неделя, 15 март 2015 г.

I Am Woman. I Am Aramide Pearce.

I met Aramide accidentally, waiting the girls loos, after a poetry society meeting, where she read her beautiful poem "Kind of Love", and was followed by her friend Chloe, who recited "Maya Angelou". Being, at the time, wrapped in organising "Reclaim The Night", I mentioned feminism and so found that I had met two absolutely amazing women.

Aramide is a charming Creative Writing, Media and Communications student at BathSpa University, originally from Lagos, Nigeria. She blogs about fab fashion and yummy meals, and writes poetry on the side. She also cooks with Bath FoodCycle, (another accidental love we share) and ran a half marathon not a month ago (a love we don't share).

Her poetry is incredibly touching because it is real, it comes straight from the heart and guts of a girl who knows who she is and loves herself for it. It's brave because it's the unapologetic pride of a woman and of a Nigerian and it makes us remember our selves and our values.

She performed the following poems at the International Women's Day miniFest me and Bath SU put together and brought an incredible feeling and spirit to the event. The world does need to see them and here they are.


I am African

The curve of my hips

The size of my lips

My thighs

My voice

The way I look

All African

That’s me

Thick thighs

Big eyes

Full lips

Dimples in my cheek

Tough hair

That’s me

All African


I am friendship

I am acceptance

I am unity

I am strength

I am equality

I am love

I am happiness

I am peace

I am confidence

I am independence

I am growth

I am woman


I am the sun shining on a beautiful day

I am the wind blowing in harmartan

I am the little droplets of rain in the raining season

I am your favourite meal

Jollof rice and plantain

I am the happy faces of the people selling things on the


 I am the dusty dusty road filled with traffic

I am the Lekki Bridge

I am Yoruba

I am Hausa

I am Igbo

I am Lagos

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

There’s nothing you can’t do

Now you’re in Lagos

I am Africa magic making you laugh since forever

I am the people

I am the culture

I am Lagos


Stereotype this. Stereotype that

She’s thin. She’s fat.

She’s fine. She’s ugly.

She’s smart. She’s dumb.

She’s popular. She’s unpopular.

She’s a cheerleader. She’s in the science club.

All the boys like her. All the boys don’t.

The second girl has no reason to come to school,

Everyday she comes to school she is put down.

People calling her names,

They all just want fame.

Behind her fake smile you can see her tears;

She’s a teen growing faster than her years.

All she wants is for these kids to stop calling her names.

She has cried enough tears and felt enough pain;

They are all making her go insane.

She will always remember this time of her life,


The first girl,

All the girls want to be just like her

But this isn’t because of who she is,

This is because of what she looks like.

She isn’t the nicest of people

But people flock to her because of her beauty.

This is truly a fake identity;

She wants to be liked

So she plays fake.

The second girl has no time for games,

She is as real as real can get

These are her words keep on stereotyping this and stereotyping that.


Woman and beautiful that’s me

The colour of my skin beautiful

You see


That’s me

Goodness that’s also me

Woman and proud

Women’s lives matter

As a matter of fact

And that’s the fact of the matter


I want that real love

that make you smile all day kinda love

the one that makes you complete kinda love

the one that makes you happy kinda love

that peaceful kinda love

when he kisses you! you feel butterflies kinda love

when he touches you! you feel sexy kinda love

that even when it is silent you still have a conversation kinda love

the he looks at you like you are the only girl in the world kinda love

the you are his queen kinda love

the dry away your tears kinda love

the breakfast in bed sometimes kinda love

the cook for you sometimes kinda love

the take you on dates

maybe its fate kinda love

show you to the world

kiss you in public

kinda love

sing to you even though he cant sing kinda love

and tell you he love you kinda love

that intellectual kinda love

that kinda love

Aramide Pearce

понеделник, 9 март 2015 г.


It was International Women's Day yesterday, so in the light of the event, let's talk a bit about women.

I organised an event "celebrating the diversity of WOMAN", and as advertised this is what we did. However, perhaps this perspective is wrong.

Women come in all shapes and sizes, in all sexes and in all boxes, they can be scribbles outside of the box, they can paint the box themselves, they cover themselves in glitter, they power-dress or andro-dress, they are delicate, they are solid, they are liquid, they are emotional, they are emotionless, they have vaginas, they have penises, they have short hair and long hair, they wear make up and they do not wear make up, they are politically engaged, they are not politically engaged, they are the breadwinners, they are housewives, they are carers, they are irresponsible, they work in science, they create art.

Women are people. And quite the same way as people do, women, too vary incredibly and are impossible to generalise and define simply. As all humans are. It arose as a question this week "What does woman mean to you?". It took nearly two days for me to answer "Acceptance."

Acceptance is what the world needs in terms of gender and all other variables that we differ in. It is incredibly difficult to classify humans, perhaps this is why medicine still barely touches upon it, any study in Psychology is out-dated a few months after being published, Eugenics was dismantled altogether, religion, which has always attempted to generalise as "good" or "bad" for persons, has receded in its social influence, and Sociology is in a constant battle within itself to classify the unclassifiable and to de-classify the unequal. Humans, as a species are versatile in all respects, one of the most diverse creatures, and certainly the largest producer of unique and ingenius thought in the animal kingdom. The cultures, cultivated in humanity, are a form of incredible evolutionary advance, the ability people have proven to reinvent themselves, discover new ways to exist and inhabit their space, to express themselves and interpret the world are the achievement, which has made us dominate our planet. Through engaging in cultural and intellectual exchange, through learning, developing and perfecting crafts, skills, knowledge, historical and contextual understanding, we are capable of evoking genius and creativity known in no other species. We develop identities for ourselves and our communities, we read the world anew with every second and discover more about our environment and our internal habitat on a daily basis. We are the only creature capable of contemplating its own identity, its own values and desires; uniquely, we are able to analyse our society, its influence on us and the reasons behind our natural thoughts and ideas. We, alone, in fact are capable of expressing complex theories, thought and emotions and then discuss and evaluate them with fellow humans.

Is this a diversity worth celebrating? Firmly, yes.

Perhaps, however, there is a shift in focus from celebrating to accepting. Freedom of thought obliges (the irony) us to never impose an opinion on another. Philosophy ought to learn to be less normative and more descriptive. Celebration engages ideas of positive enforcement and an event with cake and flowers once a year.

Is this what we want?

On the dawn of Spring, I wish to wish to humanity to learn how to accept itself. Celebration is something beautiful, it gives meaning to our days and permits mass cake eating practices. However, it is acceptance, which makes a true difference and it is understanding or the attempt to understand that I wish to praise here. We can not beg someone to celebrate an idea they disagree with. Some people enjoy the company of trans, gay, black people or women. Some do not.

Regardless of which side they feel connected to, members of society need to contemplate on their level of pure acceptance of others' gender identity and sexuality, race or simply personality. There is respect in acceptance that lacks in false care. Nobody will ever beg for or benefit from an untrue act of care and love. It is a performance, which will simply stall the moment that tolerance breaks. Acceptance is a deep philosophy about the world which can change our ideas about our surroundings and the people in our lives.

Dear you,
accept yourselves. Accept that sometimes, some people will be dicks. Accept that body images are entirely false and imposed on humanity, not having benefited a single human being in existence. Accept there are things bigger than you, in all senses, from the physical to the Universal acknowledgement that we inhabit a dust flake of a galaxy in an ancient Universe. Accept that some people are dicks and some are not. Accept that no matter how lovely your bath was, there comes a moment, when you need to dive back into the December air of your apartment. Accept that pancakes always burn slightly in the beginning until you get used to the heat of the pan and learn the best way to cook them. Accept that books will sometimes be detailed to no end but it is worth it for that one sentence you will carry with you. Accept that you will trip and fall, you will never look quite like you wish, you will always make silly decisions and you will always change and change until you can no longer recognise yourself. Accept that your gender is a part of you, so is your race, so is your sexuality. Accept people. Accept their attitudes, their gender, their race and sexuality. Learn the meaning of acceptance and learn the meaningless-ness of judgement. Accept it is best to not expect. Accept the words of everyone you meet. Accept the little advice you get, the criticism you don't want, the love and the pain the world will bring.
More than anything, accept that there are millions of shades of colour that have been used to paint the world we live in and don't look away.

See colour, see gender, see sexuality, see ethnicity, see religion, see ability, see people, see their personality, see them as professionals, see them as lovers, see their friendship, see their morals, see their thought, see their ideas. And then accept it.

Why are children always so happy when they are small? They accept things, as they are unable to judge them, being lacking in the experience of actions and activities. They do not have the grounds to judge things that happen to them, as all to them, is new. As they grow up, they will learn that some things that occur are hurtful or enjoyable. But more importantly, they will learn the words "right" and "wrong" as these start being applied to everything by their parents. And they will continue using these words to describe and analyse the world with. They will learn the logic others use to label objects as right or wrong and will begin judging their world themselves. We live in an ordered world but I am curious what would happen if we did not order it as much as we do now.

Would we let ourselves jump in pudldes on the way to work?