As a black girl, living in Brighton, England

Image result for brighton town

Picture gotten from-Proud Brighton

A lot of black people I’ve been privileged to converse with are skeptical about having to move to or study in Brighton. The popular buzz of Brighton being known as a major gay city also tends to affirm their dislike for this beautiful town.

I moved to Brighton September 2014 with the sole purpose of studying and not paying much attention to the city as I wasn’t an outing type of person before arriving. I was enticed by the beach and the pebbles by the sea front during an open day visit in my foundation year which was supported by EF, Oxford (the foundation institution I had attended). The differences I had picked up with the culture, style and people compared to Oxford’s made me choose the University of Brighton instead of Oxford Brookes which had offered me an admission prior.

Firstly, I haven’t come across as many gay people as I had predicted on coming down here. Even during the gay pride festival that is usually hosted here on a yearly basis, I rarely see gay couples or find a group of gay people sitting, walking or chilling. It’s probably just me who isn’t looking hard enough. To clarify, having gay people in this city actually in my own opinion makes it more accepting and tolerable compared to other small and vibrant towns in England.

Secondly, as a black girl and as one who appreciates her cultural background and race, it wasn’t a problem building a community of friends that share the same interests as me. As there are two universities in Brighton, University of Brighton and University of Sussex, this city is filled with both home and abroad students and therefore finding where you may belong isn’t a problem. There are clubs and communities open for all kinds of people and interests within and outside the schools’ premises. This is to say that every year, the population of blacks admitted into both universities are always significantly higher than the previous year so, don’t panic if you’re worried about this factor.

Thirdly, I’m quite a foodie and quite traditional as well as I enjoy cooking my own meals. Most times going out spontaneously with my friends to small restaurants and food places at the city’s center allows me appreciate different cultures and what they eat without having to visit their countries. Brighton is diverse with a plethora of local and international restaurants representing countries from across the globe, I however have exploited this privilege as a black girl who has come from Africa. I have tasted and tried cooking most of these dishes myself, as well as recommending them to friends.

  Related image

Picture gotten from-Brighton lanes

Racism. Socio-culturally, Brighton is very diverse and as a black girl I haven’t had a reason to question my skin colour and where I’ve come from since living here. It’s so diverse and free-spirited that I have only met two guys who actually admitted to being originally born and bred in Brighton, my co-worker at a night shift and the maintenance guy for my rented place. Compared to Budapest, Hungary, I never get conscious of my surroundings and certain places I tread because of the colour of my skin or the fear of what people may be thinking. Brighton is one of the least racist towns you can ever think of in England.

Image result for black girl in brighton

Picture gotten from-Yablink

If you love greens and parks, books and rides, if you love events and dances, good night outs and games, Brighton is the place for you. This city is not anti-black or anti-any other race, It accepts, tolerates and builds with you as long as you are open.

The disadvantage however, for me is the fact that it is quite expensive to live in. Apart from that I can see myself settling and building a good life here as a black girl if I wanted to. It’s become my mini home.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Advertisements

Outgrowing the wild

IMG_2766

I was about cooking Jollof rice when I looked out the kitchen window to see the spectrum of bloom the weather left the sky. It reminded me of evenings in Aba (my home town in Nigeria). It reminded me of the way the weather back home tells us how much it would pour rain down. I felt dark for a minute. Six more weeks to finish university, six more weeks of trying to catch up with the reality of my second home, Brighton.

107, Brighton

I used to hate long conversations with my housemates, I used to pick times where I’d choose to hang out with them. I used to lock up in my attic room and disturb them with my late loud music and my loud laugh with uni friends but now we talk, laugh and live like it’s a ritual. We get curious with when next we get to hang out or just play random games. You can tell from our eyes that farewell day will be more like doomsday.

Journal

A lot has changed in the past three years. Things have become a little clearer, my journeying, the reality of what I need to achieve in life, most importantly what I have to give and offer. They’ve become more pragmatic than illusive. At this point in my life, I’ve learned that I’m allowed to grow especially with others who are willing to grow with me. I’ve learned courage can come from the least of things and people. I learnt that growth doesn’t need to be big to be successful. I’m also aware that I’m allowed mistakes in every step of it, I’m allowed to fall and fail because I’m human.

Pen

Writing has humbled me in ways that I can’t explain, it has changed my sense of purpose. It has redirected me to people and places that bring peace and mindfulness and it still is. The process has been bliss and I believe strongly that it’s fully been God. I’ve  had the opportunity to believe in the strength I carry with words, to pray sometimes with my pen because my mouth can be heavy to say the right words to God. If only I can write in other languages, the world will pray too.

There are many ways I’ve stripped off colours of habits that I don’t identify with, ones that won’t serve me. Many ways I’d love to do more for living and not trying so hard to live right. It’s a gradual process. It’s an investment on and for self. It’s my culture, my way of outgrowing the wild.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Happy women’s Day

Image result for powerful women abstract paintings

Picture gotten from-Figurative art

To be here, to join hands and to murmur what it’s like to feel this way. To feel like a woman that I didn’t choose to be but of the nature that chose me.

Here is to all the days and all the nights I stay with me, with womanhood thinking of how big of a smile I should give the next day even whilst groaning in pain. Here’s for now, where neglect and responsibility will cut through deep layers of my skin, yet I’ll stand and be silent of it all. I wish to celebrate everyday for the rest of my life women whose existence have hurt and broken them in ways that can’t be told or written, yet love is all they give.

To women of all colours and roles in life, you are a bold statue that can’t be washed away by lingering figures. You are waterproof and transparent amidst where you think you’ve been. You are still a rose to be admired by men that stand with you. You are deserving of all favours you’ve been turned down. You are all this because you are a woman.

The universe will make love to you in good timing, woman. we will all celebrate the joy and pride of being a woman with you because you are valuable and valid.

I hope you take care of yourself everyday for the rest of your days here. Happy WOMEN’S DAY!

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

Budapest, Hungary- Four days tour.

Full video coming soon…

…and after fiver years I gathered courage and made time which turned out to be the best since the year started to go visit my secondary school mates and simultaneously tour as well. I hope you enjoy this short clip. Full video coming soon 🙂
Leave your questions in the comment box below and I’ll be glad to respond to each and every one of them. For more on this trip, subscribe to my blog as well, as I’ll be leaving my experiences on here soon on this amazing trip!. Thank you.

FOLLOW-
Emetetim (Blogger and a youtuber) on YOUTUBE- https://www.youtube.com/user/Mhixxxie

INSTAGRAM- https://www.instagram.com/emetetim/

Jackzzy’s INSTAGRAM-  https://www.instagram.com/albrighton__/

Samuel’s INSTAGRAM-  https://www.instagram.com/samuelbest_/

 

 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

What ‘they’ won’t tell you about failure.

Image result for failure in black and white

Picture gotten from-Bounceback

First of all, everyone preaches these days about success without addressing the odds of what’s likely to happen if it isn’t attained. Most times, people that fail to talk about failure have been winning their whole life and other times the rest are those that hide their failures or just don’t talk about them.

Before you think of turning down a decision, request or an action, the major force that propels you to drop it is the voice in your head saying “NO! I can’t do this because I’m afraid of not doing it right” or “NO! it’s not going to happen because I’ll end up failing anyway”. It’s never necessarily the fact that we can’t do it, but the thought that propels this fact.

Some of us have always been a substance of failure, or was born to be told that we’ll never make it. A few others just choose to settle with failing because it’s become a comfort zone over time. However, success has been constantly fed into our ears in every corner we seek for a push that no one really points out the effects of failing. Not to say that failing is a good thing when really we should be aiming for sky high, but to enlighten your mind on how failing appreciates success more and keeps it longer than those who haven’t had their first fall.

Here are what people don’t stress on when they talk about failure;

  • Nobody is immune to it- Even the greatest falls, those who are used to success fail. So, quit thinking that failure is for losers or to re-frame that, quit seeing yourself as one.
  • Failure gives value- Think of the last time you failed an exam or you were reprimanded by your boss about a meeting. You’ll tend to be more present, more attentive and willing to learn more than when you were about the life of getting it right all the time. Sometimes, failing makes you love what you really hate because of the focus you lay on it.
  • Failure is unmeasurable success not attained yet- Most legendary stories of people who went from nothing to elite were never told without the words “tried and tried again”, “Never gave up” “Hoped” “Failed”. Of course everyone’s success story is different but with most, you can read patterns that got them to where they got to. These are the principles that prepare you for the big deal. Therefore, I urge you to embrace failure if you find yourself in the position, accept it but never admit that you are.

Are there more things about failure that you think people really don’t emphasize on? Have you got any success story to share from having failed once or more than in your life? I’d love to know in the comment section dear reader. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

The magic in ‘first times’

I had an Asian friend who I had known for over a year leave me a goodbye note. On it, part of what she had written said “..it’s been a really great pleasure to have met you, my very first Negro friend”. To be totally honest with you, I had a rush of mixed feelings just reading that line. I laughed, got offended, laughed again, cried and ran out to give her a tight hug. Why? Firstly, I imagined being her only black friend out of the battalion of my kind we have in our city, Brighton. I also thought how naive she was not to know that calling me a ‘Negro’ was sort of offensive but I read that line again and laughed again “..my very first Negro friend”. At that moment it occurred to me that, I wasn’t going to see her again until fate or coincidence brings us back together. I thought of her presence for the past one year and how time loves goodbyes. I cried for a girl for the first time in my life.

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

What am I insinuating?

You won’t know the feeling of magic until you experience something for the first time. It may not be like mine with someone triggering the effect, it may just be you creating and experiencing your own magic. Perhaps, the word ‘magic’ can be a bit too imaginative. Let’s call it a sensational feeling, one that renews your adrenaline. Think about the first time you had done/started something (esp. something that you love and chose to do). The feeling definitely doesn’t feel like the end of it, it doesn’t equate to the time it begins to grow weary, it’s so alive. That, sometimes is what pushes us to finish or continue, the thought of what and why we started. Sometimes the memory it leaves builds up and takes over our strength to carry through even when the initial thought is dead. The magic in ‘first times’ should be felt as often as the zeal you have for consistency.

When was the first time you decided to go for a walk, or probably read a book? When was the first time you chose to change your hair colour, take another route to work? When was the first time you gave something you cherish to the needy or leave someone random kind words? When was the first time you chose to meditate, to switch off and go offline for a while? When was the last time you told the people you cherish how much you appreciate and love them, the first time you hung out with people that are not in your class, race or even circle? These may all sound daunting or probably scary but believe me you, the feeling you get from ‘first times’ are more reviving than the consistent thing you’ve been doing your whole life.

So?

Get up! Go out! and experience your own magic! dear reader.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

 

Poise

They say something about writers that I often believe isn’t untrue. You can tell the kind of life they live from their words, what they feel and how they feel. Although, most people often refer to actions as being the loudest amongst written words, I read patterns from crossed ‘Ts’ and dotted ‘Is’. Some would rather kill you and bury their guilt in words than stand up against you and utter a word. This is an example of balance I suppose.

Image result for balance art

Picture gotten from-Colossal

What makes you you?

I’d like to be blunt. Think bluntly too dear reader.

This question should pop up every now and then in your daily life.

What makes you feel true, not what makes you feel like you should be some type of way. Not that stereotype kind of person. I’m not asking about the you you feel you should change to suit a particular circle or person. What is it that genuinely makes you smile, makes you get up in the morning and feel purposeful? What is it you feel you should be doing rather than which you are doing for a certain reason best known to you? The day you get the true answer to that question that is the very day you begin to live a life full of value. A life with so much to offer and less to ask from.

Most people up until their late forties suffer from identity crisis, not knowing where they belong or what it is they are truly living for. Others either just go with life or are very certain of what it is they ought to build for and lose as life goes on. Whichever way it is that we are climbing the ladder, we as individuals all get to that point where we stop and process it all. We reflect and make changes. The only difference is that these changes either gets worse or better. Creating a balance with life helps weed out the unnecessary, it humbles our little beginnings and keeps us woke.

Become a student over and over

Ryan Holiday, the author of the book ‘Ego is the enemy’ described one of the reasons for prolonged success in most moguls and successful people that have lived and still is, is cultivating the habit of re-learning. It might not be the best advise but going back and learning the basis of what brought you farther than ever and applying them over and over makes you the best at what you do. It humbles you enough to also learn from others and realize how much the foundation play a bigger role in sustaining timely success.

Energy is an investment

What you place value in is where you spend most of your time. To create balance, energy must be of value too. This determines where that ladder you’re climbing is heading to. Do you spend most of your time investing in people who are less invested in you? You’ll find that you’ll be losing yourself in the process. Do you make time for things that will develop your mind and encourage you to live healthier and happier? The results won’t lie at all as you’ll find yourself growing and developing from stage to stage. Energy is a heavy investment that determines where you’ll be in years to come. Invest wisely and you’ll find your reap to be solely built upon what you made time for.

There are many ways to enlarge your horizon and still be in balance, when you begin answering the first question asked in this piece “what makes you you?” you’ll find that initial step to help you put it all together and move on from there.

I’d like you to share with me ways that you create balance for yourself and your inner mind in the comment box. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.