ike  

"Onye siri na ogaghi e cheta gi 
Onye ahu anala 
Onye ahu e fuola 

Onye siri na ogaghi e cheta gi 
Onye ahu anala 
Onye ahu e fuola 

Cheta na (cheta) Chinwe Ike 
Chinwe Ike (cheta) Chinwe Ike 
Cheta na Chinwe Ike 
Chinwe Ike Chinwe Ike 

O kaka 
Onye kere ihe niile 
Agada gbachiri uzo 
Onye nwe ike 
Nna no n’eluigwe 
Otito diri gi 
Isi mbido na jebe ebe 
Onye di ka gi eh 
Chi kacha nma 
Chikacha bu 
Na ra ekele eh 
Na ra ekele eh”


Adaeze means the daughter of a king in Igbo. Igbos do not believe in Kings. They have a traditional democratic system where women and men have their peer groups and are represented. I think the name is ironic. Kings never truly existed in Igboland till the colonizers came. Ada in Igbo means daughter. First daughter to be precise. It is one of the most beautiful names in Igbo. It is also a title for first daughters. Umuada are a group of women from the same community who meet up to discuss on how to improve their various communities. In Nigeria, Igbo women can be seen every Sunday afternoon with colorful wrappers, running to meet up with their fellow women from the same village no matter how far away from home they are. I used to watch in amazement as they helped each other, warning abusive husbands and praising women who were doing great in business while helping others who needed help. I grew up surrounded by such women who would not let you lift a finger during your celebration. You should see them, cooking together, laughing together and celebrating each other. Igbo men would say, no matter what you do never make Umuada angry. Simply put, do not hurt their sisters.

Ndi Nne Mama

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

(via theijeoma)

I so kwa..


Girlfriend, honey child, moon child, skin kissed by Gods. Woman, sweet lips, burning soul, light filled eyes. Skin void of light, who cursed you? Placed darkness into your skin and made mad love to your soul. Such beautiful curse. You are a beautiful sight. They name you after Venus. Name you after Orishas. Womb creating kings and queens. Brown skin love. Gather your laughter and spread it around. Sow a seed of joy. Girlfriend, mother, daughter, auntie, sisi-eko, oriaku, honey child, moon child, skin kissed by Gods. Woman, sweet lips, burning soul, light filled eyes. Skin void of light. Curse every soul to hell who ever called you less than gorgeous. Curse any man to hell who ever looked at you and never saw your Queendom.

theijeoma:


Ijeoma Umebinyuo.


We need more discussions on mental health and abuse in Nigeria because at fifteen years old, an SS2 student who was held at gunpoint and raped should have a safe environment for her to go. Her safest place should not only be in the arms of her fellow classmate, crying in the middle of an empty classroom. We need more help for survivors because shame should not be a part of the skin given to survivors of such assault. We need it because a teacher shouldn’t openly and without remorse sleep with his student, where we claim it as the fifteen year old being so “loose” and saying in the same sentence how it is never the teacher’s fault. We need it because we have labelled it a taboo but don’t tell me that when four young Nigerian women are gathered and three have been offered darkness. We need it because my friend called me saying in anger something is wrong with the mentality of some men who actually argue with him about rape not being rape, that a woman who dresses a certain way, “deserves” to be raped. We need more discussions on mental health because the pains of survivors cannot be prayed out. Yes, not everything can be taken to Jesus in prayer. We need more discussions and resources for survivors because a housemaid who was raped by her Oga should not be spoken to and treated like she is less then a human being. We need it for all socio-economic levels of society. We need harsher prosecution for those who offer darkness, who try tearing others apart, who try devaluing another being due to their selfish needs.

— Ijeoma Umebinyuo (via theijeoma)