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Showing posts from October, 2016

I'm not black, I’m Nigerian (Identity issues)

I'm not black, I’m Nigerian (Identity issues)
Where I am from no one has ever called me black. Since I was born, I have always been Bibi or Bidemi. No color, no racial categories, no box! Fast-forward 20 years later, I find myself in a country where I'm termed "Black". Isn't that interesting?

I am tired of feeling self-identity disclosure forms; I know you can choose not to feel them but sometimes I just scroll through the options hoping to see African or maybe someday Yoruba but all I get to choose is "African-American or Black descent". I get to put myself in a box I don't identify with.

What does it mean to be African-American or of black descent? I don't know the slightest thing about being black in America. I don't have any ancestor that fought for the civil rights movement or suffered slavery that I know of. The concept of racism is not embedded in my subconscious. I am yet to be a victim of structural violence or systemic racism. How…

African time and how it works

If you have one or two African friends you may or may not have gotten the concept of African time. Africa time in simplistic terms is having a relaxed attitude towards time. This concept is influenced by the less rigorous-scheduled lifestyle found in Most Africa countries opposed to the more clock-bound pace of daily life in Western Countries.
North American and a few European countries are monochronic, while the Middle East, Latin American and Sub-Saharan Africa are Polychronic. Not to use communication jargon but monochromic cultures are developed to be punctual, work on one thing at a time, don't like to be interrupted; they focus on personal efficiency rather than organizational goal in their daily life. To this group, time is linear. On the polychronic end time is cyclical. Punctuality is not very important and interrupting a busy person is not a bad thing as well.
In Lagos, Nigeria where "time is money" there are large elements of polychronic culture. I believe it…

Help! I'm becoming Americanized

Moving to the US in December 2014 I had my rules based on my perception of the US according to what I saw on the TV shows. My rules included absolutely no fast food, more work-out, be anti-stereotypes, make a diverse pool of friends and finally do not lose your underlying values. I had rules but no mechanisms to ensure I follow every one of them.

My first year in the US I struggled with food choices and diet. Being really busy with graduate school meant less time for home cooked meals and more subway sandwiches. In addition, I had no Nigerian friends that can hook me up with the Nigeria stores in Denver. Sundays were the only days that I ate Nigerian food and this was because my mother packed "poundo yam powder", "dry egusi" and plenty seasoning. Honestly, the first vegetable and egusi soup I made looked so weird because I used canola oil instead of palm oil. It tasted really well partly because I'm an excellent cook and the only missing thing was palm oil.

I …