“I love my natural hair because it is a gift that we black women have” -Lola Atobatele
This is a story of acceptance a journey of discovery.
Recently there has been a movement geared towards women of African descent not using relaxers to alter their natural texture.
Some people are all for it, jumping on the band wagon, and some people not on board because they say it’s too stressful.
I don’t use relaxers on my hair anymore. Here’s why(the long version) .
I am a very self conscious person, I worry about what people think of me a lot, I mean it’s getting better now but it used to be way worse before.
I am shy because I never got to interact with my peers on time. I had a very accelerated education I was 9 years old in my first year of secondary school, for a girl who spent most of her time with her younger siblings and didn’t play with other children alot it was difficult.
I was always the youngest in my class, I remember in Jss3, I preferred to hang out with Jss1 students because they were my age. My own class mates were interested in boys, tights and periods,me,i just wanted to play ‘Catcher’.
I used to think I was very ugly,i hated my nose and it wasn’t until 2008 that I finally said hmm maybe this Ada girl is fine small sha (side note: one of the boys in my Jss classes said I was one of the finest girls in the class 🙌 ,but let’s not focus on that).
I spent most of my time trying to fit in and trying to make sure I was deemed mature, so they could involve me and tell me things and not just be the smart, tinny gbeku, glasses girl. If I could tell my past self anything it would be to tell anyone who called me childish to shove off because I was still a child.
I am almost ashamed to say this but i didn’t know that not relaxing your hair was an option, I thought leaving your natural hair was something that only deeper life people did because they were weird.
The person who inspired me was a friend that did her big chop and I really loved her hair and by that time I was already frustrated with my hair’s problems. I was a limp lifeless thing that I hated.
I transitioned, I was afraid of looking strange but I kept my head high and did it, when my hair came in, I was Sooooooo happy I had weight, it felt healthy and my afro was one in town 😁.
I have come a long way from the unsure, insecure and immature girl who prayed to God that people would like her and prepared conversation in her head for whatever new school (I went to 4 secondary schools) ,she was going to.
I believe my embracing my natural hair is a biiiig part of it. I am not saying I am completely there yet but I am taking GIANT steps.
I am writing this because I started a new hair regimen on November 30, for a 3 month trial period and I was just reminiscing on how far I have come. I really thank God for that. 👋
” An accent is someone speaking your language with the rules of their language ” – Trevor Noah
I have an igbo accent, well not really but when I pronounce some words you can tell I am from the eastern part of Nigeria and I am proud of it.
I really don’t know why people see accents as a mark of intelligence, when I was in school I really abhorred all those girls that used to put ‘R’ everywhere in the name of sounding tush – ‘whort is that‘.
And the ones that killed me were our American accents- Oh my God. How do you have the accent of a country you have never been to, even those who have stayed there a while only have slight accents.
Someone who spent a single summer of their 19 year life in Chelsea will now be speaking with an accent- B*tch please 😕.
A person’s language patterns develop fully by the time they are eleven or twelve, so in essence no matter where they go their base accent will always be the same.
Now of course if you are in a certain place it will affect your speech, intonation and what not,but for God’s sake don’t come here and be giving us horrible accents after a 2 week vacation.
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with improving elocution, learning to speak so that people everywhere can easily decipher what you say. However, ridding yourself of your accent should not be your primary goal.
I always make fun of accents, I poke fun at myself when I say ‘Craydeet’ instead of ‘Credit’😄.No matter what part of the country you are from, I will probably laugh at your accent. Now I don’t do it to be mean but I think it is one of those cultural quirks that amuse and define us at the same time. The same way I find Yoruba Agbadas funny because of the movements involved in keeping them at a place.
I laugh at igbo people that have ‘R and L factor’ , my friends laugh at me because I can’t say ‘Surulere’without biting my tongue 😢. I don’t mind because it’s just one of those things. The same way I laugh at their own ‘H factor’ incidents.
At the end of the day i never assume anybody is stupid because of how they speak English, it’s not our mother tongue and if not for the fact that we were colonized by the English, we have no business speaking it.
I am more inclined to believe that those people with their synthetic ‘accents’are the stupid ones because there are so many more productive things to do than waste time trying to sound like someone else and failing woefully at it.
So embrace that your accent, improve your vocabulary and don’t apologize for the way you sound.
“The orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… . And one fine morning ——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” – The Great Gatsby.