quotes

Spectacular Women Said..

I’ll be sharing my favourite quotes spectacular women said this week below. The first quote is mine from my reflection on some experience this week. I scribbled down their words in my journal. Some of their words should be on t-shirts, car stickers, face caps, tote bags, victory cakes, post captions, etc.

“I wasn’t raised to be a nice girl but to be an impactful human being. You are not entitled to me or my politeness. “-Adaeze Samuel.

🌼

“You like a woman, good for you. You don’t, shut the fuck up and move the hell on with your life.”- Precious Okedele.

🌺

“Don’t be his peace sis”-Amaka Amaku.

🌻

“I’m not for male consumption.”-Janelle Monáe.

🏵

“Let’s teach our daughters to worry less about fitting into the glass slippers. And more about shattering glass ceilings!”-Pastor Jennifer Joseph.

🌹

“Teach men about consent. Teach men not to feel entitled to a woman’s body”-Munkeng Shambo.

🌸

“Teach boys about sex not just reproduction. About the joy of mutual pleasure and enthusiastic consent..Anything less than a woman being enthusiast about something sexual that is about to happen is a sign that he must stop and talk to her.”-Jameela Jamil.

Advertisements

YOU ARE NEAR YET YOU ARE FAR

YOU ARE NEAR YET YOU ARE FAR by NKIACHA ATEMNKENG

‘Travel between both Nigeria and Cameroon is supposed to be easy since citizens of both countries do not require entrance visas. However, the land route between the Cameroonian border town. Ebok and the Nigerian border town, Ikom is currently barricaded. Don’t ask why.’

‘You finally get jealous of the damn Sanja and feel like peeling it off your body and disappearing into the restroom. But if you peel it off just to pee, you will become naked and everybody at Ake will embark on a screaming spree. “Mad writer! Wahala dey for here o. Dr Dami, please bring that your mad bus. Carry y’im go. A man’s body is not a country!’

I finished reading this piece and the magazine it was published in, in June. Its incomplete review has sat in my draft since. In a bid to clear out my draft I’m published my thoughts about this second person travelogue. It makes me smile that the author’s first name sounds Igbo because of the irony the first paragraph presents. He began his non-fiction story stating many Nigerians drummed ‘you look and sound Nigerian’ into his Cameroonian ears. This was delightful reading this travelogue written by an African visiting Nigeria.

Halfway through this creative non-fiction piece I’d highlighted various honest paragraphs and comical sentences.  I just knew this is my favorite work from the Saraba Magazine: Issue 22-OPEN. This travelogue made me reminisce about my tour of Obudu, Ikom and Calabar in Cross River State. Where no one could answer my questions about why the Cameroonian border was closed. Or why people kept asking if I was Nigerian.

Apart from the humorous yet observant tone and ironic experiences of the narrator. Its the second person point of view used makes this read very compelling. Apart from the Literary Exchange Programme, he visits the Ake Arts and Literature Festival. Since I missed the ‘This F-Word’ themed fifth festival, his narration made me feel like I was there. I attended the sensational festival through his thoughts, reflections, dialogues and famous Sanja. His bravery in publishing a food review that didn’t crown Nigerian Jollof Rice ruler mirrors his candid appraisal of Nigeria-Cameroon relations. I felt near to this Douala boy, involved in his discussions about culture, literature, geography, politics. Yet I am far, far away in Lagos.

 

 

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR BY NICOLA YOON

“People spend their whole lives looking for love. Poems and songs and entire novels are written about it. But how can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?”

“All teenagers separate from their parents. To grow up is to grow apart.”

“Growing up and seeing your parents’ flaws is like losing your religion”

“Sometimes your world shakes so hard, it’s difficult to imagine that everyone else isn’t feeling it too.”

 

Its summary? A Guide To Falling In Love Within A Day: Using Science and Fate. 20% into the ebook I began falling in love with the writing. I mean science and history, optimism versus realism, fate and hope, family, love and life’s disappointments themes written in beautiful sentences.

‘He was some exotic planet and I was his favorite satellite.

But he’s no planet, just the final fading light of an already dead star.

And I’m not a satellite. I’m space junk, hurtling as far as I can away from him.’

What’s not to love?! The first person and omniscient point of views used to write this YA Romance novel makes the story robust and intriguing..just like life. How many times do you see a black teenage heroine who is a science geek, realistic about life and purses her goals relentlessly? Neither is an American Korean hopeless romantic and poet trying to choose his own path an object of denied affection. The minor characters are flawed with regrettable histories and surprising futures I get to peek into. Yet these flaws and some mistakes set in motion events that influence Natasha and Daniel love story. For a major part of the book, Natasha and I share an open secret Daniel is unaware of.

Certain chapters named Evoluntionary History discussed eerie, hair, multiverses, four minutes, etc. I enjoyed the writing style Nicola Yoon used. I got introduced to her combination styled writing in Everything Everything. Both main characters narrated their tales using lists, essays, dialogues, soliloquy. The omniscient point of view used imagery, flashback, irony to enliven the book’s themes. The novel is set in New York geographically the characters and I trekked Times Square, visited Harlem amongst other places in a day. In that same day, I got to time travel to the past Jamaica and Korea then future histories unlived. Themes of self-realization, love, loss, family, failed hope teach much. I learnt about the science of human existence, cosmic love, immigrant realities, making apple pie and how mundane romanticized coincidences are. Two days ago I animatedly told a friend how I felt it was written about my existence. I’m a tech enthusiast and hopeful romantic who always has brief cosmic love experiences.

The Sun Is Also A Star has earned four fireworks. As with Nicola Yoon’s style, the novel ends unexpectedly. In all the multiverses where I imagined various ends, it wasn’t supposed to end realistically unpredictable! Or did it, the last chapter makes me ask fate.

JULIET TAKES A BREATH

JULIET TAKES A BREATH BY GABBY RIVERA

“Libraries are safe but also exciting. Libraries are where nerds like me go to refuel. They are safe-havens where the polluted noise of the outside world, with all the bullies and bro-dudes and anti-feminist rhetoric, is shut out. Libraries have zero tolerance for bullshit. Their walls protect us and keep us safe from all the bastards that have never read a book for fun.”
“Bible stories that painted women as untrustworthy or whore-ish always seemed off to me. Like, what did those messages have to do with God’s love anyway?”
“Get a little hysterical, Juliet. I mean that’s why vibrators were invented, right? Ask the questions that make you feel like your heart is blasting out of your chest.”
“There’s a lot of wisdom in the world that’s been discarded because it comes from traditions created by women, indigenous peoples, and other non-white dude customs. So, hell yeah, I believe in this stuff.”
“You control the energy in your body. Never forget that, Juliet..”
“Weird is the only way to live, she said..”
“… and in the middle of it all: all of the self-empowerment, all of the radical womanhood, all of the community-building. You will still feel wrecked. Allow yourself to be wrecked. Know that it is finite.”

I did wonder where Juliet got her name from. Its an unusual name for a Puerto-Rican girl but then she isn’t your usual girl at all. Juliet is named after her mama’s love for a Romeo and Juliet 1968 movie adaptation. This book these its Spanish phrases. Scents of the Puerto Rican foods wafting up from my Adobe Reader made me want to get online recipes. I’m tempted to learn the language and then listen to the book’s translated version all over again. I mean Juliet’s experience with Harlowe were filled with seemly ridiculous things..synced periods?! But the more I thought about it I realized my mum and I sometimes have synced periods and its always so exciting for us. Not so ridiculous after all. To be honest masturbation does help relieve cramps. This book made me remember a lot of things. Like my first period which was a magical moment although I was less naïve. I remember how I felt reading up Africa American LGBTQ experiences and terminologies, noting and googling new phrases thinking so there are terms for these! As Joey D says ‘How you talk about the things that matter is what matters’. Or how I initially tried to reconcile my very African existence with the world’s more militant than my family-taught feminism. This book makes me breathe in myself and joyous life about the little big phenomenons. With each chapter you will see yourself in many aspects of the book. Like Harlowe, I have a way I celebrate and treat myself once I get my period, Don’t you?

From its first chapter and introduction into its heroine’s mind I knew this was a novel I could fall in love with. What a baby dyke narrative! I love coming of age novels, chicklit and queer romances. If social politics can be addressed in the narrative I’m hooked. During my teenage years I loved Historical Romance from every corner of the earth. Now I can say Young Adult(YA) Romance is growing tendrils around my heart.

13. Didn’t Come to Kill Anyone. I Came Here to Die. Starting each chapter is exciting because the mysterious name of each chapter promised an intriguing tell. I read the italics title of chapter 13 above and began wondering what Juliet is up to. What new thing will she learn today? FYI Chapter 13’s end made me recall a similar break-up. I love how the style is free form prose verse. It is like reading a novel, a journal and listening to a memoir all at once. With a musing almost reflective tone, humor and steady pace the story progresses. ‘She zipped through the downtown area, a comet hurtling through the darkness of the galaxy.’ ‘Dinosaur-sized butterflies fluttered in my stomach.’ ‘I watched her until she was a speck of magic dust in the distance’. Expert imagery and beautifully written sentences! The novel is largely narrated from Juliet’s first person point of view and dialogues between characters. This brown baby dyke is coming into herself in slow burst of discoveries. Largely unknowing, fiercely loyal Juliet is endearing, caution and cool. She aptly describes herself as thick-bodied, bespectacled, cautious, overtly Puerto Rican and brown skinned, book-nerd, daydreamer.  Harlowe Brisbane is another major character in this lesbian, coming of age novel. She is The Pussy Lady, author extraordinaire,flawed mentor and endearing starlight,
I can’t help but wonder all the new experiences and knowledge will they become habits? If yes, will she take them back to the Bronx from Portland? I know what’s it’s like not to notice your own changes or extent of change until you are back home. Lil’ Melvin’s brown bag made my brown eyes mist as my pale pink lips parted into a wide smile.  A highly recommended read with 4 fireworks!