I am currently reading a brilliant new find, “Homecoming” by Yaa Gyasi. I tend to read really fast but i have been taking breaks with this and rereading pages just to savour it as much as possible. My favourite line in the first 53 pages reads “Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves”
When I grew up in Nigeria, it is fair to say that I was completely shielded from the actual realities of colonialism, racism and colorism (growing up ‘half-caste’ came with its perks and privileges). But after living in South Africa, America and Kenya, I think it’s safe to say that a lot more has been revealed to me. Sometimes, more than I wish.
And I have seen what it means to stand in a business line for check in and to be asked if you’re in the right place, simply because you’re black. And I’ve seen people be maltreated or simply degraded in a country that has been their own from the beginning of time, and they are treated this way by foreigners. It seems the cycle will never end sometimes.
But what I do know is this: for you to treat others like they are less or they are your property is one of the greatest forms of weakness. Strength does not force its recognition. Learn to treat everyone with respect, not simply those of your skin colour because you never know what could happen. And one day, you might be the blacks of this world.
Dress – Made at home, Shoes – Zara, Bag – Zara