Ghana : Why Everybody Ran Back !

screenshot_20200105_2145297750561452270751778-2

After seeing this pic on the gram, I knew that the Year of Return in Ghana had to be my next topic I blog about. You guessed it, over 1.5 million people took plane, ferry, catapult or whichever method of transport to get themselves from all over the world, to the sunny and vibrant lands of Ghana. From Ludacris to Cardi B and her infamous chichinga incident to even the Queen B’s mother herself spent new years in Ghana.

Of course, I was watching like a lot of my friends from my phone via SnapChat and Insta stories. Whilst I was drying my eyes of the tears due to not doing up enjoyment like everyone else, I do feel glad that I somewhat saved money. Prices skyrocketed to over 1 grand, and that’s just the tickets alone. If you didn’t get transport and accommodation sorted also, then I guess your bank accounts definitely felt the pain! Nevertheless, 2019 was the definitely the year of African awareness and self-consciousness.

The Year of Return

I actually had to find out from a colleague what it was and why it meant so many people were returning home ( they need to teach this during BHM in schools ).

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.”. yearofreturn.com

In hindsight, it was an invitation of all descendants from years and years of slavery to come back to their original roots, original heritages and come back to their true homes. The project has many goals and targets. One being for people to come and experience culture and enjoyment in their hometown, another to celebrate the freedom that Africans all over the world currently have and also to boost tourism as it can be a leading indicator to business and investment.

What does this mean for Ghanaians, Africans in general?

For me, I think it brings a new sense of emotion and patriotism for not only Ghana, but for Africa as a whole. If you think about it, Africa definitely wasn’t the dream spot that people wanted to spend their Christmas season at. If it wasn’t America, it was Canada. If it wasn’t the UK it was somewhere in Europe ! But the fact that thousands of people dream about going home to see the places where their parents were born and raised, really brings a sense of change and greatness.

Afro Nation, the festival which features many African and Caribbean artists sharing the beautiful and lovely music that Africa has to provide is also a massive contributor to many people going to Ghana. The festival celebrated the vibrant and emerging culture of Africa and it has definitely had an impact on the younger generation all over the world.

Overall, I am proud of where Ghana and Africa as a whole has transformed and come to be in this current year, it’s rise in popularity, public perception and view has made it a number 1 tourist destination. Who would of thought- not me ! and who knows, mabye Ghana will be seeing me this year after-all ! *crosses fingers*

Thanks for reading !

All About My Braids Part 2

“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates”

Welcome back to a new post readers !

Today I decided to blog about braids yet again! I realised from my last post in February, that there is yet so much to delve into about the topic surrounding braids, yet it isn’t really explored that much. So this post pretty much explains the history and backgrounds of braids and how it has transformed into what it is in 2018.

Looking at the origination of braids, we have to look at Africa, particularly West Africa. In the villages, hair was known to act as a statement. Based on your hair, a person could tell your background, family roots, location and so much more information about you just by the styles and the presentation of your braided hairstyle.

This is why when the Trans Atlantic slave trade occurred, many women’s heads were shaved for sanitary reasons, meaning they lost a part of their heritage and identity.

However as slavery ended around the 50’s, the black power movement’s in America stemming from the civil rights movements encouraged a “Black Consciousness” out of black women to recognise their roots and their hair as being just as acceptable as the typical European style.

So, in comparison to 2018, where braids are appreciated even more than ever! Why are we still talking about them? The true fact is, that deep down oppression of braids still occurs today. I spoke on a previous post about the topic of Cultural Appropriation and how trends and lifestyles typically known to be created by black people are adopted by another culture. Although it may not be out in the open, it still exists.

Braids are no longer seen as something used for portraying an identity, rather it is used for styling and social media purposes. Which isn’t necessarily a negative thing, however it can mainly be misinterpreted as a muse to boost social media followings on pages. Again, isn’t a bad thing, as it is showcasing the many talents of hairdressers around the world. So I guess it is at a point where it is neither negative or positive. Views on the purposes of braids are completely subjective.

I believe it is up to us as older women to not only educate the younger generation about their roots but to encourage them to recognise it as their original identity, stemming back from centuries. I guess because it is what’s in fashion alongside other styles such as wigs and sew-ins, but at the end of the day it is nice to know where your heritage come from.

So this concludes my post about braids and it’s origins. I hope to research more about other African cultured items and trends that are valued at such a high standard like it is today. Until next time!

(All research used for this post is credited to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_l0rEJq1_s)

Something I’ve Never Written Before…

This is something I’ve never written before
I guess it’s self-explanatory, the fact that
such words or thoughts have never escaped or made a
conscious departure from my thoughts

Never have I uttered such thoughts and wonders,
many that I keep hidden away, locked up in a
psyche that refuses to bare it’s nakedness to outsiders
in the world , to the unknown, to the unseen

Since this is something I’ve never written before
should I dare to even begin to write it?
words that can’t be traced back to its original being
once stated can’t ever be taken back?

Or should it forever remain a distant memory
of words that could have been spoken
but locked away in a passage leading to my mind
words that that will eternally stay hidden, not awoken

So, this is something that I’ve never written before
although I write down these words that I’m thinking
I’ve actually never written something like this
Should I dare to even begin to write it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HI’s and LO’s of Social Media

Heyy !! Back at it again with a new post, been so MIA lately due to the move into university and I’ve really missed my blog so I  forced myself to put this post out which had been on my mind for soo long to do so, did I mention I was the queen of procrastination ?

img_3166.png

Anyways, so I stumbled across the beautiful piece of art above on the gram, you know just scrolling through your feed as you do, and it made me stop in utter amazement and wonder. The image drawn by @rokz_art shows a woman in her natural form with African beads around her waist, which if your from Africa you could relate to.

But what really hit my attention were these beautifully vibrant stretch marks all over her stomach and her thighs, now normally on a black girl you wouldn’t see white stretch marks on the body, but I think the purpose behind this was to capture the audiences attention and really try to capture the beauty of stretch marks on a woman’s body, symbolizing the changes of structure and growth that we females go through

This is why I named this post “the HI’s and LO’s of social media” simply because yes, social media is a great platform for engaging in pictures with your friends, laughing at hilarious posts and catching up with the latest celebrity gossip, however it can get really frantic when celebrity bodies and figures start appearing everywhere and the desire to emulate their appearances becomes almost impossible to avoid.

One of my main goals this year was to be happy in my skin and to accept the way I was made by God. This has honestly been a challenge for me surprisingly and I didn’t really think it was a goal that I needed to work hard for, not knowing that subconsciously I was always checking myself in the mirror, checking to see if I have cellulite or if my body is even in all the different places, yes its crazy right ?

I had to snap out of this and actually realise that I had a habit of doing so and it was slowly affecting me. Me being of 18 years and only realising this now, imagine younger teens in secondary school, where they hit the stages of puberty and the competition for the best body or best skin is on the rise, how would they actually feel and cope? I had a deep thought to myself and upon praying over the issue, I prayed over girls who were younger than me, experiencing the  battle with body image and self confidence. Even though I may not know someone personally going through this, I pondered over all the girls who are open to pages such as Instagram where bodies of women are plastered all over their explore page and wondered what they must be going through.

What moved me was the caption below the picture. ” Ladies please embrace your stretch marks… It’s a mark of strength , you are beautiful , you are gorgeous regardless, don’t think because of these certain stripes that you can’t do certain things” this message basically states that yes although we may gain these marks either through growth spurts or after pregnancy, we should, use these marks not as a reminder of a flaw that society perceives to be, but a reminder of our beauty and our growth as females and even as males too.

I urge anyone who reads this to be in love with their inner self, and to accept themselves regardless of any outer flaw that may be visible to the world, make it your mark that you are unique because of your appearance and although body acceptance may take time to full achieve, it is a beautiful journey whilst achieving it.

“you are imperfect, permanently, and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful” – Amy Bloom

Blog Feature !

Heyy!!

So I have been asked to write again for Cocoon blogs, this will be my second time writing for them and I absolutley love the content i create for them- do check them out on their website and their instagram – @shop_cocoon

Thanks 🙂

http://www.cocoonblogs.co.uk

 

image

Dear Makeup Brands…

IMG_2578[1]
Source – Instagram (nyamtang)
This is the beautiful Nyma Tang, a South Sudanese Youtuber, who has a channel with over 200,000 subscribers. As you can see she is a beautiful, dark skinned woman with skin to die for. Her inner melanin is filled with glow and sparkle and I am really enjoying her posts on her channel of recent. She is mostly famous for her series #Thedarkestshade where she reviews foundations, concealers and other products in the darkest shade to suit her complexion. This series gained fame as it pinpointed the major problem with makeup brands these days, especially affordable drugstore brands, in getting their shades right to suit all complexions from light to dark. I came across this video from NowThisEntertainment about how she explained her troubles of going to drugstore brands and finding that they don’t appeal to her complexion and often she had to go to higher end brands, which could be quite expensive at times in the US and even here in the UK

Upon watching this video above, I started to realise that for me in particular it wasn’t so much a problem, but for darker skin tones it was a major problem for them finding foundations that were either ashy looking on them or did not match their proper complexion properly. I realised it as I thought whenever I will visit a local Superdrug near me, looking at the brands of Rimmel London, or Maybelline, they would have a range of colours for lighter skin but only have 2-3 shades for darker skin girls. Therefore, leaving them to drift towards higher end brands like Lancôme or Nars who offer great alternatives, however can come at an expensive price.

So I guess the question exactly is, why don’t makeup brands cater towards darker skinned women? I can admit her skin shade would not be something you come across on an everyday basis, it’s unique in itself. However it doesn’t mean popular makeup brands should simply stop catering for their skin shades. Even looking at it from the other way round, most of the light shades still do have a tint of a tan look in them, forgetting that there are paler skin people and that not everyone prefers that tanned look even though it is what is in fashion right now.

Except for black owned brands such as Black Opal Beauty or Fashion Fair who focus on black skin mostly, many brands that are mainly advertised as being affordable for women and easily accessible should take a rise on expanding their colour ranges to suit each skin type. Especially with the rise of popular woman from Nyma herself to other youtbers such as Nikki Perkins or even actors such as Lupita Nyong’o who are gaining prominence in the spotlight.

My hope for the future is that makeup brands will continue to expand on their colour ranges, not only for foundations but other products such as blushers, highlighters and lipsticks (especially lipsticks, we need to stop looking like we have just eaten a powdered doughnut!) so that women will not have to resort to expensive brands all the time, even thought they are of very good quality

I’m no beauty expert myself, but I would really like to know why there isn’t a full range of colours suitable for all women of colour !

The Art Of Spoken Word

Poetry has always been something that I can call therapeutic to me. The soothing sound of the words escaping from Maya Angelou or the strong stanzas of Keats dedicating his love for Fanny Brawn have me gazed upon how words can be put into paragraphs to have a powerful meaning…

Spoken word however has definitely caught  my eye. This form of creative is writing words based on feeling a topic or anything really and performing it verbally. I once found my amusement in spoken word the day famous spoken word artist Suli Breaks walked into my church to perform a workshop with us. He has been famously known for his spoken word pieces ” Why I Hate School But Love Education” and “I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate” which has received a combined view of  over 13 million views.

Honestly, when he said that were going to write our own pieces, I literally wanted to laugh as I thought a piece that attracts millions of views worldwide would have had to be written with some good thoughts and imaginative minds. But what I failed to realise was that spoken word is personal. It’s absolutely up to you. It could be about family, sports, religion or passion for a strong subject. As long as you’re able to relate words together and combine them into a verbal saying- you’re  good to go! my first ever spoken word piece written on that day was of a picture of hands who had been chained up, but now had been set free. Automatically I felt my hand could not stop writing. All my thoughts and emotions to do with that picture immediately turned into a page of rhymes and aesthetically pleasing sentences. I absolutely loved it

If you’re not familiar with Spoken Word or would like to have a better understanding of why its so pleasing to hear to me – Check out some of these! :