United African Nations ?

 

(Hey guys, before I begin, I would just like to apologise for my absence on here , I have started a placement, yes officially entered into the working life and I’m just trying to find balance on blogging, time for myself and also time for God, as that’s been slacking *slowly reminisces on when I had a solid quiet time routine*. This post was written months ago but I thought it would be a good idea to include it now since it is still relevant)

It’s every Saturday morning that my Dad has to show me a WhatsApp video on his phone about the atrocities not only happening in South Africa, but in other “fellow African” countries such as Nigeria and etc. Videos of shops being vandalised, demolished and burnt, not to talk less of people being burnt with tyres around their bodies and it really leaves me to wonder how we even allowed it to get to this point

If you didn’t know, this is the current situations happening in South Africa:

So now that you know the basics around the situation, I thought why not put my own two cents into this topic as me being an African and also having studied the history of how Africans relate to each other in this present day, I thought I could add my own perspective to this controversial topic.  I first came across this after seeing news that many African stars such as Burna Boy and Tiwa Savage boycotting their performances in South Africa due to the acts that they were committing in that country. Honestly, I didn’t take much notice of it as after all, starts always boycott their performances for various reasons. However, it wasn’t until I saw this post from famous South African comedian Trevor Noah that stated:

trevor noah

This provides another perspective to the issue of xenophobic attacks, with one side stating that they are seen as “foreigners” who are deliberately taking the jobs of the South African people, whilst the other side (Trevor’s) explaining how the real issue is that whites still have the majority of ownership of businesses, agricultural lands and income, and I couldn’t agree more.

It really hurts to see that Africans who all belong from continent and who are all united are actually pushing their brothers and sisters away instead of helping them or encouraging them once they have started a business, This goes to show that xenophobia is still alive, well and kicking in the sense that Africans are still against each other by not uplifting them and investing in their businesses.

This is just a topic that had to be discussed briefly, I would love to hear your thoughts or opinions on this topic!

Thanks for reading

 

 

My Culture is Not for Sale !

So, this week I have decided to blog about my opinion on the idea/theme/social construct or whatever you would like to phrase it as – Cultural Appropriation. The whole scepticism around the concept, and how it has affected me directly or exactly how it has affected girls my age or around my ethnicity.

But first, let’s define the term as: “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society”

In simpler terms, it’s the process of taking another group’s culture, or traditions or lifestyle and adopting it as your own, and therefore making it accepted in your culture, rather than theirs, hopefully that makes sense?

The term arose around 2016/2017 and it came to it’s prominence due to its association with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber all facing criticism over it. Even celebrities we recognise today such as 6ix9ine who regularly use the derogatory word “n*gga” in his lyrics is facing high criticism from let’s say the “black culture” after using the term quite frequently

So why would anyone be offended over this idea? Let’s look at it in depth. The whole process of it is when you are taking a person’s culture (mainly of a lesser dominant race) and using it as your own. An example of this could be when Kim Kardashian wore braids and posted it on her Instagram account. On the outside, there is nothing wrong with it, after all she is just wearing a hairstyle, isn’t she? However, the problem starts when she referred to the braids as “Bo Derek” braids after the famous actress who wore the hairstyle in a movie. Many black women were highly offended by this act, stating that she completely disregarded the history of braids and cornrows, as it can be traced back to relating to slavery, as those were the styles that women wore before they boarded slave ships and had their hair removed, it was apart of their culture and customs, and unfortunately it was stripped away by the slave owners, due to their wanting of them to assimilate to western types of hair which is mainly straightened.

Other instances include singers such as Katy Perry being criticised for wearing Geisha which is the tradition of Japanese culture which includes wearing pale white make-up and elaborate hairstyles. This stemmed from her American Music Awards performance in 2013. Many people again were hurt and offended by the act, which she later apologised for. Now there is not anything wrong with wearing other people’s cultural attire or materials, it can simply mean you show appreciation for their culture and are interested in it. However, when it is culturally accepted by a person of a dominant race, whilst the weaker race is criticised for it, it becomes a problem and many people who view it happening on social media become very offended by it.

So, what is my opinion then? I completely understand the hatred and the annoyance coming from the receiving end of cultural appropriation. After all, imagine wearing something you find attractive, but when a person of a higher status or wealth wears it they are praised and adored for it whilst you are ridiculed for it. However, I believe we have to look at it from both sides. Taking the example of black cultural appropriation, with hairstyles and facial features such as lip shapes, aren’t we doing the same by doing processes such as contouring noses and wearing weaves and wigs? There is the argument of it being protective styling and beautiful, however we happen to take the culture of Europeans or Caucasians by wearing straight wigs, even with the emergence of frontals to make it look extremely realistic (as you can see I am digressing into hair talk)

But the point is, in realistic terms, we take things from people’s cultures all the time, sometimes without realising that we are doing so. This is not necessarily wrong, as it can be considered as a way of appreciating the beauty in one’s culture, I think where the problem lies is when the persons culture is not being accepted for its originality and praised when someone of a different culture takes it into the public light. Whether culture appropriation would ever be solved is the question, as time goes by, people’s cultures are being shared and intertwined with others rapidly. So, should we start to accept that this is occurring, or should we put an end to appropriation due to the harm that it causes to the lesser dominant race ?

Thanks for reading !

Review : UNFAZEDBOX AFRICAN CLOTHING PIECES !

Heyy!

So I’m no expert at fashion but I do know that the use of African fabrics, whether it be Kente or Ankara or any other fabric has been very prominent in todays fashion. African fabrics as a whole has been incorporated into many styles from Jumpsuits to maxi dresses to even jewellery and it has taken a liking to many people including celebrities pictured in them

Its funny how it has become so widespread in terms of cultures, in the past you would never expect another person who is not from Africa or has any part of that background to be wearing such materials, however its really become popular, even when I went to a Christian Camp in Peterborough for the majority of the time I was spent there , many people where pictured in Dashikis, I was so amazed !

What I love about this is the creativity and the uniqueness it has, and the many designs you can use to make your desired outfit, after all it is a piece of material like any other that is used to make any other piece of clothing, so why has it been so long for it to suddenly be used by many manufacturers in their clothing lines?

That’s why I was so delighted when I got sent these pieces by a company called Unfazed Box , the owner , Tunde is an amazing young teen who has recently started to make her own Ankara designs with simple jewellery pieces which she asked me to review, Here are some pics:

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When I saw these pieces I absolutely fell in love with them, and I received many compliments from others when I wore them out, I was amazed at the detailed print in them and how simple they were to wear, I will definitely be purchasing more of these items and will do follow up reviews on them for you to see

You can check out their page on Instagram : @unfazedbox , or you can look at their website for more of their products : http://www.unfazedbox.bigcartel.com/