Bitterness will not equate to honey

It’ll surprise you a lot of opinions/values women have towards men yet claim they want a life partner. Statements such as ‘Men are trash’ have been commonly said that even men accept it with enthusiasm. I understand many women have been hurt, in ways perhaps unimaginable, by men and this is not okay. Opinions should be shared however it isn’t okay to wave a banner of judgements from past experience and claim it is a fact. Not only so, but after labelling all men as ‘trash’ many are delusional that they are prepared to be in a relationship. The cost of neglecting your emotional well-being in exchange for misandry cannot build or secure a healthy union.

A few days ago a woman posted pictures on social media showing four hours worth of meal prep she made for her husband. Amazed by this I liked the pictures and just as I was about to commend her for the effort she made, the comment section was littered by women accusing her of being a slave to her husband. Some commented they would never do such a thing, and others even made insinuations that her husband was ‘probably’ cheating on her. It is certainly eye opening just how incapable many women are in resolving bitter emotions they have towards men and therefore choose to spread this to other women. As if that isn’t enough they justify their negativity by hiding behind the mantra of “Men are trash”. To the extent that is has become almost a fashion statement and is worn on shirts.

We hear you loud and clear that men were ‘trash’ to you – yes. Now go and get your healing and allow women who are happy with their men to celebrate their joy.

I’ve been questioned “Why do you defend men?”, the question alone is incredible. How do you expect to truly love and appreciate your partner if I call him ‘trash’ at any given opportunity? How do you think your partner would feel, even if it wasn’t directed to him? What example do I give to your brother? Or better still, what are you saying about your brother when I scream that all men are ‘trash’? It is true that ‘Hurt people, hurt people’ and it is irking that many don’t think into future implications about what they say or the actions they make.

Now before a rally of cherry picking readers use my words out of context, I am not condoning the hurtful statements from both men and women. Rather what I am advocating is if a relationship is to be built by both parties mutual respect must be given, including statements. There should be wiser alternatives than jumping on a ‘trending’ bandwagons and promoting negativity.

Bitterness will not equate to honey nor will the scorn of a woman produce milk

© Akvsua 2017

Discovering ‘@akvsua’ – Jack of all, Master of none

 

“It did not begin as obroni. It began as two words. Abro ni.”

“Wicked man?” Akua said.

The fetish man nodded…”You can only decide a wicked man by what he does, Akua. The white man has earned his name here. Remember that.”

This is an extract from Yaa Gyasi – ‘Homegoing’.  As seen in the above picture I was thoroughly enjoying the book and it was until I came to that particular page and read the historical context of the word ‘Obroni’ that I felt simultaneously baffled and somewhat hurt. Why are Africans (namely Ghanaians) in the diaspora called Obroni?

With current modernisation, the word ‘Obroni’ has warped into a different definition and now describes a individual who is a foreigner – namely a person of Caucasian descent. This word now extends to people who have spent a prolonged amount of time in the Western world and cannot be completely recognised as being Ghanaian, due to the inability of speaking the mother tongue without a foreign accent. Being born and bred in the UK meant that I too, and many others, was to inherent this battle against being recognised as an ‘Obroni’, ‘Oyinbo’ or ‘Wazungu’. It is a fate almost predetermined to struggle in perfecting a language which is inherently yours, yet seen as sounding ‘off’ because of a the foreign accent.

It never bothered me being called ‘obroni’ by my extended relatives whilst growing up. It became a second name when my accent shamelessly exposed me, despite my diligence in speaking Twi. It was during the final years of Secondary school moving onto college that the desperation to gain what I had lost during the years of learning about the The Battle of Hastings, readings on Florence Nightingale, and many other English related history. However my efforts was counteracted when being called ‘Obroni’ came with a certain hostility and those who spoke ‘immaculate’ Twi found mine rather irritable, with the advise to ‘Just give up and stick to English’. Admittedly, many times I have given up. My tongue is still caught between certain words and the easiest alternative is speaking English. It takes a certain resilience (and stubbornness) to carry on speaking a language – perhaps awfully, but with a determination to be better.

We are the ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’- adapting between being two nationalities yet never mastering a single country.

© Akvsua 2017

Discovering ‘@akvsua’

‘Do you feel… British?’

On some days and other days, not so much.

I recall going to Primary school with my afro sectioned and weaved around with black thread then left to stand erect in the air. I never saw the problem till I was mocked and labelled ‘Spider girl’. I could not grasp why there was such a commotion  made when I referred to my teachers as ‘Uncle/Auntie’, after all I was taught to believe this was curtsy in its finest form. It baffled me that I was told not to speak Twi or Gua (Anum-Boso) and so I was placed on a strict diet of reciting a rather basic language with so many rules. Still, it did not stop me from gathering leaves in the school bushes with my childhood friend, then finding a large rock to grind these leaves into what we believed to be ‘egusi’. I still ate fufu and chicken soup in a asanka bowl together with my family and Hollywood movies? What was Hollywood movies compared to Papa Ajasco, Super Story, scary tales of Patience Ozokwor being the evil mother and how could I forget TT the Taxi Driver!

In the early 90’s my parents migrated to Britain and consequently I was born and bred in London. So why then didn’t I feel British ‘enough’, if this is all I have ever known?

The art of balancing between two very different cultures isn’t completely achieved because one will always feel more natural in comparison to the other. The British culture – although mesmerising, it came second to exciting tales of life in Ghana. To my surprise I was not the only one who carried such sentiments. I lived in East London, to many the first thing that comes to mind is ‘TopBoy’ or melodramatic tales of hooded youngsters antagonising the community with knives. Although, this is true (to an extent), the area I grew up in was abundant with migrant Ghanaians who where desperate and excited to recreate a home they had left long ago. I was recognised and surrounded by people from who would shout my name across the road and tell me to greet my parents for them. Soon, I learnt that there were several types of bread other than Kingsmill or Hovis and I became accustomed to the smell of akpeteshie when I walked past Ghanaian shops.

As years progressed I adopted a seesaw approach between the two cultures. School was where I perfected my English to a spotless shine. Whereas home, with the influence of the streets, was where the shine rusticated slightly in exchange of affiliating myself with the latest Hiplife music, and listening to tales Kwaku Anansi before bedtime.

Still, the question left to answer is, do I feel British?

I feel as British as the patriotic man chanting ‘England, England, England!’ down the pub on Victoria Road whilst watching a football match; and as Ghanaian as a child learning to play oware in holes dug in the sand. I have almost mastered the balancing act of being two nationalities at once, and that is okay.

 

You may travel oceans and cross seas but your mother remains in your tongue.

 

For the children of Africa freckled in the diaspora

© Akvsua 2017

Hallow, thick girl

The new ‘cool’ is emotional unavailability. But what happens when you forget to feel?

In our flight for emotional superiority (and crushing anything resembling ‘sensitivity’) we have in turn neglected the very essence of our being – emotions. The pride in being perfectly poised and detached has erected a stiff back in many societies; which is stubborn to bend and has proven even more reluctant towards change. It is ironic that in this race of ‘Who can appear more ‘badman”, we are in search for a love that will most certainly rock our world. Humour me, how can you desire to give someone a love you cannot even show yourself?

The question at hand is not how did we get there, that would be a dissertation in itself, but rather do I get in touch with what makes me human. I encourage you to be softer.

Be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge your emotional state first, before approaching a situation. Get in touch with your drive! It is a beautiful thing when a man can express his thoughts and concerns. It is also beautiful when a woman can do the same. I am not insinuating we forget our obligations and waver to everything/anything we feel, most certainly not. What I am suggesting is the perfect harmony lies in acknowledging your emotions, dealing with it – if need be, then to simply carry on.

I will admit, it seemed rather ludicrous to me (for years) to express my emotions to anyone, let alone blog about it. I refused to appear ‘fragile’ in the face of even my loved ones, so in turn I placed a demeanour of aloofness. I am, however, learning to get in touch with my very being. I am learning to delight in that makes my heart pound a little faster with giddy joy. The things which warm my cheeks with coyness is also welcomed, as well as the swelling in my chest when a song moves me to shed a tear.

Welcome every single part of you and do not neglect anything – after all, who throws away diamonds?

 

To the counsellors I have had, whom momentarily doubted if I could ever ‘feel’ again. Well look at me now.

© Akvsua 2017

Emotional Adulterer

If

Father had stayed

Perhaps, you would know

How to commit to a single cause.

Pawns wouldn’t resemble men.

Nor his violent euphoria to express

Real and soft, so soft love

Ammunition to check mate.

If,

Father had stayed, just a little longer

This catastrophe of  a woman you

Sweet, lost girl, you have become

Would only be a description

Of a villain’s roar

In a fairy tale.

© Akvsua 2017

First blog post – Dealing with death

It took a conversation with a friend who lost his dad for me to realise that I have been trying, and failing, endlessly to suppress the memories of my mother.

It’s quite easy actually. It’s like having a good friend, then something happens and boom, hey presto, that once good friend you had is now a stranger – and life goes on. It seemed like a rather swift and seemingly easy transition. One day you have a mother and the next you’re mother-less, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Well, I thought it was ‘quite easy’ it isn’t, at all. It isn’t easy saying ‘I really miss my mum’ or saying to a friend ‘Man, I wish I could hug your mother because she reminds me of mine’. It isn’t easy trying to suppress the urge to talk about her as if she is alive and it is even more difficult describing somebody in past tense when just the thought of the individual invokes feelings more real than life itself.

I guess I am still dealing with death. I wish I could print out thousands of manuals and distribute them like confetti to those who have lost loved ones and say “Here is how I dealt with death, you should try it too!”. The truth is I cry as if I haven’t cried before on certain nights, I get lost in thoughts so deep I drown many times and even typing these words cause my hands to quiver. I guess that is my way of dealing with death, accepting that it is okay to miss someone so close to you and admit it. It is certainly more than okay to admit that ‘You know what? I am just not ‘over it’, can I get a hands up of who else is tired of pretending?’, because I know I am.

So cheers to those who are dealing with death, you most certainly aren’t alone. Rave on about how wonderful your loved one was to you! Stick pictures of memories shared and grab a glass and think of the good times! Be liberated and free.

But, most importantly remember the broken hearted are more evolved.

In loving memories of Deborah.

© Akvsua 2017