Serena

A tribute to a Queen in the form of a song

I know the exact moment I fell in love with the entire person of Serena Williams even though I don’t remember the exact date. It must have been some time in 2002.

I was sitting in my mums car, waiting for her to get done with work. And I was flipping through a magazine. It must have been an Ebony magazine because even though we didn’t get many foreign magazines in Bauchi back then, Ebony was one of those often imported.

The feature was on Venus and Serena. And there was a full-page photo of Serena wearing jeans, a top and pointy shoes (just imagine the typical early noughties fashion.)

But it was the look on her face, her comportment, and the energy emanating from her entire being that captivated me.

I was in awe. The confidence I was witnessing in this black woman was unlike anything I had seen before. Not because it wasn’t present in countless other great black women, but just because it spoke so much to me as a teenager in my mums car.

My first exposure to Serena was probably the typical- seeing all her achievements on telly. My dad was in love with their dad- the way he did all he could to ensure his girls weren’t looked down upon. He always spoke his mind. Don’t believe me?

My dad couldn’t get enough of him. He would howl in laughter and pride, reading us the latest in what Richard Williams had done or said in support of his girls.

“It’s Venus’ party and no one was invited.”

That was a particular favourite.

We weren’t a family that watched sports, but we loved and supported the Williams family.

In northern Nigeria many tribes wear their hair in a similar fashion: with beads. Simply beautiful.

Serena is an undeniable force of nature.

There is an enviable poise she has, so evident in how she is able to live her life in confidence in spite of all the hate and trolling she has received.

That same confidence I saw in 2002 has gotten bigger, bolder and brighter!

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Last year (2015) when Serena had gotten her 21st grand slam title, and was still receiving so much hate online for her gorgeous black body, I felt genuinely hurt.

Walking home one day and playing so many defensive responses in my mind to all her haters, I found myself repeating the phrase:

‘Serena…on her side the grass is always greener.’

And then I decided to write a song for her. It only seemed fair that such a person should have a full song dedicated to her.

Songwriting is my favourite type of writing, even though I play no musical instruments and have little interest in developing melodies.

Few weeks ago I was introduced to a wonderful and talented singer, and we decided to bring this song to life.

Of course Serena would go on to win her 22nd grand slam in 2016, which meant that one of the lyrics in the first draft of the song had to be changed. Not a problem.

‘twenty-one’ became ‘twenty-two’ and luckily because it was at the start of a sentence, the entire pre-chorus structure wasn’t altered.

Finally hearing the song gave me all kinds of feels. And we hope everyone who hears it enjoys it just as much.

For Serena from our hearts ❤

Lyrics and credits are available under the song.

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