Musings of a mildly neurotic chic

Posts from the “Nifti Talks” Category

Africa Calls For Me

Posted on April 13, 2015

This post was originally published on VeryLoudYouth.org.

I was not born in Nigeria. But, I lived there for all my adolescent years, and I spent a good part of that time trying to leave. What I do not get now is why.

It is common for many African children, and children in other post-colonial countries, to view life in the West as supreme. My friends and I dreamed of living like the Caucasians on television, and at times, we would see that Americans who looked like us could live in luxury.

We also heard, however, that many Americans who looked like us were poor. I recall an aunt (who had never been outside Nigeria) commenting on the lifestyles of a people she did not know. She categorized these people based on their color and on second-hand news gleaned from the media. Her story was distinctive: these people were lazy, and we were not.

In hindsight, such debilitating stories — supported by an attempt to escape stereotypes — help impair our identity as black people. My five year-old corrects me every time I use the term ‘black’ to describe him. “I am brown mommy,” he coos. I smile. But, I wonder how long his innocence will last. I wonder how long he will consider his skin color just that — a color. Not a people. Not a label. Not a culture. Just color.

Read Full Post 

Please look a little deeper

Posted on December 2, 2013

Picture: Rodney Boles.

                                                                       Picture: Rodney Boles.

Please, look a little deeper.

Listen a little longer.

Things sometimes are not what they seem.

Feel what it’s like, the pounding of her heart.

Hear what it says, the voices in his head.

Please, dig a little deeper.

Think  a little harder.

Judge a little less.


Dedicated to:
the young boys and girls I mentor.
the bullied, misunderstood, closed off.
The story of my life.

Intimately Africa

Posted on May 21, 2013

I ran into this 11 minute video (on a friend’s blog on tumblr) that took me through several stages of my childhood – growing up – in Nigeria. I left Nigeria when I was 16, and I am pretty sure I’d never seen two people kiss in real life.


I have long questioned the lack of passion or true love in many African marriages. In my view, traditional African marriages were intended to provide stability for the man; support for the woman; and children for the community.


In as much as the current generation has shown interest in more gratifying behaviors, the overall concept of love is often misunderstood, and a public “showing of love” is widely unacceptable.

In the video, Zina Saro-Wiwa explores this and other concepts of love through an African perspective in Eaten by the Heart.

As always, please leave your thoughts.

10 Ways To Ward Off Idiots

Posted on May 15, 2013

My first kiss chased me for almost a half mile around the streets in our neighborhood; the second wrote an entire ballad in my honor two Valentine’s in a row; and a third beat up three Idiots who couldn’t keep my name out their mouths. But somewhere between number four and six, things changed. The boys quit chasing…

The Problem.

Boys quit chasing ‘cos society, and all those other chics fail point out their idiotic behaviors. Let me tell you, it is easy. More girls should do it — put the idiots in their place already!


10 ways to get idiots iff your back

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Amen.”

The Solution.

It is not selfish to love you.

“I give myself sometimes admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it.” ―    Mary Wortley Montagu.

Go figure.

The Plan.

Dear Faithful Runner,
How often I have had exactly those sentiments, and still, I am confused. I have concluded, however, that:

  1. I must quit enabling stupidity. For example, letting idiots win, who have no business winning.
  2. Chivalry is not dead. She is merely missing, and needs to find her way home.
  3. And there’s plenty o’ fish in the sea. Yes, it’s true!

The best thing a girl can learn is how not to need a boy.

Sincerely,
Nifti.

xoxo

Part 1

Posted on January 27, 2013

You are the page...Life… a satire of luck, hidden truths, visions, and what not. What’s true? What’s not?

If fear could speak, he’d say to let him be. If faith knew doubt, she’d have no dream.

Eyes lift to the skies, pray the rains come this time.

tears. drop.

“Que sera- whatever, will be.” Says a patient old woman who lived in a shoe

But to win is what he said – that man in a hat, to his missing piece.

“Life is what Love gives. You first, then me.”

 
Inspired by my favorite reads & random thought as I try to commit to three goals this year.
As always, please leave your thoughts.

Nifti

Gratitude Is

Posted on November 22, 2012

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

                                                                                                                           ~Henry Ward Beecher

Thanksgiving in the U.S. means different things for different people. For me it is to cherish tomorrow, despite yesterday.

Give thanks everyday.

Nifti.

Another Prayer

Posted on August 30, 2012

i  think of Misty Eyes.

and the song she sang.

a tear in Her heart.

still.

where? did that smile go.

why? does this heart ache.

is Fear in its place?

Her prayer remains:

“… i am your child.

the road is far

and i am fearful.

please lord,

keep me strong.”

 

                                                                                     Taken from FaceBook/VeryloudYouth

Watching my little one play… I must be strong.”

Misty Eyes

Posted on August 23, 2012

Photo Credit: Maggie Duncan*

Sweet misty eyed angel.

Drop the swords that make you blind. Leave the walls that tell you wrong. Hear these words for you today.

leave fear. in its place.

Climb the hills that hold your fate. Crush the tales that clip your wings. Soar forever in His light. See this image of your might.   Tell your heart to guide the storm.

and may my song, dry your eyes….

 

As always, please leave all thoughts.
This prayer: inspired by Madison Woods’ Photo Prompt for #FridayFictioneers. Submitted by Maggie Duncan.
*Thanks Maggie for a beautiful photo. 

Friends Are Heaven Sent

Posted on August 9, 2012

                                                                                 Photo Credit: Susan Wenzel

… here she is. alone again.

But for once, things seem alright.

she’s got her friends online – the world at her back.

With the kindness that flows, even strangers see a glow.

she thinks the world of these good friends. she’ll love them until the world ends.

And she’s thankful, for they are Heaven sent.

xoxoxo

 

Dedicated to the amazingly supportive, always growing, diverse group of the Friday Fictioneers.
Special thanks to BoomieBol  for  simply being awesome.

A Rip in the Bud

Posted on August 3, 2012

This poem: submitted for Madison Woods #FridayFictioneers, 100 words or less. Please check out other bloggers’ great stories, excerpts and poems here.

 I like to keep things a lot happier on NiftiTalks, but the photo reminded me of the hurt that many of the young people I work with face everyday. Most of these young people rarely have anyone to confide in, leaving them very angry, and pushing them further into their cocoons to self-destruct.   *I wrote the original version January ’12 after consulting with a student. 
Your comments are appreciated.

                                                                            Photo Prompt by Madison Woods

A bud aches with revenge,
It cannot be restrained.

Its flowers shrivel by sunset,
Garnished with pain and regret.

Its wings, plucked.
A jewel sadly deformed.

Its roots will wither next
A presence it cannot re-erect.

But first it bows from the weight of its loss
and begins a quest to turn everything to dust.

So on the bud grows,
filled with the poison it sows.
Bile oozing from every pore
seeps into its very core.

Hence with every new bloom,
The promise of certain doom.

 

How Lola got her grove back.

Posted on August 1, 2012

Hello friends. I’ve being experiencing a lot of writer’s block lately, and since I can’t write anything worthwhile for NiftTalks, I decided to do a little blog grooming:

I added this page, then I thought about some of my favorite things; so bloggers Boomie Bol and Coco Ginger found their way on the page.

 

Speaking of favorites; Lola is this girl I know who whined about life being “too much”. One day, Lola decided to read a book instead. When that was done, she realized she could do much more, so Lola wrote a book.  Soon, Lola was too busy selling her book that she wasn’t whining much. And do you know? No one whined about that.

 

I plan to write more about Lola when my creative block goes away. In the mean time (and if you didn’t feel like reading anyway), below is a video I’ve been waiting to share in Nifti’s Book. It is colorful with a wonderful message; if you listen.


So here it is: my lazy-day post. Except it took a lot of work putting this together. Between the links, and the cropping, and videos…  ‘writer’s block’ please go away. Nifti needs her groove back too 😛

 

Enjoy…

 


She Heard It Through The Grapevine

Posted on July 20, 2012

Photo Copyright: Madison Woods

She heard it through the grapevine,

She was Coward, she was Proud. She was that Easy Chic. She was Ignorant, Foolish, or Gullible, some said. She was Heartbreaker… Meat lover…   She was Incomplete.  She heard it through the grapevine, she was thoughtless. She was Crazy. She was Lazy too.

She heard through the grapevine, she was Sad, she was Hungry; she might have been Smart. She was Paranoid, she was Weak. She was Mischief and Meek.

It was Classless. It was Sad.

It was definitely not Smart. He said, She said.

This. Through a grapevine. That never knew her name.

[word count: 100]

 

Inspired by Madison Woods photo prompt for 100 word fiction, Go #FridayFictioneers.

Scarlet

Posted on June 28, 2012

  Photo Credit: Madison Woods

 

She is the spirit of the night. A glimmer of delight. A luscious mirage. With poison in her roots, she walks with pride. Her steps echo, pebbles on a raft adrift. Waves of color and sound. Soothing. Like berries. The promise of ecstasy.

The scarlet lady beckons. Her locks play with the wind. Crimson lips pursed in thought. Her smile captured, dance through time. Her drums play in unison. A rhyme to release.

Song of ages, he moves to the beat.

“Tell me Scarlet; is my lover in your arms tonight?”

Inspired by Madison Woods‘ Photo prompt for 100 word fiction – Go #FridayFictioneers.
As always, leave your thoughts.

My First Blog Post

Posted on June 19, 2012

1.  It never got a like.  2. It was 703 words longer.  3. It was trying to say what it now says in 39.  4. It was titled, “Life’s got other people who love it too”.  5. It is now titled appropriately.  6. It boasted the same picture.  7. It did not acknowledge photo credits.  8. It still doesn’t acknowledge photo credits because Nifti can’t remember where she found the picture…

I deserve to have the things I want. Many times I fail.

– ‘cos no matter how much I love life; she just doesn’t love me back.

Or is it that she’s got several people who love her too?

Love Invades

Posted on June 17, 2012


Copyright Jamar Simien. [Artist retains all copyrights. Please do not replicate image without permission]

 

When love invades

We break free from misery that leaves us weak, deprived and wanting, waiting…. We break free
from anger, delivered from heartache, undying hunger.

A soul revived. A being restored.

… life redeemed. We are free; When love invades, hearts rejoice. When love prevails, pride absconds. Patience returns. And we are free.

 

 

This excerpt is dedicated to ‘Okan mi’ – My Heart.
Happy Father’s Day darling.

The road overgrown

Posted on June 14, 2012

   © Roxann Phillips

 she dreams a sweet dream.  where she stands beside her beloved.  the image of everlasting peaceful love fills her soul….

But by trying to will herself to reason, she insists this love can never be… Fear sets in – a disguised anchor – to take over and lead her lonely heart. It overpowers all reason, and she outgrows her dream. 

yet, little hope remains: she will one day walk that road. to eternal bliss. to meet him.

…be still my soul.

Inspired by Madison Woods Photo Prompt for Friday Fictioneers.

UP

Posted on June 8, 2012

Image: Roxann Phillips

Mama once said, “Look up, darling.”

“Why?”

“… Look  at me.” Kneeling, she held my chin up and nuzzled my nose.

That smile, I’ll always remember.

She said;

“There is beauty everywhere,

In everything.

Remember this and

The sky is your limit.”

 

Story inspired by Madison Woods‘ photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers (6/8/2012).

Looking For Bobby

Posted on May 18, 2012

Dear Nifti, several young people face extremely harsh realities – stories that ‘regular’ folk couldn’t even imagine. Most times, these children are helpless and give in to their circumstance or environment. Falling through the cracks…

Everything was quiet when I drove into the apartment complex. As I circled around trying to find my target, I noticed there were suddenly more people lingering in the parking lot. The complex was relatively clean, but more scrutiny revealed broken windows, with cardboard patchwork and garbage bags covering holed sections. More garbage bags littered the corners and trash spilled over. At the far end of the compound walls read JD WUZ HEER in big bright red and white letters. Many of our students misspell words just for fun. They would say they don’t need to spell because no one cares.

We’ve already had twelve dropouts this year so when Bobby didn’t show to up at school for the 2nd week in a row, I drove out to find him.

I climbed out of the truck. There were now two groups of men sitting on two broken-down, stripped-down cars. Never do home visits alone! Words from my superiors rang in my head. But Bobby was my favorite, he was everyone’s favorite. He was a sweet kid although mom was a druggie and “his daddy’s somewhere”, mom told us one day. Bobby never spoke about the problems he faced at home, but we all knew, and helped him out as much as we could. One time his bike was stolen, and the office got together and bought him a new one. The Thank You card he made still hangs on the bulletin board.
I didn’t expect any danger until now. I tried not to pay too much attention to the men who continued to gather around the cars as I hurriedly searched for apartment 205.

“How can I help you?”

My heart beat faster, my throat dried up and I immediately felt dizzy. “Number 205” I managed to squeak. I coughed to clear my throat. The man stared at me for a moment. Was he trying to figure out who I was? Why I was there? Or maybe he thought how much my necklace and watch would sell for? Another rule I disobeyed. I was dressed to the tee!

I have heard several stories about this apartment complex, mostly from the kids about the mugging, jumping, and something about whipping a pistol.

“You here for a pick up?” His chin went up, his head cocked to one side. His buddies on the cars were looking intently at us.
“Pick up?” He  wasn’t going to let me continue without an explanation. “Do you know Bobby?”

The man continued to stare down his nose at me. “You’re real fine” he started. “You shouldn’t come up here by yourself”. At this point, a much younger man started towards us. My heart couldn’t beat any faster. I just knew the men could hear it thumping, and for sure they could hear the ringing in my head. My truck was only ten feet away, I thought I would make it to safety if I tried, but my feet wouldn’t move. I couldn’t respond either. I just stared at them quietly pleading for mercy.

“It’s not good, miss”. The younger one spoke. I recognized him from graduation three years earlier.
 Relief. He knew me well, and was a good kid too.

“It’s no good”. The young man repeated. “Bobby moved in with his dad last week.” He shook his head. “His mom overdosed. There’s no hope for him now.”

Read more stories on VeryLoudYouth.Org.

Are you grounded?

Posted on May 8, 2012

Image by John Wilhelm is a Photoholic

 

 

Dear Nifti,

Whether the person in your life is abusive, insensitive, sarcastic, critical, or just plain doesn’t think; you cannot fall prey to the madness. Stop, take a deep breath,  consider your ways, and walk carefully. A calm collected (you) does not allow a fool to bring out the fool in you, because you have replaced the seeds of foolishness in your own heart with divine wisdom.

 

Signed,
Michelle Mckinney Hammond.

Home Sweet Home

Posted on May 5, 2012

People say a person does not know what they have until it is gone.

I was not born in Nigeria, but I lived there for most of my life, and I spent a good part of this time trying to leave; because western culture is portrayed as a lot more fun. Now I miss everything I was running from…

I miss the happy people…
I miss the extra time with nothing to do…
I miss the fresh air…
I miss family…
I miss my goofy friends…
I miss wearing weaves…

… Okay, maybe not – I had to shave my hair because I let my stylist use some kind of glue to hold the weave. Gosh, have I done some stupid things! I miss walking down the block and shouting “hello” into every window I pass. I miss the food. I miss being teased by friends. Most importantly, I miss the extensive support. Nigeria, West Africa. Home sweet home.

All pictures taken in 2008 (Ghana and Nigeria) with my Canon 10 megapixel camera.

Oh, The Joy of Lying

Posted on April 24, 2012

Because its how I roll, I am taking on the challenges of “this blogging thing”. Thanks to hilarious bloggers The Hobbler and Nukemm33, I am to admit to my readers that I am a liar, and demand that you call me out on a lie.

 

Guidelines:

Six stories on the list below are true.

One is not.

Which is it?

1 I talk to 12 year-olds high on mushrooms and something blue every day.
2 I’ve been mugged at gun point somewhere in ‘Mandiba Land’.
3 I was once kidnapped and hidden on a school bus.
4 I owned a little piggy that wore a hat and lived in my backyard.
5 I am called “my own”.
6 I got lost in the smoke of 9/11.
7 I have skipped school to see a headless woman.

Happy Hunting 🙂

 

The secret is out in ‘The Grand Lie Opening’ of 4/25/2012

 

  

%d bloggers like this: