Category Archives: Identity

This Bride Price App, Or Not Everything Is For You

jollof

Honey, so your life will be sweet. Palm oil, to lubricate life’s aches and ameriolate its many pains. Salt, to preserve and keep you. Kola nut, I can’t remember exactly, but is it not enough that it is the most symbolically Nigerian thing, across all ethnic lines?

Also posted in Essays, Nigeria, Society | Tagged , , , | 3 Responses

On Keeping Diaries

I used to keep a diary, in which I wrote every day. It wasn’t what my American friends call a ‘journal’ – I did not write out my dreams or hopes (in any structured way) or amateurish poetry or prose – but an old-fashioned ‘here is what I did today’ diary. I’ve been writing since […]

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The sweet smell of success

u mad

My sister is contemplating ‘going natural’ with her hair. I did my Big Chop about 30 months ago, and tried not to be that natural girl, you know the one: she feels the beautiful coils and kinks growing out of her head and starts singing about “touching Africa and coming back darker” and generally being a […]

Also posted in Beauty, Black Thursdays, Hair, Society | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

The clothes that bind

Yaba dancers

Two times last week – in this, the coldest March in 50 years, apparently – I put on an iro and buba. Both times, as I tied the wrapper securely about my waist, it occurred to me that London, England, is no kind of place for an iro and buba. And when I struggled to fit […]

Also posted in Essay, Family, Fashion, Home, London, Style | Tagged , , , | 3 Responses

Everyone has their thing

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Here’s a little something I had in the drafts of my Tumblr for the longest time. I finally finished it and clicked ‘publish’. It’s below the jump, giving you one last chance to turn and run, should you wish to hurt my feelings – OMG, why would you do that?

Also posted in Essay | Tagged , , , | 6 Responses

What’s in a name?

Everyone calls me Bim. Everyone. For most of my life that’s what I’ve gone by. Bim. B-I-M. Three letters, one syllable. Bim. When I was concerned by these things, I would lament its cuteness – “that’s not a sexy name,” I would think. I would put on Billy Crystal’s voice and paraphrase his line from […]

Also posted in America, Society | Tagged , , | 8 Responses

Birthday Traditions

happy bimday

Yesterday was my 3oth birthday. I did nothing special – I didn’t even shower until about 4 o’clock. The night before, on a whim, I went to the cinema – alone – to see Skyfall. I sat in the dark with a hundred other people, coat in my lap, watching people pretend to beat and […]

Also posted in Humour | Tagged , | 6 Responses

What we talk about when we talk about ‘tokenism’

token

Here’s something I’ve been ruminating on for a while, forcibly brought to the forefront of my mind given recent events, so apologies if it’s not terribly coherent. A quick perusal of comments sections across the breadth of the internet throws up the ‘but do you want tokenism?’ defence. I mean, practically every comment section has […]

Also posted in Culture, Society, Television | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

On ‘Black Girl Feels’

Solange

Last week, my Tumblr dashboard threw up a teaser promo for Solange Knowles’ upcoming single, Losing You. I watched the clip (less than a minute long) three times in a row, liking what I heard and saw much more with each viewing. Then I re-read the blurb an earlier poster, Britticisms had written: Preview for the new […]

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Right Here, Right Now

Lisa Simpson

“If you could live in any other era, when would you choose?” Around me, co-workers pick their favourites – a lot of attention is being showered on the 1920s and 1940s: “the dresses!”. Others pick the 60s: “swinging London, the music!”. You know, all the usual popular period suspects. Then my co-workers’ attention shift to […]

Also posted in Essay, Society | Tagged , | 9 Responses

How I Became A (Secret) Hair Blogger

PhotoGrid_4

I mentioned that I went natural back in January 2011. I cut off all my relaxed hair, bought a shit-ton of hoop earrings and became an advocate of eyebrow threading. I also began to watch a hell of a lot of YouTube videos about caring for and styling natural hair. I began to collect photos […]

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In Praise Of Jon B

Last week on my Tumblr dashboard, Cord Jefferson (an excellent writer/editor person in NY) posted a video of Jon B’s ‘Are U Still Down?’. This is the video: Cord’s commentary went as follows: “Without Jon B. there would be no Drake. Belee dat.” And that’s the exact moment I fell in love with Cord Jefferson. […]

Also posted in Culture, Music | Tagged , , | 4 Responses

In Praise of Girlfriends

Source All the talk of Lena Dunham’s new show, Girls, has had me looking into the annals (heh) of popular culture, searching for the representation so sorely lacking in Ms Dunham’s HBO creation. So, a quick question: Do any of the names on the t-shirt above ring any bells for you? They should. For eight […]

Also posted in America, Culture, Television | Tagged , , , , | 5 Responses

The Body Beautiful

When I hear women talk about their bodies – and it is something that we all seem to do, however enlightened we are – I find myself having to bite my tongue often. This is down to two things: I am in the privileged population, body-wise. I am slim, have proportionately large breasts, and long […]

Also posted in Essays, Society | Tagged , | 16 Responses

The ‘Help News Outlets Realise The Difference Between Rappers and Singers’ Benevolent Fund

With the shock passing of Whitney Houston this past weekend (I wrote something about her for the Guardian here), it’s been the perfect time for the media to showcase their spectacular ignorance/laziness when it comes to the identification of black and ‘urban’ performers.

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Also posted in Humour, Society | Tagged , , , , | 5 Responses