Frustration Of A Yellow PawPaw

By Teniola Adedokun

Conductor: Aunty, I no fit give you change, see as you Yellow.

Me: Oga, please my change abeg! I’m getting off at the next bus stop.

Conductor: No replies

The bus comes to a halt. I get off the bus and ask the conductor again for my change (sorry #300 is not beans, recession hit me too)

Conductor: You still dey ask for change. I no get. (Proceeds to call more passengers)

Me: Oga, my change. Driver, tell your guy to give me my change.

Others join in and tell him to do so. After a while, he obliges, hands me my change and the conversation goes thus,

Conductor: As you Yellow reach, you still wan collect change. No be your fault. Ashewo (shouts) She don bleach her body finish. She no even get. You no fine. Ashewo.

This is just one of the various sceneries that can occur when you are yellow and a girl in Nigeria. I’m not even going to go into the talk of gender blah blah blah right because that is a story for another day. Females in Nigeria, we’ve literally suffered. I’ve been in situations where I was put down as a result of being a girl. But before I digress.

Why does the average Nigerian think that the fair ones have better lives? Or let me rephrase it, they must be omo baba olowo hence the fair skin which might not even be in anyway fresh. Take me for example, the acne I have, only God can cure.

Update – She doesn’t have acne anymore. Praise the lord!

Some of us are freaking broke, you get my point. I mean, why would I be taking bus if I was so comfortable???

Then again, the talk on bleaching. Is it every fair person that bleached? Were you there when they bleached? Is it your own bleaching even if they bleached? Some of us were put in our mothers’ wombs naturally bleached. In fact, right now in our adult stages, we are ten shades darker. After walking the hot suns of Nigeria for majority of my life. Let’s not forget I can’t maintain because Elizabeth Harden etc are too expensive for me so I feel like a blended dark skin woman with stories to tell on my skin.

Ashewo, ashewo, where’s your sugar daddy?

Oga oh. So because God created me yellow. I must have a sugar daddy ehnn. Senifi! This is a constant line of insult. Just get into an argument. Say no to that boy. Even in the dms, commentsection, real life situations etc. As a yellow girl, there must be a sugar daddy that is sponsing her lifestyle. You are quick to hear real life situational opinions of yourself even when you don’t step out of the house.

Gbeborun 1: Do you know yellow?

Gbeborun 2: Yeah. That girl, she has airs about her, she’s so proud.

(Let’s not forget that she doesn’t know me, has had no encounter with me)

Gbeborun 1: I heard (Emphasis on heard) that she was carrying Aristo

Gbeborun 2: Of course, it’s true. I even heard she bleached her skin.

(Haba, kilode, why?)

Did I forget the guys? We’ve moved past those ones that you didn’t answer oh. I’m sure you heard yellow people are treated differently. I’m sure if yellow pawpaws here start their epistles of broken relationships, the floor won’t handle it. What about the guys that assume their yellow girlfriends must be cheating on them? Or the ones whose mothers didn’t raise them well?

It’s no different in the market, even.

Aunty come and buy, dragging from all corners.

Or the igbo story which actually has some benefits to be honest. For one, Igbo people give me more food. Or the girl at the bank who insisted I had Igbo blood. Must I have Igbo blood? Can’t I be a Nigerian as anyone else?

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A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

Titilope,

Do you know that your name means ‘Forever be your praise’? So, you should always be thankful. Perhaps, if everyone was more thankful, the world would be a better place. Whatever happens, whatever it could be, don’t forget to give thanks. You might be having a bad day, it doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

Eighteen seems like the icing on the cake, the best time of life, the adult years, finally. But, Titilope, wait, breathe. Don’t grow up too fast. Cherish the little things, the beautiful relationships and moments. Don’t be in a hurry all the time. And don’t compare yourself to other eighteen year olds. Flowers bloom all year round. And you, Titilope are a beautiful rose.

Live, don’t exist. You get so used to the routines that breaking out of them seem a little odd. But, live, don’t exist. You don’t want to look back on these years and wish you had done something you could have, when you still had the time.

Stand up for yourself, stand tall and stand for the right things, even if you’re standing alone. Besides, you should know this, you’re never alone.

Failure is a state of mind. Don’t let the fear of failure consume you. You can beat failure but you won’t if you don’t try. It’s okay not to know it all. You can’t know it all. But don’t let that define you. Always try. If you fall, pick yourself up, dust off the dirt, polish your halo and continue. A setback is only a chance for a better come back.

Don’t bruise other people’s egos to feed yours. Don’t hurt people’s feelings to feel better. Such euphoria is only temporary. Learn how to apologise when you’re wrong and sometimes, even when you aren’t. Be slow to anger and in anger, be slow to speak. We often say the worse things when we are angry and truth is, we don’t mean them. We don’t even realise the severity of some of these words we say. So, in anger, give the other person a benefit of the doubt. Yes, give him/her the What Ifs.

Titilope, love yourself. In all your totality, with all your flaws and blemishes. Love yourself in your moods and mood swings. Love yourself on the Slay days and the bad hair days. Love your entirety. The Nigerian blood that runs through your veins, the Yoruba roots that’s yours. Love your perks and quirks. Love the talkativeness, the infamous silence, the creative mind that is bursting at the seams and the head of ideas that sometimes when you need it most has it’s off season. Love the voice that aspires to be Whitney Houston but is only Emeli Sande right now. Love the literature fanatic that you are and the television sceptical you’re becoming.

Love all of you.

Yours,

Titilope.

So, I wrote this in an application for a position at She Leads Africa. I did pass the first stage, not so sure about the second though. Those aptitude tests were on another level. But, I loved this and decided to share it with the world.

I wrote this from a really real place, seeing that I am actually eighteen years old right now. It’s refreshing to read and accept; I am growing up and I am doing it beautifully.

+ = ♡

Today, our Lord Jesus died. It might be symbolic but it never felt more real than right now. This year, so far has been a year of connecting with God. You can’t understand. Or maybe you can.

Even in the connect, there were times when I was totally disconnected. I strived to pray, everyday. Have a relationship with him and put him first in everything I did. I tried to be kind, watch what I said and be free from sin and all the gory or perhaps prima facie, glory of it all. 

The times I would wake up and cry, praying. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t grieving. I wasn’t mourning. I can’t explain it either.

Letting myself loose in the presence of my saviour.

Times I would really ponder on whether what I wanted was right or was it wrong?

I liked it, the idea. But it wasn’t to be. The struggle to figure out what is right and what is not.

The days I sinned and couldn’t pray.

Feeling like a hypocrite on some accounts but never once ashamed.

I am not ashamed!

The questions I asked myself.

The prayer on my lips,

That has been plaguing my thoughts for a few weeks now.

Thank you Jesus for loving me, even though I am not at all worthy.

We’ve all been there.

Its hard, it’s unsimple, it’s complicated.

Jesus says it doesn’t have to be.

He loves you.

All he wants from you is to love him back.

+ = ♡

Symbols culled from Hillsong United.

I made mistakes, so what?

Mistakes are not uncommon. They are a constant in life, accept it or not. You need to make mistakes to grow. Trust me, I know. That rhymes.

Okay. I made mistakes, so what? 

I’m someone that seldom regrets things.

Weird, right?

I like to believe that I absolutely don’t regret anything I’ve ever done or didn’t do.

There’s nothing, well, there’s only one thing I absolutely wish I didn’t do but then, I needed to fall so I would know how to fly. 

I think we need to embrace our mistakes.

You are not perfect. Get that.

You are not flawless. Get that.

Sometimes, you don’t gat this. Get that.

It’s crazy how someone could do everything right 99% of the time yet, the other 1% is just so haunting. 

I think, naturally, as Africans, we are taught to be too in control. You can be in control but it’s okay to be vulnerable.

Its okay to make mistakes.

When you make mistakes. Not if, when. Because you will make mistakes.

So when you do, don’t wallow in them.

Hold your head up high.

Learn from them.

Don’t beat yourself up.

Rise above them and,

Move on! 

Travel Crush Tuesday

Switzerland 

I’ve pledged to go Swiss for my future honeymoon and I’m not changing a thing. Future husband,we are going to Switzerland for loving time! 

Here is why I love Switzerland so much.

It’s a quiet beauty! Switzerland doesn’t shout, literally. It’s so on its own and elegant at the same time. For someone like me, I think I hold the little things in high esteem. Switzerland represents all the things I love, especially the little things.

And also because, nature is breathtaking.

last one, I promise.

It’s hard to believe that the last picture is not a painting but it’s real. I’m in love.

Ps – Today, don’t forget that God’s love is more important that all other types of love. He loves you! Love him! With all your heart and with all your soul and your life will be as beautiful, even more peaceful than Switzerland.

E. OF C.

This is silly,

But silly is great, sometimes.

You don’t seem to know you,

But let’s be real, 

Deep down, you know you.

It’s been great,

Lighting up like a Christmas tree,

Grinning like a Cheshire grand cat,

Unreciprocated.

The walks we took,

Dances we had and jokes we shared,

Inside of my head.

It’s been bloody fantastic.

Day dreams and fantasies,

Dates and surprises,

Imagined.

Gleeful wishes,

Far from reality.

I’m done.

With day dreams and fantasies,

Far from realities and gleeful wishes,

Unreciprocated feelings and imaginations.

I’m done.

Bye.

Love Isn’t A Projectile Motion

So, I stumbled on this piece while going through old emails. I remember writing this for my friend, Chiamaka’s blog. I was probably in Ss1 or Ss2 ( 10th / 11th grade). It’s a real classic from TSW Archives. I made some edits but nothing major. It was called, ‘Five Genuine Reasons Your (Teen) Fling Isn’t Love’, I guess I was an angry little girl or maybe I had great insight.

Few days ago, I was revising physics when I stumbled upon something. It really made me counter love and teenage flings, in general. Flings in this context do not mean anything in The Oxford Dictionary. I mean casual, deep maybe, teen relationships. Teen ‘love’ is just cliché. Think about it, two teens fall in something, call it love, fall out of it, call it a break up then either pretend to be okay when its really awkward or do it the boss way – severe all ties! Lol
 I’m not even going to be cynical or feminist. I’m not a woman activist! All I want to show you is Five Genuine Reasons Why Your Teen Fling Isn’t Love. That’s all !

1. Love isn’t about Two People

The love that Bella Swan & Edward Cullen had, Rachael & Mike Ross have, Olivia & Jake will have.. Its not just about them. For Beldward, its about thousands of vampires and humans who will conjugate after them, Millions of lawsuits that Ross & Rachael will fight off, America that Olivia Pope is fixing! With the teen fling, its always about you and your’s at the detriment of other people who actually mean much to you or need you. Ever decided to celebrate you and your teen hunk’s day at an orphanage or you both simply telling or showing someone else you really love them? I thought so too.


2.
Love isn’t Painful

I laugh when I hear people say you have to cry when you’re in love. Listen up people, love is supposed to be amazing. It shouldn’t make you feel crappy, worthless or unwanted. Love isn’t all flowers and fairytales but it’s so much deeper than crying, feeling guilty and sad. It’s ultimately twice as deep as you’re thinking right now.


3. Love Isn’t Beneath The Surface, only.

I love my theories cause they aren’t proved by anyone and its still the real deal. Have you ever seen people in love? It’s like Disney world. They’re smiling, cheerful, joyful and what-not! They’re excessively beaming and its like ‘Oh, I’m happy cause I’m in love’. 

PS – Seventeen year old me slightly disagrees with the above. It’s not always like Disney World but definitely, chocolate after a hard day. It’s the ability to come up after going through so much that’s just breath-taking. You would cry, sometimes but yours would cry with you or wipe your tears or just be there for you. 

One noticeable thing about love is it doesn’t hide itself. You would want to show your’s to the world!  While teenage flings affect ONLY deep inside of you, you react to true love on the surface too.

4.Love Is Making Sacrifices and Compromise 

Previously, it was called Love Isn’t Entirely Making Sacrifices, now I feel like love is about making all the sacrifices and compromise too. In a typical teenage affair, its common place to sacrifice one thing or the other for yours. Though, sacrifices exist in the real thing, they do not always hold ground. Sacrifice is not the only basis for love, adjustment is, compromise is. Love doesn’t entirely mean sacrifices, its more like making it work even if sacrifices won’t be made. It’s an ‘it takes two to tango’ thing

5. Love isn’t a Projectile Motion

For non-physics students, a projectile motion is that with which an object travels through air with no motive power of its own but with gravity and air resistance alone. Love isn’t that. Teen flings are just that. Think about it. Teen flings are bounded by rules, regulations, codes, laws all set up by your friends, parents, society, expectations, people around you, you and the object of your teenage desire. Its the same in every variation. Your ‘rule setters’ are just like gravity and air resistance. But love, the real deal, it has its own controls, it holds its own reins, powers its own battle ship. It doesn’t depend on any idea or thing. It differs. That’s true love, people!

It’s a lot to process, I know right. I was hardly fourteen when I wrote this. It’s funny how I now disagree with some of the things I felt so strongly about. That’s what growth does. I’ve definitely evolved since then, far more than you can imagine. It’s not my intention to belittle anyone or their relationship. It would be hypocritical to do that as I believe in love, whenever, however, teenage, or not. I’m just a seventeen year female writer putting up a three year old article.