The African Woman

By Erharhaghen Onome Brorhie

The stories of the “African Woman” have not been told enough, her songs not nearly sang enough and most painfully not listened to enough.
Yeah this is another one of “those”, who come and make the same sounds about the strength and the beauty and the scars on the dark skin of the African Woman.

Went out recently to buy akara, surprisingly it’s a delicacy I’ve missed as a consequence of my current location, and saw the usual sight, an elderly woman by the side of the hot pan filled with oil, doing her thing, another elderly lady serving the customers.

The thing is the customers were overwhelming them with requests here and there; “mama ₦100 akara”, and some greedy ones ” mama ₦700 akara”, more than 20 people shouting at these two mummies, working tirelessly for very little pay, believe me from where I was standing also shouting.

I could feel the heat emanating from the flames, and you couldn’t pay me enough to do that job, but all that isn’t what got to me, this bit did, as the night wore on and the crowd of customers wasn’t getting any thinner, and the crowd themselves only grew more violent in the bid to get answered.

The lady frying the akara got up to assist in serving, she picked up the frying spoon, scooped a bunch of akara form the oil,(boiling oil I should add,) and with nothing on her palm but the newspaper she’ll wrap the akara in,she poured this hot akara into her hands.

The thing was that because of line jumpers a fight had already broken out between some customers, and in that moment, she forgot it was a business, where she makes money, she felt like a mother with kids to feed, kids that are now fighting for food, and she took the pain, mad pain; if you’ve ever been burnt by oil, you’ll know what I’m talking about, but somehow it felt worth it, to quell the bickering babies fighting for her breasts; no Woman in the world will do that, but the “African Woman”.

The African Woman has nothing but love to give, untethered kindness.
That’s the end of the story, you don’t have to worry I’m not going to preach on about the “akara woman”, the thing is that most of this generation of ladies will never grow up to be African Women; been born in Africa doesn’t make you an African Woman, or being born from an African Woman doesn’t automatically qualify you to be an “African Woman”, just like being born in the barracks doesn’t make you a soldier;

There’s a process to these things, an African Woman, and it’s beyond being a mother, cos’ instinctively that’s all we see in women, sometimes, all ladies see in themselves, the thought that everything leading to childbirth is preparation for childbirth; But that’s wrong on many levels.
I wish I had the words to tell you what an African Woman is, or where to find her, but I don’t. To be sincere I can’t.

But when the word “strength” is spoken an African Woman comes to mind, bearing the weight of the world around her, riddled with selfishness in all sides, she still pushes on through all
“Dignity” ,let her have nothing but her dignity, and be told she’ll have everything just to loose it, she’ll give up the world to keep it

Point is oestrogen and other hormonal fluctuations don’t make you a woman, those make you a female of the human species.

What makes you a woman comes from somewhere deeper; your mind, it’s not in searching and desperately trying to catch and hold men’s attention, and their opinions

Being a woman is about not caring for their attention or their opinions, because you’ll have to give up everything that make you strong and show them only weakness for that to happen.
It’s not in fancy dresses, make-ups and superficial things, it’s about being “what you are” in a world that’s trying to make you into “what you pretend to be”.

We need more women to rise up and make waves in this world.
Too many are tying themselves down with a life plan to land “a good man” and die a happy mother of two.
The world is starved for morals and integrity and values and love and all that
We don’t need more wives and mothers we already got too much of them.

Apologies to all ladies from non-african origin, don’t close your hearts to this message.
Like every young man searches for bits of his mother in ladies
I have written first (quite selfishly) to the women from my motherland and then the rest of the world.

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