We’re sitting on a hill, reminiscing about our deeds. These are mesmerising moments of ease; scenes are harmonising in keys. But we’re in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
We think about the nice days from our teens; the things that we did at our free will. We’re in sync with the future and past tensions. Indeed, we could enjoy the present intentions. But we’re in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
We envision our problems gone; with collisions exposed and pawned. Oh! We could enjoy this peaceful time, on this hill, watching the sunrise. But we’re in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
The beautiful birds stride pass our face. Thick cuticles blurred, striped by hours of grace. They flap their wings, forming art; tail lamps for us, bleeding hearts. But we’re in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
People of different cultures come to us. Simple, they offer their services; no Judas. Wave their hands with care; give their food to share. But we’re in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
What a sad case this is; our mindfulness is butchered. Heads are swimming between the past and the future. Opportunities to love others in truth are being missed. Communities could share true love; limiting the rifts. But we’re in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
There is a mountain placed before us. It’s wide, big; high above the clouds. With no way around it; no choice about it. Just to climb it, even through low sighs.
Some mountains, we choose. Often those that we pursue are easy to climb. They leave no bruise; we step on them like crumbs. No sweat, no fuse. But also no valuable lesson. Just an excuse after an excuse.
There are harsh sessions on the high mountain. Hard lessons on the big mountain. No breaks, no fountains. Just hardships and rough times. No awards, no rewards. Just emotional, mental tides and fines.
Fine, we usually accept the challenge. Out of options, we welcome the change. An exchange of comfort for caution. We become deranged for family. For our children, friends, even lovers. Some lovers who may become an enemy. We become a destiny with no back covers. With our back against the wall. Our back totally exposed to all.
But, step by step, day by day, with our veins, we climb up but not in vain. Some days we want to go back to our fortress. Some days we only see black, no success. But, after a while, mounting in grime, we forget about the pain. The hardships start to fade.
We start to familiarise the pain with the trees. We accept the bushes and rocks as home. We follow the footsteps of animals and bees; looking for shortcuts to roam. Seeking solace in the shade of what we see. We seek and become one with isolation.
In isolation, we start to rely on ourselves more. We learn to love all our sores; to trust our own instincts. We become stronger and sharper in senses. And the stronger we become, the faster we mount in fun. In the end, we reach the top. Out of it all, we come out unbreakable, alive. Tired but, surely, revived.
This is a good example of power play. And we could learn one or two valuable lessons from it. I’m making this commentary from a business perspective. As a Master’s graduate from business school, and a law student, I’m definitely not surprised by the reaction from both sides.
Yes, many Nigerians have been affected because now they can’t use Twitter anymore. But guess what? Both Twitter and the Nigerian government were responding according to their own right. Let me explain. Let’s assume that Twitter was a restaurant; serving thousands and thousand of customers per day. Making lots of money because it was popular and in demand. Then one day this particular customer came to dine at Twitter restaurant. That customer was the Nigerian government. Suddenly while enjoying his food, the Nigerian government said something to the waiter. Something that it’s not appreciated by management. Consequently, the manager at Twitter decided to kick that customer out. Banning him from his restaurant. So of course, Nigeria was hurt as a customer and he went on and responded by having the restaurant closed down. Because guess what? Nigeria, the customer, happened to be the land owner of where Twitter had his business.
Twitter has allegedly managed to suspend people from its platform in the past. People whom it felt broke their policies. Including President Donald Trump. Twitter has policies, and in its own right, can enforce those on anyone. Because as long as a person is using their services, they have the say.
But so do governments. Governments make policies that include safeguarding human rights, such as ‘freedom of speech’. In all cases, there is no private company that has a bigger power than that of the government. Essentially, expression companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram still have to follow and respect the policies and laws of the countries in which they operate.
The sad part in this equation is that all other customers who enjoyed dining at Twitter restaurant are now missing out from the delicious food. And those customers are the Nigerian citizens. On the hand, the Nigerian government is also protecting the rights of the same citizens. The right of freedom of speech. It’s a tricky situation because they’re both, to a certain extent, protecting their rights. The question is, who’s got more power? The restaurant owner or the land owner? Good luck to everyone involved; may they find a resolution soon.
As always, this is a commentary post, key details are alleged.
Nobody taught me how to swim. So, I swam and followed the rivers, hoping that I’d end up in the ocean; the calm seas. To see some dolphins and the colourful fish.
But the river that chose me was long with hard turns, blockages, and fishing traps. On some days, the river would run dry, leaving me nowhere but in the middle of hard cracks.
While suffering underneath the hot sun, the rains would hit again on my sore flesh. Luckily by then, I’d still be breathing; even though affected, harmed, and bleeding.
But, I had a dream that was heavier than my challenges. So I continued with my journey, following the stream of the river. Hoping to reach the ocean; the calm seas.
Some days the current would be brutal, even though I was flowing with it. It would hit on my body, my bones would crack.
Sometimes the river would eject me to the side. Where I’d need to survive while I found my way back to it. I’d have to fend off snakes, defending myself from harm and malice.
Back in the river, I’d have to fend off scorpions, rocks, and the debris. So, there I went, alone in the river I flowed. At times I’d meet with swimmers who’d be cooling off from the same waters.
Some were kayaking; others fishing. All oblivious to my dreams, and to my state of struggle. Some would greet me; smiling at me. While some laughed the hardest, laughing at me.
Some would express pity, while some expressed their sympathy. Some would pretend that I wasn’t even there. And those who ignored me equalled my presence to that of the debris.
I remember that a few picked me up and placed me in their small boats; helping me to cruise afloat. But, eventually, they left me in my struggle too.
Those who carried me, left me in the rivers where they’d found me. Those who passed me by, passed-by me again on the following days.
Some shouted the loudest from their lungs encouraging me from the sides. Telling me that I was almost reaching the seas. That the ocean was at a hand’s reach.
But those who shouted the most rarely did anything else to help. I also learnt that those who picked me up rarely shouted about their help. Some used my vulnerability to gain charity points. They’d say, “see I helped her, now clap for me from your joints”.
But, above all the help, true or fake, my dream was carrying me for my sake. With my dream to reach the ocean, the calm seas, I held my head the highest and swam beyond all the peaks.
Serena Williams is a multiple winner of the highest tennis game awards in the world. She is undeniably the Queen of Tennis. She is the Queen of Fashion in Tennis. She is an empire owner and a mother. Again as always, this article is written for teaching and entertainment purposes only. Please read with ease.
Serena is a Beautiful Black Woman
Serena Williams has been a role model to many black girls, particularly the dark-skinned ones. This has been the same ever since we got to know about her and her sister, Venus. They were dark, chocolatey, and full of melanin. They were running the Tennis world …in their full melanin form. They represented unsaturated power. They were fierce. And we (the unproblematic ones) were all living for it. Because they were breaking glass ceilings while being black. Not just black, but dark black.
This is a big deal — being dark skinned and breaking boundaries. And it was even a bigger deal back then because being black was not as fashionable as it is today …in the media world.
Then what changed?
Then …the mean people started mocking Serena and Venus Williams. They were doing it on and off the media. Viciously. The media vilified their assertive and statuesque beauty. They vilified them for being successful while being black. They were called all sorts of names. From being ‘ugly’ to being ‘man looking‘ (as if that’s a diss).
Black men said that Serena was too masculine to date. In fact, the social media had many bad things to say about her looks. She had all of that success but was still being devalued. She also dated some of the black celebrities, such as Common and Drake, and those relationships didn’t last.
In essence, no black man was brave enough to choose her and marry her. To choose her with all that negativity she had inherited because of her mesmirising looks. To choose her and protect her. To choose her and show the world that she was desirable. To show that she was desirable because of her looks. Black men failed her in that aspect.
So, the Queen of Tennis went on and dated white. She married Alexis Ohanian, who, in my opinion, was brave. Brave to date a woman who was publicly humiliated for her looks and strength. He was brave to choose an option that was being looked down upon …by the society.
It’s brave to have selected an ‘outsider‘ knowing that his choice could (negatively) affect his place in the ‘media society’. He chose a woman, who in her might and fullness, was seen as nothing but a (s)crumb. Maybe, Serena also chose Alexis because he did not feel intimidated by her wealth, strength, and unpopular beauty.
Big lips, big thighs, toned muscles, and a dark chocolate skin. Thick skinned. A melanin Queen. She is the epitome of beauty. And we’re not going to place her beauty next to anyone’s. In comparison. No! She is full and beautiful just as she is.
The Teaching Moment from her life
It’s important for people to realise and accept that we come in different shapes. As people, we have different skin complexions, body types, and hair textures. The old stereotyping days are long gone now. Don’t find yourself stuck in that world. Today, we’re in times where we acknowledge, boldly, that:
A woman with toned muscles is feminine.
A woman who is dark-skinned is beautiful.
A woman with a strong jawline, or a wide forehead and nose is gorgeous.
A woman with a big toned bum is attractive.
Proof: Look at this queen, in her darkness, and feeling herself
From Serena’s Instagram account, one can understand that she is not ashamed of her dark skin. Yes! She posts some of her pictures with filters. But, she also posts some f them as raw and beautiful as she was born. It’s normal.
Why is she choosing a lighter make-up or filter ?
Now, we’re not going to deny that in some of her Instagram pictures, Serena looks way lighter than we know her to be. Some have accused her of bleaching her skin to appease her white husband. But, in this day and age, many people use filters …including white or light skinned looking people. It is not about appeasing their white or lighter skinned partners. It’s just using an option that’s easily available to “boost” the appearance of a picture.
NOW… I have a problem with the society’s view. They say that the lighter the picture looks, the prettier the person is. But that’s another topic for another day.
To me, as a project manager who graduated from Business School, I look at it from a marketing point of view. The society, at this point, still believes that the whiter or lighter it looks, the more marketable it becomes. Yes, the view is problematic, but it is also the reality that we’re facing today.
We must remember that Serena Williams is not just a Tennis Queen. She is also a successful entrepreneur. She is running a successful self-named sporting apparel. Thus, for her to win the market which is still believing that “white or light is right“, she has to appeal to, and appease, that market. That’s just a business and marketing strategy. Marketing 101. There’s no proof, in her Instagram posts, that indicates low self-esteem, …or anything that these people are saying on social media.
Now, Serena in her marketing mode
Marketing and feeling insecure can go hand in hand. As a result, many successful businesses use that knowledge to their advantage. The cosmetic industry being the best example.
Serena Williams. This beautiful woman here has turned all her insecurities into a money-making empire. She has used all the negativity that she received in her career to build a legacy. To create a heavy bag.
With that in mind…
I also understand, as a black writer, the importance of raw representation. The importance of showing our black people that we can be successful without saturating ourselves, or our looks. It’s important to know that being successful while being fully black is more than possible.
But, we must also analyse the intention of our role models. And in the case of Queen Serena, by just studying her Instagram account, it becomes easy to tell. She is proud of her skin, but she is also a business woman who is talking to her market.
Go on Serena, keep on doing it big and beautifully. I’m here for all of your success.
Disclaimer: key details are alleged. The writer is writing from a teaching perspective. Pictures were obtained from social media.
Have you ever been in a toxic working environment? How did that feel? How did you cope? I wrote this article to reflect on this subject. I chose to use a popular example that we all know. But the lessons could apply on anyone.
I initially wrote this article in 2020. I wanted to reflect on the toxic work environment which Nicki Minaj, the Queen of Rap, experienced from 2017 until 2019. Let’s get into it.
Many work environments tend to be harmful to some people. And only those who are thick-skinned seem to survive the constant attacks from toxic associates and working environments. Looking into the entertainment industry, a teachable moment is that of Nicki Minaj, who is a rapper.
Nicki Minaj rose to fame and fortune because of her hard work; writing her songs and also delivering them in a way that has captured many people around the world.
Assassination of character
However, with her unmatched success, also came bitter and envious people. These are the people who started to build up stories in an effort to assassinate her character. Something which is quite normal when it comes to power and success. They paid people to lie about her. They obtained some information about her which they twisted and used against her . They built up “artists” to compete against her. But luckily, all of that did not amount to full success …because no one can take away her talent, or match her work ethic.
Playing a victim role
Associates usually achieve this by spreading false information about your behaviour, attitude, and state of being. They usually get others to pity them, making themselves appear as victims. By showing their “victim” side, they appeal to human nature and urge them to disregard any bad in their own actions, thus putting the focus on their target. Psychologists refer to this manipulation act as ‘triangulation’.
These toxic individuals usually surround themselves with a large group of people. They use them as convey-belts to move around their dirty baggage. They also convince their friends, family, and colleagues to spread false information about the target. In Nicki Minaj’s case, DJs, other artists, and fan-bases worked and conspired against her, and started to spread false information through the media and social networks. What a rough experience, I suppose.
We must not normalise toxicity; we must expose those who are conniving, hurtful and are ill-intent.
Taking away deserved accolades
Through their disturbing ways, toxic associates will assassinate the image of their target, tarnish their legacy, and also convince powerful people or decision-makers into snubbing their target of well-deserved awards. In the case of Nicki Minaj, her enemies have made sure that everyone who is against her receives the highly acclaimed Grammy Award. Although well-deserving, and highly successful in her genre, she is still not getting the Grammy Award. And at this point, it’s quite obvious …even blind mammals can see what’s happening.
Using company resources for personal use
What we must remember is that toxic associates are not shy from using company resources in making sure that they sabotage their targets. They will abuse not only their target but also the company’s resources. Companies, also beware lest your brand image gets tarnished in such a mess!
Wishing the Queen of Rap more success in her future. Long live the generous Queen.
This is written for entertainment and teaching purposes only.
Beyoncé wrote a letter to Africa. I’m writing my own letter to the Africans who had negative things to say about Beyoncé’s project. I’m not writing this as just a fan. I’m writing this letter from a place of disappointment. Besides, I’m also a human being whose heart bleeds when there’s injustice towards others.
Disclaimer: I wrote this message as a rant (for entertainment purposes only). Please read with ease.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, can we discuss the lukewarm reception of Beyoncés album, Black is King. We’re talking about a reception from you, beautiful Africans. The Africans to whom the letter was written. You did not show much appreciation for Black is King. And I’m upset about that.
Just imagine having the Queen of Music take some time off her busy schedule to write you a letter. Imagine her spending millions of dollars for you. Asking your African idols to write snippets of messages in the same letter. Trying to make you, an African, feel special and valued. Trying to please you. Trying to make you love yourself, your skin, your culture, and your beauty.
And the best that you could do was to give her an ungrateful and lukewarm response. The audacity! Some of you were even making fun of her project on Twitter when it aired. There was just so much negativity. Appalling!
Actually, you know what, Queen Beyoncé should have known that Africans don’t celebrate ‘locals’ so much. Africans don’t care much about the projects of other Africans. Or even about the projects that represent Africa. Africans love to worship the American lifestyle, and all that is American. Many Africans hate whom they are, and some won’t admit it.
Now, the moment that Queen Beyoncé stooped to their level, and came to learn about their culture. To celebrate that culture with them, she became a local… to Africans. Beyoncé, the Queen of Music, was now just another local. She was just another person dancing to African music. Mingling with Africans, wearing their clothes, and showcasing all their artistry.
Guess what happened next?
Yes, you guessed it right.
They treated her just the same way Africans treat other Africans. With less respect, less appreciation, and less value. The American glory, which Africans worship, disappeared with this project. Beyoncé was no longer representing what Africans wish to be. And the self-hatred emerged.
I bet Beyoncé laid on her bed thinking, “how do you convince someone that they’re important, beautiful, and kingly? When, in return, they mock you for saying those beautiful things about them.”
Seriously though, how do you convince an enslaved-mind that it is actually free …and kingly?
I again listened to this beautiful project from the Queen of Music. And I am asking you, Africans, how could you not appreciate such high quality of art …about yourself? Art that was made to promote your beauty, values, and culture?
It’s funny how some Africans accused Beyonce, the Queen of Music, of appropriating the African culture. …Saying it was all about making herself richer.
How? How did she do that?
Did you, beautiful people, forget that she hired appropriately 200 African people for this project? Involving several African artists, to make YOU and YOUR culture known globally. To make YOUR languages known globally. To make YOUR beauty appreciated globally!
Beauties, Beyoncé has the biggest platform on earth. And she’s using it to bring recognition to the most ignored people on this planet. But, you couldn’t even say, ‘thank you’. You couldn’t support the very same project that adds value to your whole being.
Phew! I must digress now, and kindly ask for love, peace, and light.
Let’s learn to love ourselves. Because when we love ourselves, it becomes easier to accept the gifts that promote our heritage and culture. It becomes easier to love our hair, complexions, and bodies.
A huge thanks to the Queen of Music, Beyoncé, for all her love and dedication to glorifying Blackness.
This reaction is written to raise awareness about black self-hatred, to entertain (of course), and to celebrate Beyoncé.
Images are by Beyoncé / Parkwood.
Another disclaimer: some of the information is alleged …the writer was not physically present in these situations.
I first wrote this article in January 2020. This is not just a fan reporting but a business graduate’s perspective.
Beyoncé’s moves in the entertainment industry have not been stagnant, and have not been limited on being just a singer. She has proven over and over again that she is an overachiever …in most aspects of the business. She has broken many glass ceilings, probably her head has gone stronger from breaking all that glass!
But above all, she has positioned herself in a way that she can now help elevate other Black people.
Beyoncé played along to get along in the beginning, but only to get herself in a perfect position to change how things were done …and for the benefit of her people.
Many entertainers enrich themselves, and that’s just that.
But for Beyoncé, the agenda is bigger than her popularity. She wants to give equal opportunities to her people. She wants to position other Black people in places where they can also generate wealth for themselves and for generations to come.
Anti-Beyoncé people fail to see that she is not just a talent. She is also a honer, a promoter of other talents. She is not overrated. She is perfectly rated. She puts in the work, humility, and vision from which many people can benefit.
This is why we do not mind purchasing her products because we know that she also makes other Black people benefit from her success.
So, beautiful readers, let’s support her because she is changing the world.
Can we talk about the most beautiful couple of our time; Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? The haters must just give up their misery and have several seats at this point.
We can all learn from this companionship. The lesson is for everyone, fans and haters.
The first lesson is that no one can destroy what is meant to be. No amount of money, status, or title. No one has ever predicted that the race of the Queendom would be mixed. Therefore, the haters never expected a half-black woman marrying into this highly known and respected family.
The second lesson is that love conquers toxicity of external forces. The UK media has been shameless in leading the propaganda and tactless assassination of Meghan’s character. Anyway, people are naïve to expect non-black owned media institutions to support and represent her in a positive light.
The third lesson is to rise above the hatred. Harry and Meghan’s smiles shine so brightly even through the darkest of times because they have got each other.
We wish Harry and Meghan strength and abundant success and happiness. Go on and go forth!