Ernest really disagrees with me in many ways, especially about hair, ideology and most importantly about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Lol, you would enjoy this post of his.
INDIVIDUALITY VS. REALITY
In my first year in the university, I carried an unrelaxed, ungelled kinky afro to school. The hair was jet black and massively full on my already big head. A choice I expected everyone to appreciate. But they were problems. And when my hair problems came, it did not come because my head is big, no. It did not come because I was a guy carrying big hair, of course they were many other guys carrying big hair too. But to 'stand out', in the quest of driving my points home, I refused to either relax my hair or gel it with products I could not pronounce the names of the chemicals written on it with which they were made. I only used oil and hair cream to 'anoint' it and 'enrich' it and I hadn't even read 'Americannah' then.
Most times, we decide to be comedians on reality just so we can 'stand out'. And it sounds good because America supports it; 'be yourself' you know. But the question really is, Are we really being ourselves at those moments or are we being what we believe people, the society expects us to be. We call it "Originality", "individuality", "authenticity". It is not as if am against these things but Shakespeare said "all life is a stage." And the character William Schuster in the favourably reviewed musical glee referred to it as 'art' when he said, "the purpose of art is pushing boundaries." But unfortunately he goes on later and says "but when just pushing boundaries is their only aim, the result becomes bad art."
Reality has taught me in my still short life that I don't have to walk the streets of West Africa on stark nothingness just for the babes to feel and see my sex appeal! It has taught me that in suggesting or partaking in jungle justice (a situation where one who is accused of a crime, say stealing is gruesomly mobbed or burnt alive in public without trial.) I do not really single myself out as one who hates thiefry. Neither do chauvinism or feminism isolate me as one who respects the male or female sex as the case may concern. That was the same thing the great inventor George Washington Carver saw when over a century ago he said out of a probable knowing that "when you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
We have been advised not to make decisions when we are too angry or promises when we are too happy but on a daily basis, my kins in different crannies of the world, pierce their bodies, draw an ogreish tattoo, wear a disturbingly ragged and rugged afro hair (or any other hair), wear too many or too few clothes just because they need a 'singling out', all the while forgetting that when you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. And stopping the eyes from seeing the real beauty which is you, which is me.
Life is too hard when we struggle for individualism. An African music star I impoverishingly respect, 2face Idibia in his song 'just me' said "individuality can not make us tall" and I agree with him in this, just as I agree with him in many other things (family size inclusive). And I state again, life is too short to live it out struggling to stand out.
While my hair lasted, among the whole students and lecturers I met on campus, only one saw the point when she said "you look like a writer." From others (those that ever talked about it), I heard the name "prof!" A name I later found out was a mock title from many.
At the days end, when the water I poured on my head as I took my bath reached my scalp immediately it was poured, when many people could no more recognize me because of the deforestation I had embarked on, when I stopped knowing different throes and fits of pain as I tried to comb a hair that would never stay combed, when my disturbing, ragged and rugged hair gave room to decency. When I finally had a haircut, a very fine haircut, I found out that I did not become a worse-off writer. I also found out that the decision to carry an unrelaxed African hair, not to follow popular culture on hair affairs, not to look young and cute for them sisis just to prove that I could write was a sin against me. I found out that what makes me write good is within and not without. And with that finding, came upon me, a sort of loving for me. Now I know just how to stay flawless.
Read the posts always, view, like and comment. It's my friend's gift to you.XoXo.
Ps. Am not saying jump onto the bandwagon, am only saying, its the computer age people and I'd rather be in the bandwagon, have a kind knowledge of my destination and alight early so than avoid the bandwagon sweat a trek and come late and dusty.