The recent #Dove #Debacle had me thinking

This was my reaction…

“The problem is that we are too busy to spend more than 3 – 5 Seconds on anything before we pass a judgment.

Poorly Executed…

No regard for the sensitivity of ethnic minorities…

The need to have more ethnic minorities with voices on the marketing team definitely…

Lack of ability to judge political climate, historical issues, exposure to divisive adverts and as such empathy of what constitutes good & bad advertising…

But as you have all said and God bless you for your courage…

Definitely not racist.

We are all so stressed that any and everything tips us from logical to illogical in an instant.

The Trump Effect…”

I am going to share a post from my #Facebook page from December 2016…

Please try not to judge me too harshly

“… #Parents do have a lot to do but in my case apart from the #over-sheltered upbringing and being provided for so that I did not have to work while in university, I as the #child and later #adult also had a big part to play too so I blame myself ooooo

I went to #University in Lagos and went home almost every weekend (why??? It’s University!!!)

I married from parent’s house to husband’s house……I could have chosen to experience life on my own first….go to NYSC in another state, applied for work elsewhere etc etc

I never ever paid a utility bill or rent in my life till I left my husband’a house for school in #US

Yes I contributed financially to our home too but chose the ‘softer’ responsibilities like housework and choosing cushions, colour schemes and grocery shopping…..

Suddenly I had to cope on my own with :

  • renting apartment sight unseen (Long story never ever ever ever do this)
  • Being on my own alone in an apartment for the first time ever at the age of 30 😂😂😂 Did I mention I used to be scared of the dark…..
  • Hostile Landlord (I wanted out of my lease 😂)who I was frightened of because before our meeting he prayed to and worshipped Ifa in my then pious Christian presence…..Never again! I will speak in tongues in his presence too 😂😂😂
  • Going to the phone, gas and electricity companies to set up these facilities. Don’t do this in your first year! Stay in the school hostel or rent a fully serviced studio or 1 bedroom apartment and live close to your classmates except you are an independent strong person and value your time alone!!!
  • My #identity was stolen from cheques in post box at said apartment and used in fraudulent activities so I went to visit the #Police …

Coping with being in a program with 800 of the smartest minds from the around the world of which I believed I was clearly not one….so please Please study ahead. As an architect undertaking an MBA how on earth can you go into the program without preparing???

Yes there are 4 weeks of pre-term to adjust but a few of your classmates already have an #MBA degree (Very true, they just wanted an #IvyLeague one too) Some have PhD’s and some have undergrad and graduate degrees in #Business and some from the same school so …

  • I spent one night bawling my crying my eyes out on the street in West Philly begging the agent to cancel the contract I signed. Why did I sign it??? Why was I so afraid of my landlord taking me to court which is what he said would happen since I had agreed to the lease in principle over emails……Toughen up girl!!!
  • There were some awesome people around to help but it was not enough……

So while I clearly have some mummy & daddy issues and pretended in my mind that I was an aje butter princess 👸 I cannot hold them responsible for the consequences of my own actions.

Even the greatest parental upbringing cannot always result in well adjusted successful children………if not for God…”

My Landlord was my #Wharton #Buddy.

A recent graduate who volunteered to mentor incoming #MBA #Admits.

I am Naive by nature …Long Story

When you are kind to me or mine, I trust you implicitly…

I am still that way despite the various curveballs life throws ones way.

My buddy was matched by one of the #Minority Groups on Campus to help to facilitate our integration to #Wharton.

I ended up taking a #LeaveOfAbsence after about 6 weeks. The Drama was too much and I was not focusing on my school work.

I hated my apartment and wanted to leave. I no longer felt safe in my new home. I would wake up sweating and shivering at night wondering if my apartment had been bugged or whether my Landlord was indeed demonic based on my conservative upbringing and Nigerian knowledge of Pagan Deities.

I should have been bold enough to walk away from my lease and let all hell break loose.

But I was frightened…

My Black Brother was USA Ex Military and had undergone a Masters Degree in a Nigerian University. He knew about the whole Christian Pentecostal Versus Traditional Religion Ideology.

In my already stressed state I began to imagine, especially after he did his worship of an ancient Nigerian God in my presence, a Naive Pentecostal Christian from Nigeria that perhaps he was either demonic or could even have been a #USA spy based in Nigeria.

It did not help that everyone else only had positive things to say about this Black Succesful Brother who pulled himself up through life by sheer #Grit and #Tenacity.

On and on they went about the great things he had done for them when they got admitted to Wharton.

It’s been 14 years now so I am definitely older and hopefully a little wiser…

I returned again the next year, barely 3 weeks after having had major surgery for an Ectopic Pregnancy that could have cost me my life.

Poor Judgement on my part but I am a Strong Black Woman.

When a friend commented that My Landlord was evil this was my response…

“May we all be people with kind hearts that others can be able to reach out to.

My landlord was not evil. He just worshiped Ifa & Orisa. He was initiated into Orisa almost 4 decades ago and the Kemi I was then was frightened right out of my mind at the prayer ritual as I am a Christian and used to be quite (hopefully no longer) judgemental.

He should however not have done it in my presence when I came to appeal to him in his house.

He may genuinely be a good person and we have lots of friends in common so it must be my personality …….. 😜

Like I said at the end of the day I take full responsibility for my actions.

He is an #American but had also lived in Nigeria for some years studying. He reached out to me when I got admitted as he was a recent #Wharton #Alumni

I was and am still very naive and trusting…

On finding out he was into property I asked if he had an apartment near the school. I sent him cash before I got to the states.

His perception of ‘near the school’ and mine were a little different and also our perception of ‘great flat in great neighbourhood ‘ were simply mis-aligned. West Philly has lots of beautiful areas and great African culture but it was not for me a newbie on my own for the first time ever.

I believe he thought he was being a ‘ #good #businessman ‘ and sometimes that can be hard to combine with being #kind…

So many people got involved…….my husband and dad also contacted him to appeal 😂😂😂. 30 year old big baby 😂😂😂

We offered him 2 months rent to let me out of the contract. He refused. At the end of the day that’s what he ended up getting as I just could not stay and left my deposit with him….”

I still don’t believe he was Evil.

That whole charade of Praying to a Traditional Deity in my presence may or may not have been ‘An Art Of War’

Who knows…

But now when my #Black brothers and Sisters go on about how my #white brothers and sisters are racists I now speak up.

Some are indeed #Racists I am not in doubt about that.

But many are nice, kind and genuine people clueless about racial tensions and how to interact with ‘angry’ black people.

There is distrust on both sides.

I have a few African American Brothers and Sisters who could be termed ‘Racists’ assuming that was even possible. They absolutely cannot stand White People.

Slave trade and the West’s collusion with Corrupt African Leaders who for a few guns, gifts and God knows What decided to trade their fellow brothers and Sisters to the ‘White Demons’ as they called them was an #Atrocity that was perpetrated by people of all races and cultures.

The true Victims were the actual slaves and their resulting descendants.

The humiliation, pain, depression, anger and sheer injustice are still felt today.

#WeAreAllGuilty #RacialBiasIsReal

The insensitive nature of Black Africans like myself and our sense is of entitlement when we relocate abroad must be annoying to our brothers and sisters who grew up with #Racism

I was 30 until I learnt by coming to the #USA I was different or a minority.

The #UK in my opinion is least racist than the #USA

Growing up in Lagos and Nigeria can make or break you.

For me my parents, siblings, education, friends and family and society at large gave me some dose of confidence.

I never thought I was ok looking for a dark – skinned sister. You had to be joking if you ever implied that to me. MY FAMILY & FRIENDS TELL ME I AM BEAUTIFUL 🤣🤣🤣

I was called ‘Black & Shine’ in my native dialect. Yes some people did call me Blacky Charcoal and Stegomaiya Mossuito due to my slight stature ( ohhh to be size zero again 🤣🤣🤣) but overwhelmingly I never felt I was ugly or undesirable.

Please sow #positive #words into the lives of everyone you come in contact with. You never know when they will need to reach deep within themselves to pull those words from the recesses of their minds when challenges come as they always do.

Now having lived and school in Nigeria, the UK and the USA I am more aware…

We need to stop perpetuating this Black versus White Culture for the sake of our descendants…

Yes, some white brothers and sisters have been awful in their behaviour but please please please don’t get me started on how awful some of my fellow black brothers and sisters have been too.

We cannot ignore racism but we can all work towards changing the narrative for our future descendants.

In the words of my wise super intelligent teenage nephew, UK born and bred, 2nd Generation Nigerian #Immigrant , spoken to me recently, when I drilled him about future life partners etc etc …

“Aunty Kemi, I don’t see Colour…

I see people for who they Are”