The Church and Marriage

I watched this episode of Lynn Ngugi and it brought to mind Osinachi Nwachukwu, the gospel Nigerian singer who was killed by her husband. There is so much that the church needs to answer for when it comes to women and marriage.

I could write a whole missive about everything that is wrong with the church but really, it boils down to how women are not viewed as human beings.

We like to see as the church as an institution (Of course it is) but there are people behind it, people making these decisions that lead to continued violence and the death of women and lest we forget LGBTQ people.

My Body, Your Opinion(?)

I am fat. Like size 20/22 fat. And there is nothing I can wear to hide this fact.

So I’m always surprised when I see especially older women snicker about something I’ve worn. The internalised fatphobia of it all.

I was beach side and let me just say, a woman who happens to be fat, who wears what she wants seems to be a sight to behold. Especially if she is black. Cause I can tell you the white women don’t even get a glance. Meanwhile I’ll just be wearing a one piece swimming costume and there is an expectation that I should wear those ugly ones with a skirt or bikers. Yuck.

I really wish we’d all understand and deal with our fatphobia, internalised or otherwise so we can all live in peace without the side eyes and whispers. Heal beloved. Thanks.

I am the representation I needed when I was a kid. Hide for what? For who? Nonsense.

I Said What I Said

It’s fascinating how people confuse someone being good looking and being attracted to them.

For everyone who has ever wondered how R Kelly got away with everything he has done for so long, just look at what Kanye is doing. And the excuses people make because someone made a piece of music that they like is mind blowing.

I truly believe that most of the things people view as status symbols are trappings of capitalism and I am therefore rarely impressed by the performance put forth to show wealth.

I wonder how all the kids who were born so parents could make content will be when older. I hope they’ll be okay.

Congruently, I think we should celebrate parents who bring up kids well. All that hoopla spent on congratulating people on being pregnant should be saved for how they bring up kids.

Also, let’s take a moment and think about class and showers (baby and bridal). 🤔🤔🤔

Do you sometimes feel like classed people think they know more about love and don’t think non classed people do?

Buying Your Way Out of Despair

I was watching someone on YouTube buy and talk about sneakers and thought about consumerism, hyper consumerism, individualism and how marketing and advertising has convinced us that we can buy our way out of despair that the very nature of capitalism keeps us in.

I remember having to sit with my thoughts about how travel is sold to us as an experience and yet it is just another way to buy something with little to no regard of the places we are going to, environmental impacts of travel and the indigenous peoples who live in the places we go to.

I mean even how it seems we are missing out on something if we don’t buy it – I find that to be so ludicrous. Advertisers are basically creating desire. Out of nothing. We don’t need most of the things we are buying or even as much as we end up buying. What do those many shoes do for me?

And I think this is the insidiousness of celebrity and/or influencer culture, because it predicates everything they are trying to sell as though they have uncovered the key to what life means and they will show the rest of us how to achieve it, by buying things. These are people we are meant to admire and want to be like so OF COURSE we must want whatever it is they are selling. “I am worthy because I bought this thing that a celebrity uses” LOL, please.

Anyway – I guess, actually I know – that contentment is KEY. And to achieve that, self awareness is important such that you know that you are consuming/buying things for specific reasons. A high sense of self is also important because then you aren’t deriving your worth as a human from things you consume and mostly you are good with where you are at any one moment.

Would You Join A Cult?

I have been watching cult documentaries with fervour. I love them so much and every time I do I always wonder if I could be susceptible enough to join one. I do not think anyone is above joining one by the way.

Now, given that I am not religious, it limits the number of cults that I could join. However I recently I watched Seduced and The Vow about NXIVM which is a cult based on self help/personal growth and new age/empowerment/spiritual rhetoric. Cults are evolving y’all.

But let me not get ahead of myself. What is the definition of a cult? According to dictionary dot com the definition is a variety of things but the basic tenets are that there is an ideology that brings people together, object or person of devotion, existence of rites and ceremonies and then the things that separate it from organised religion – isolating people, requiring loyalty, worship of one specific person among other things (Read this).

I think NXIVM really hit me was because it is a self help organisation. They have the wording of self help and then once you are deep in, it goes off the rails. I mean, they preached productivity, calorie control, gyming and physical activity and also things like you didn’t need 8 hours of sleep. Watching these documentaries was truly something.

And this makes it different in that if you aren’t religious, it is easy to avoid the religious based cults. However we are almost always looking for ways to improve ourselves, to find purpose, to be better, to grow. And this can lead you into a cult.

Especially now as things are tough and statistics are showing we aren’t as religious, we are looking for other ways to escape and find ourselves and community. It could be easy to join a group of people on the path to better yourself and the next thing you know, you are being asked ORDERED to have sex with the leader. Whew.

And you know the thing about these leaders is that when people watch these documentaries you wonder how people would follow them. And I think in underestimating them is one way people fall into the trap. I mean look at Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Bikram, Gwen Shamblin – all of them. They are truly fascinating.

All this to reiterate that I think we are almost always susceptible to joining a cult. As one of the ladies said “We all want to believe”. And as the cult expert said, the mind is a fragile thing and we are all subject to influence.

Finally let’s remember that capitalism is a cult so we are all participating in one albeit for some of us begrudgingly.

(You know, it’s sad in a way because behind all this, we are looking for meaning and purpose because the truth is, the world as it is doesn’t make sense).

Strong Opinions

I completely agree that it helps to unfollow celebrities on social media – and even influencers if I am being real. I would even add mental health pages to this list (even temporarily). There is a lot we internalise (that isn’t necessarily helpful) from how much time we spend online consuming other people’s lives and words and opinions and I think telling people to reduce how much time they spend online isn’t as easy as opposed to telling them to curate who they follow.

I was listening to Death, Sex & Money and hearing people say they have children to ease their loneliness is weird to me. Like think about yourself, do you believe/think you are easing, have eased your parent’s loneliness? I think sometimes people think being busy means they aren’t lonely.

I absolutely believe that if we stopped being wowed and glorifying displays of wealth, it would be better for us all. Stop giving and paying attention to these things and people who act like acquiring wealth is what we should aspire to.

I Continue To Share Musings

Black women and by extension women of colour producing videos essays on YouTube is MY JAM!!!

The Mitchells Vs The Machines is so good. Get into it.

Too much music, too little time.

I think sometimes how people react online (on social media) to how others live their lives is the same way our parents generation did it and continues to do. That thing where you think your opinion should matter so you opine about it. It is very cringe.

I think it is performative to get riled up when an R&B artist says sexist lyrics and one also actively listen to rap with the mentality of “Rap is inherently sexist”

The way in which Neil Patrick Harris played a straight man as he did on HIMYM is further proof that many things are a performance.

I wonder how many people in this country are bisexual and will never admit it to themselves (this thought is borne of TikTok videos on the subject).

A lot of the manifesting vibes things is quite literally self centered individualism and I am not with it at all.

Musings for the New Year

There is a way, even when I know the Gregorian calendar is ridiculous and that time is a construct, that the new year has a way of infiltrating my soul. While it is just a continuation of days, there is a newness that one feels and part of it is the hoopla of it all.

As usual I will continue to curate my faves playlist on YouTube. You can find my profile here where I have a couple of public playlists.

And as always a reading challenge is par the course. Hoping for 90 books.

I find it weird when people post the videos of people opening gifts. Mostly because I feel like they missing out on the intimacy of watching someone open a gift bought with love. I get the performance of social media but I still find it weird.

I must say that I am so glad that I derailed from the weight loss industrial complex train. I can’t fathom getting caught up in all the madness at the start of the year.

The next train that I need to derail from is that one for continuous self improvement and seeing myself as a work in progress at all times.

Mtaachana Tu and Kenya’s Culture on Love

Wale Lawal on his insta stories when asked a question to do with love said “Love as a concept is cultural: it may have universal aspects but ultimately love inherits the nuances of its social context” and while ruminating about this, I thought about the context of Kenya and in turn, the prevalence of the “mtaachana tu” mentality.

While most of our understanding on love is from media we consume, our upbringing etc, we develop ideas of love from our culture and in this case, I specifically mean Kenyan culture. To generalise, I started asking myself questions: How did our parents show love to us and each other? And how does this replicate in our own lives and relationships, whether romantic, filial or platonic? And in the greater sense, as country, what do we portray, present and embody when it comes to love? What does it mean for us to love?

And the pertinent question, where does the “Mtaachana tu” mentality or dare I say “culture” come in?

bell hooks in All About Love: New Visions stated “It is far easier to talk about loss than it is to talk about love. It is easier to articulate the pain of love’s absence than to describe its presence and meaning in our lives.”

And I am not saying that Kenya is unique in talking about the lack/loss of love, the ending of relationships, heartbreak etc but there is a specific insidious snarkiness which I see and a delight in misfortune/breakups/heartache that is unique to us.

Even if we were to think of love songs, of which I have a playlist, many of them are about the ending of relationships. I am not sure how other forms of media deal with it but specifically music, we talk more about negative aspects, being unloved, ending of relationships etc.

And it begs the question: Do we even know how to love, to give love and to receive love? I think that is the root of it all – Our lack of understanding of what love should be and as a result, a delight in its ending. Because at the core of it, we have to understand that the end of a relationship is not an end to love. And if I am even being more real, I think we overestimate our capacity and capabilities of loving.

It is easier to be snarky about people breaking up because we don’t even have an understanding of what love is, we see it as a loss of power perhaps.

And what amuses me more is that even as there is an adoption of the mtaachana tu mentality, there is also an accompanying desire, a longing to be partnered and to have a romantic connection with someone. Most often than not, this desire includes the assumption that one, one won’t publicise the relationship so as to avoid any scrutiny and two, that they will somehow escape the realities/trappings of relationships or the delusion that somehow they are above it all.

Culturally and as a society, I find that our definitions of love are rooted in power and ownership of people – a mix of tradition, religion and the all consuming patriarchy.

PS: if you saw this post yesterday, my apologies, it was incomplete at the time of posting