Saturday, 4 January 2014

OMO 2014 IS HERE!!!

Just before piling myself and a friend onto a packed bus around 3 am in the morning, we conversed with a random person by the bus stop. This is a normal occurrence on a new years day, on any other day in London town this would be an annoyance. We dubbed 2013 'doomsy' and looked forward to a promising year.

I must say, I hyped myself up completely this New Years Eve, I had spent so much time indoors the last couple of weeks, it was only fair to allow my body to experience some outdoor air. I had options this year which was unusual; a live gospel concert, a string of house parties, a jazz bar and mum's church. All but Gospel and church sounded great and so I went to the jazz bar. Only to find out it wasn't a jazz bar, but rather an artsy bar space that offered, a lounging area for anyone who wanted to watch an indie film, a live model art session and lots of alcohol and conversation. 

No.No.No. 

It looked like work. I understand, I am your liberal, outgoing, non-judgemental friend and I am open. But I am not open to sitting in the boyfriend's seat of a blanked faced woman, smoking on a hukka, whilst I read the subtitles off a projection screen. I then later revealed my discomfort to my friend who seemed to fit right in. She was a regular. If you put three people in a room with me, it might just happen but not groups of individuals who have already bonded. NO. So instead a very naked live model sauntered into the front of the room and resumed her position as the artist continued to paint some floral designs on her thigh. I was confused. Very confused. I was offered a pad and a very bubbly club promoter (I don't know what to call her), employee of the bar, encouraged me to draw the naked model, whose eyes seemed to be darting across the room erratically. That's all I could see, darting eyes, paint and the occasional nipple. 

Three years ago, I would be angered by a pastor's deliberate move to pray into the new year and refusing the congregation a chance to count down and here I was sketching a painted nude woman. 

Dear friend, if you are reading this right now, my entire life is material and you are an adventurous soul, so here you are. 

I can laugh about it now but I could not for the life of me crack a smile in that moment. That's when I told my friend, it's time for me to leave, you can remain here, I will find somewhere else to go, transport is free after midnight. 

I thanked her profusely for bringing me out and met up with another friend, only to turn up to a house where the occupants were not present. The disappointment, going to a house party and you have to be the life of the party when the owner of the house arrives. 

We went home and watched Irokotv.

Now, that was fun! I am 23 years old and this was fun. All I wanted to do, was drink 3 shots, in a packed sweaty club and shake my hips simultaneously to Caro by Wizkid. I wanted to listen to songs that did not make sense, dance and dodge the odd hand grope here and there, just because. 

Even travelling home was eventful, I dodged a sympathetic hugger. My two buddies were walking in front, while I was dragging what I thought was a broken knee cap at the time, behind them. He hugged the two in front and saw I may be have been part of the group and attempted a hug. LOL. I hugged the guy and stood next to the talkative dude who shunned everything 2013. 

My life will continue to be eventful, I will have no choice but to laugh at my blunders in an attempt to live my youth. The dark, mood swings and rain will continue to be my source of comfort. I am not changing friends this new year, I'm sure next year, someone will be kind enough to invite my conservative self to a burlesque show and hopefully I will try and enjoy myself. 

I cannot begin to list the embarrassing moments, awkward conversations and surprising things I witnessed last year, at least I have a story to tell. 

No new years resolution, just a couple of goals and green tea. 


Saturday, 28 December 2013

This Christmas

...meant very little to me and it has been this way for several years now. Anything associated with Christianity has become a tolerable existence between myself and my family. My devout Christian mother prays every morning for my salvation and every time I walk past her mumbling her prayers, it worries me. I start to question why I felt it was remotely sensible once upon a time to announce my non-religious beliefs and why I regard the constant invites to church as insults.

It is a normal daughter -relationship, we butt heads at every given moment and I don't know when to shut up. This is one of the reasons why I refused to send out any Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas messages, besides the fact that I am lazy and don't care, I wanted to avoid the 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season" greetings and the Horus vs Jesus debates. I didn't wanted to read a long list of all the pagan traditions Christianity has adopted.

I read them anyway. The two extremes on my social streams of consciousness; the very religious and the pagan knowledge seekers are fortunately part of my world and will continue to co-exist. After a long speech about "What God has done for you this year" at the dinner table, I refused to participate any further in our family get together.

I have become a grinch and how it started is unknown to me. To be fair, I got tired of Christianity, I began to question why I believed in it in the first place and after paying attention to those thoughts, I realised I don't believe in following a particular religion. I just believe in the existence of God and you can acknowledge it/Hime/Her in your own way.  Plus, I live with my family, I see them every day, there is nothing to celebrate, well for them, Jesus.

There you have it. My Christmas rant.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Past 3 Dreams

Orange Paper 

The train slowed down and the name of the station was announced. I stood to gather my belongings and staggered to the exit door of the train. Squinting to adjust to the natural light, I held on tightly to a bar as the train halted, soon I was hoisting  up my suitcase, clutching on to the straggly tote bag and planted my weighted feet onto the platform.

I noticed something strange about this station but it didn’t occur to me at once. I searched around for a seat and a newspaper caught my eye. It was a large broadsheet; The Financial Times, only the colour seemed brighter; it wasn’t your usual peachy colour, it was bright orange.

The man holding his newspaper was resting his head against the black wooden panels behind him. I tried to look for a facial expression. I was still standing at the platform and remained in that spot. Why is he wearing a top hat and a tailcoat? I thought to myself. Where am I? 

I walked towards the empty bench adjacent to the man with the orange newspaper. He was reading intently. I shuddered as my cheeks clenched against the cold steely feel of the seat. I looked around once again. The atmosphere was solemn and serious. All I could hear were calculated footsteps. I felt out of place, I looked out of place. Everyone was dressed up. I couldn’t see what I was wearing. I didn’t try to look. All I could see were the sullen faces….
Wait a minute. There was no colour in their faces. Paper white.
I saw another passenger, he had the features of a black man but yet again, there was no colour on his face. It looked like someone had painted his face marble white, with a heavy and caked coat.

I’m Day Dreamin’ 

The feeling is baseless. It’s a live montage and the colours are soft, the movements are in slow motion and the sounds are muffled. Silence. In that moment there is silence.

A lady sits on a bed; she is wearing a purple t-shirt and wearing my polkadot shorts. Her hair is full, it’s curled and wiry like my own but it is longer and pointing outwards in different directions. Her skin is not like mine, it’s a rich brown. Her back is straight and her eyes are closed. They are no movements under her eyelids.

---

We seemed happy. My grin was wide and it didn’t feel strained, my head was light. I touched his beard and he held my hips. I played with the drawstrings of his pyjamas.  I was confident, I was safe and I was comfortable. We were talking, I’m not sure what I said. His eyes widened and then his low chuckle vibrated against my breasts. I kissed him. First on his lips. Again on his neck. Again on his chest. Now there were no drawstrings hanging. He stood there groaning….it echoed and wafted into the third scene.

---


White walls. Hmmm. Grey floors. You could tell the floors were dusty. The room seemed to large for me. It swallowed my thoughts. I heard a knock on the door and I stood up from the swivel chair in an attempt to answer. I sat down and called out, “Come in!”.

“Hi, my name is Mary, your assistant said you were ready to see me.”, the girl blurted out and extended her arm out for a handshake. Her skirt was long and flowy, it was dark blue with green lines wrapped around it , between the lines were patterns. Her shirt was buttoned up but the pointed collars sat loosely against her neck. I smiled and replied “that’s fine”. I looked at her resume on the desk. I can’t remember what the table looked like but I remember noticing how far back it was in the room next to the windows. I could see the clumsy paintwork, as the splatters next to the panes were visible.

I couldn’t hear what was being said. All I did was notice the unfinished things that sat in the room. There was a pile of boxes at the opposite end of it.


A Memory 

My hair was packed in two buns, sticking out at the side of my head. I was looking sheepishly at something. I wanted attention and I wanted to be seen. The heels of my black shiny shoes with white socks were perched on something. My chest stuck out , asserting the stretched bow at the top of my dress. My arms were spread out, leaning against the gas heater in the living room.  I swayed from side to side. The dots on the dress would overlap each other as I continued to twist and turn.

Blockage Beyond Belief

I have nothing valuable to say. My mind is invested in heartbreak. I am trying to use this heartbreak to get out! I need my sanity back, something to talk about.  I want to go out. I want the colours to mean something. I want conversations to serve as inspiration. I want the sounds to soothe me.

Everything is clashing. The lights are too bright.
The Sounds are too loud and stressful.
Outside is a struggle.

Solitude

"He who delights in solitude is either a wild beast or a god."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

I agree.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Just Stan

*This is not a review. 

Yes! The Yonce is back. Nah...let's stick with Beyonce. The 14 tracked, self-entitled album dropped unexpectedly this week and you noticed. I certainly did. I was honest with myself and I watched all of Blue Ivy's mother's videos and I listened to the entire album twice and found myself repeating "Partition", "Drunk In Love", "Pretty Hurts" and "Flawless" of course. . I was particularly interested on how Beyonce managed to clear a sample from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” TedxEuston Speech. The Queen Mother of Contemporary African Literature agreed for her voice to be used on Beyonce's trackFlawless/Bow Down? It was so deliciously paradoxical.

 It was one of the main reasons why I decided to listen to the album. Initially, I thought of it as a marketing ploy, to draw in a new kind of audience. I’ve never known Beyonce to be politically inclined, only in her days of Destiny Child when it was cool to be pro something. To be fair, we did see some humanitarian world effort with “I Was Here” but wasn’t she asked to do it?

The videos and production helped a great deal and encouraged me to listen to the album and I made sure I listened to it without the visuals; I didn’t want to overlook the lyrics.  The frivolousness of pop culture has been criticised over and over again, which has caused me to deliberately seek out music that is pleasant to my ears sonically and is somewhat meaningful. We are entering a golden era of music which focuses on the conscious and lyricism. Beyonce never had those two. It’s now a fad to make music that means something in pop besides being gimmicky and sexual and Beyonce did all of the above.

The album had been painted as her most daring album yet, almost revolutionary. I had to find out what the fuss was all about. This was an honest album and we actually got to hear an opinion from beyus, some soul, some heart. I prefer her rachet (the slang term for the American underclass) and beautiful, I couldn’t help but reflect on the lyrics of “Pretty Hurts” “What's in your head it doesn't matter”. This line was meant to challenge society’s obsession with image, particularly with women but in the context of lyricism, I prefer Beyonce just beautiful, her efforts for feminism is commendable but it didn’t do much justice with the simple lyrics. If you’re going to be a feminist, do it right!  Who am I to criticise the award winning, chart topping African American female singer? Too much good is going on here for me to criticise and I felt snobbish in that single moment.

We box artists into genres that when they try to evolve, it’s painful for us to accept that change. 

I said that like I cared. Absolutely not! 

In Beyonce’s case, it’s not only that she was innovative in dropping her album with no middle man involved, out of nowhere and had the number one selling album across the globe on Taylor Swift’s birthday and lives up to her message in empowering herself as a woman (key word being herself, please read on). The only thing evolved about this album, is how it was released and how she managed to bite into every past time artist’s style and get away with it. She carried all her influences and updated them in today’s music using the hit makers such as Pharrell, Timberland, Justin Timberlake, her husband, Hit-boy, literally and as a noun. Note; none were female (excluding the visual cameos). It was still a Beyonce album; only she was more open about her sexual exploits. That was the message; why are you crucifying me for being sexually confident? I am a grown woman, let’s challenge the whole landscape of feminism in this America/World and stop messing with my ‘new’ money. I am happy and I am fucking. All wonderful messages that need to be discussed. No sarcasm intended. I really meant what I wrote.

It's a polarising piece of work and Beyonce Knowles is a polarising artist; you either accept her for the artist she is or completely dislike her (I am trying to avoid the overused word, ‘hate’). I've never met anyone who picked and chose songs on a Beyonce album until now.

I will try not to be classist and like some of her songs and try not to think too much about the lyrics. After all, I understood all she had to say and I was entertained, that's enough right?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Loot

That's what it feels like.

This desperate scramble for wealth and the 'look at me I've made it' mentality.

And I will admit, I've bought into it, just a tad bit and I don't blame anyone else for doing so, I learnt from my colonial fathers, they taught me best. After all, 'money' makes the world go round (I hope you know it really doesn't).

Living in a country that doesn't have a lot and will do anything in her capacity to hold on to the little power she has left, is pretty much what you have to do to survive in this world. We no longer work together, we compete, the negative kind that is. What is yours is not mine and you'll make me very aware of it the moment I get too comfortable. You will have to do your very best and even if you were good enough, if someone better comes along, please do have a reclined seat somewhere in the back whilst I waltz my way into victory.

No we cannot all get along. I  cannot accommodate and tolerate. I'm grown enough to not deal with theatrics of life. What are you doing and where have you been?  God forbid, I be myself in an interview. Quiet, demure; I don't give you a lot, just enough to keep you interested and see me work.

After you have gathered your spoils and arranged all the letters besides your name that you are entitled to have, please tell me what is left?

My loot is adventure, occasional comfort and work I WANT to do.  I'll show off my work when it is finished and I'll credit whoever needs to be credited...so you can spend your spoils on my spoils.