She is a gold digger

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , on October 17, 2009 by Mwasi

WHEN the age of knowing boys came, my mother did not say much.  I was really perplexed.  I expected some mysterious counsels from the deepest recesses of African wisdom.  Instead, I got sprinkles of advice that turned out to be goldmines.

MAMMAN told me that a woman set the standards on how she should be treated by a man.  The woman is the barometer of her experience with any particular man, so to speak.  I did not understand what she meant, until later when I realized that women can forego all standards to get a man.

BASED on my very conservative upbringing in Central Africa, our mothers emphasized that it was actually an insult to be approached by some hooligans who saw in us a potential match. We were taught to be responsible for projecting who could approach our throne; a woman had to learn when and to whom, to extend or withhold her scepter.

NOWADAYS, some men approach women with blatant insolence. The rational is that  such men extend a favor when they select a particular woman.  Asides from their insulting attention, I am not interested in relationships with men who prey on a woman’s insecurity. So, a woman should set and project the caliber of woman she elects to be, and discourage the undesirables.

IT IS like expensive exclusive boutiques; they do not have signs rejecting certain demographics, but they do subtly tell admirers, not to waste their time.  If your net worth does not accommodate the perceived or real value of their goods, you have no part with them.

JUST AS I merely gaze at the Chanel Boutique’s window, for lack of capital to grace the parvis, a man must recognize a Haute Couture woman and respond accordingly.  I am a shamelss gold digger!  For singular men, that is …


Females are exempt, no jogging

Posted in Customs with tags , , , , on October 4, 2009 by Mwasi

A SHIFT HAD to occur when I entered the western world. In my congolese high school, we had a gym class, periodically. Some parents were upset about the class.

It was believed that exercise was unbecoming to women and my private school had the nerve to enforce the gym class for both genders. Also, while the battle raged between parents and school administration, my mother assured me that I would take the controversial class.

COMPROMISES cropped up. Boys would sweat through 25 push-ups, but girls only completed a couple of push-ups and could give up at the slightest discomfort. No, I am not a push-up type of girl. We did have female basketball players, but they were not exactly heroes. Thanks to my Kinshasa upbringing, I do not know how a real push-up feels like. All that stress, on my feminine bones …

SINCE fitness was unfit for congolese teenage girls like us, alibis developed to escape gym class became the number one obsession for many of us. Understanding mothers unlike mine wrote letters to excuse their daughters, many girls feigned illness and my all time favorite was the claim of indisposition. It is considered improper to force an indisposed woman into exercising and we definitely capitalized on that taboo, once a month!

IN THE WESTERN WORLD, girls work out side by side with boys. How improper! I thought. But, it turns out that I needed to learn how important it is to be fit and healthy. My socialization into thinking that exercise was only for men, was wrong and detrimental.

I SIMPLY remember sitting in the shade with my friends, when we were tired of running, watching the men complete all the rounds assigned by the physical education instructor. Our instructor joked that we, girls, were too weak to complete all the running rounds. But, we, girls, were too proud to have snatched a round of conversation, in the comfort of the african shade, from the fitness tyrant. How ignorant, we were …

Women and Property Ownership

Posted in Marriage with tags , , , on October 3, 2009 by Mwasi

MAMMAN always insisted that anything she bequeathed unto me, should belong to me and not any future husband.  I kept thinking: What is the big deal?  Relax, Mamman!  It turns out that her insistence was well-founded.

ONE DAY while listening to the French radio RFI, I learned that women were barred from owning properties in some african countries.  I was outraged, in this day and age! Some Western institutions now demand that african countries borrowing from them, address women’ s right.  Be it so, ever timidly.

I DO RECALL a vague tutelage of women owning property, by men in their family, while living in Congo.  A husband, brother or uncle tended to be involved in the management the women’ s properties.  Barring women from property ownership, only re-enforced their dependency on those self-appointed male tutors.

SEVERAL of these women, at the mercy of the good and bad faith of the men overseeing them, lost property.  Some men took the liberty to sell the women’ s property unbeknowst to the ladies who owned the land or vehicle.

ONE OF MY AUNTS had an unfortunate event with one of her properties.  Since property price negotiations was not supposed to be a woman’ s forte, the buyers must have felt that the transaction was valid when a man presented himself my aunt’s title deeds.  My aunt never recovered the property and no male judge/jury was ever going to rule in her favor.

WE ALL learned the hard way: Lock your title deeds up.  Some Congolese husbands were known to steal title deeds from uncooperative wives and sell things anyway.  After all, he is the man of the house/family and lord of all that she owns…

Black is beautiful

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , on September 28, 2009 by Mwasi

VINDICATION has come.  Lip plumpers, padded jeans and posterior implants are finally being marketed to less fortunate women.  This is an amazing development.  Now, black is truly beautiful.  Black features are in high-demand, hurray!

SOME white women now plump their lips.  It actually appalls me.  Plumped lips look very fake on races with facial parameters that were not designed to contain thick lips.  Something does not add up, when you look closely.  It is actually one of my game to detect which women carry lips or posteriors that defy genetic explanation.

THESE women’s cosmetic feats are major phenotypic improbabilities.  How could a respectable professional instigate such rip-offs?  It turns out that I want women of every race, to work with what they have, because they love themselves.  It is abnormal that a white woman would covet my lips, to the point of facial disfiguration.  One does not need to be black, white, etc.. to be beautiful.  Why must beauty always crush the other?

BEAUTY should not be a function of someone else’ s destruction.  People need to really appreciate what they have and work with it.

Beauty for Crass

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by Mwasi

COVERING your posterior or attenuating its protrusion in public was the appropriate thing to do, while growing up in Kinshasa.  Fast-forward to the western world, I am bombarded with “women need to celebrate their bodies.”  I really miss the mystery of being a woman, since I left Africa.  In the land of “celebration”, mystery succumbed to exposure ad nauseam.

THE BLACK WOMAN‘s posterior only became beautiful after the induction of Beyonce’s derriere into the hall of fame or shame, depending on how you look at it.  Beyonce shows/shakes it all; non-blacks marvelling at fleshed-out buttocks should make me feel better about a millenia-old feature of the african body.  Why is degradation mandatory to recognition?

AN OVATION is not always a justification.  An ovation can be a humiliation.  It is humiliating to denude oneself and then be called beautiful.  Why can’t I be beautiful when my crotch is witheld from public consumption? Slaves could be striped naked for the potential masters’ appraisal.  In a sick way,  the slave’s praise or value was only conferred after his or her complete humiliation.  The price of such praise is too high for me, as an african woman.

THE SUPREME insult would be that I derive pride in being a black woman, from denuded black females freak-showing the “oddest” feature of our body in a celebratory sleaze fests.  Only the master’s unobstructed inspection of black derrieres can presumably attest of their beauty.

I AM AN AFRICAN WOMAN; every feature of my body is beautiful, regardless of anyone ever discovering/ratifying me.

Traveling with your Children

Posted in Customs with tags , , , , on September 23, 2009 by Mwasi

TRAVELING alone as woman was and remains an anomaly in my Congolese community.  I remember my mother’s obsession with finding chaperons to walk me to and from home, for many outings.  To be fair, some areas of Kinshasa can be very unsavory.  In Congo, some said that a woman is a child, who must be disciplined.

MY MOTHER eventually hit a major block of Congolese order.  She tried to travel out of the country, with her children.  The police stopped Mamman and demanded a letter signed by my father, stipulating that he authorized his wife/my mother to take his children out of the country.

IT TURNS OUT that my father had also traveled, meaning that no such letter could be secured.  How would my mother prove that she was not kidnapping her husband’s children?

THE POLICE offered to house my siblings and I in jail, until my father’s re-entry in the country.  I was young, but remember clutching my mother’s hand for dear life! However, Mamman gave hell and hot water to the officers, to the point where they had to capitulate, as everyone started looking into this airport farce.  That day, the pilot took off with our family, intact.

MY FATHER was flabbergasted by Mamman’s ordeal.  Only in my Africa…

Roommate Insanity

Posted in Customs, Opinion with tags , , on September 19, 2009 by Mwasi

HOW can people operate in such shamelessness!  The story begins with a continental african woman traveling to the United States to study at a private college.  It turns out that the housing lottery system lands her with an american roommate.  Well, you can’t come all the way from Africa, to hang around your Jolof rice-cooking friends…

WHAT she did not know was that american girls bring american boys to their dorm rooms.  Well, you did not completely guess the rest.  Mr. American boy must have been homeless since he came every night and slept in the roommate’s bed next to her, while the horrified good african girl was hyperventilating in her bed!  What were you thinking accepting an american roomate, some shrieked?

AMERICAN AUDACITY was taken to the next level when the american girl finally accosted her roommate, for a minor request.  You see, one of many continental african parents was making unimaginable sacrifices putting their daughter in an american private college, to only have her sleep under the moon.  Ms. American girl demanded that Ms. african girl, be so kind as to leave the room for Mr. American boy’s visits.

THAT IS HOW you get on my last African nerve!  Ms. African girl plus her parents called the College, who was paid handsomely for their service, to have the american girl, redressed.  The residency office eventually facilitated the relocation of our African girl, as only abandonment of her living quarters could remedy the monstrosity of this cross-cultural gaffe.  You go, girl!