HerStory : Hidden Figures

I just watched the 2016 film ‘Hidden Figures’ which encaptures the inspirational stories of three African-American women mathematicians and physicists in 1960’s America. (It’s a true story based on the book by  Margot Lee Shetterly ‘Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race’).

Oh My Gosh.

Of course it was a little romanticised and honey sweet a times but just amazing to watch. I love Taraji P. Henson from ‘Empire’ anyways and also Janelle Monae but this was just  so great! There’s even teaching resources for school curriculum! (https://twitter.com/hiddenfigures)

Before watching this (or hearing the hype) I never really knew the history of NASA, especially the involvement of African-American women in the early days, and especially within the STEM fields, so it was a real eye opener for me. I had to google the three ladies:

Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn,

afterwards to find out more about their lives. It also just goes to show how much history is HIS (‘the white man’s’) story – that is, how much history has concealed and lied and twisted the truth for the benefits of ‘the white man’. What I mean by ‘the white man’ is any man who is privileged – mainly bankers, politicians, judges, CEO’s of mass market corporations that do nothing to society really but extract greed.

It is very important to assess and re-asses the role of stories in our lives. The last year or so I’ve been very aware of stories (usually through media), and learning more about how stories are an integral part of the human race. It’s a legacy, a past and a present time. Stories can include facts but we (I) must be careful to not take things at face value so easily. I will definitely be exploring this concept on stories more in my art and personal work.

This film has definitely added the figurative gasoline to my fire and awakened a more spirited side towards feminism and civil rights.

I also caught myself saying ‘I wish I was strong like those ladies’, and ‘I wish I had an insane gift’.

I had to think again. Nope. ‘I am strong’ I say to myself. And I have the potential to be more brave and courageous. I have a strength that is different, more quieter than others. I have the potential to still make a change. I have an INFP personality so I’m the rare type of personality in the world you will discover and I am quiet and introverted. But I am also strong in my own way.

I’m showing this to my future children (biological or not)!

P.s. I’m happy (pun intended) to see Pharrell Williams co-produced and was in charge of the music for this film.

Stay blessed!

x

A little can go a long way

It’s been a hectic month leading up to Christmas with lots of exciting plans, projects and social visits going on – thank you God and the universe – but yesterday was a one of my highlights of that day.

I was on my way to meet my amazing friend. I was about to cross the road when a woman asks me politely “Excuse me, could you help me cross the road?” Of course I did. I assumed she was in her 70’s and had a shopping trolley/carrier with her. She took my arm and I started having a conversation about where she was from, where I was from etc. She was from Hong Kong originally and told me she had trouble walking sometimes because of her bad knee. She needed to sit down so she found a chair outside a pub. I told her to go inside where it was warmer but she didn’t want the fuss. I felt bad for leaving her there but I did have places to be and there were some men sitting near to her so I was sure they could help.

Call me a romantic or an idealist but those few minutes really touched my heart.

And credit to her for asking for help because sometimes pride can get in the way.

Her name was Lina.

Thank you Lina for that moment.

 

🙂

 

Africa Utopia is Here!

So for the second time, the Southbank Centre is hosting Africa Utopia, which explores the many dynamic and creative cultural elements of Afrika and its affects on the world.

The first thing when I encountered the food market is the sounds of the vibrant, bold beats of African music and the sumptious smells of Caribbean, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, South African and Kenyan food. Oh my gosh.


As I drift away from the outside market and navigate towards the Royal Festival Hall (where the inside events take place), I see lots of beautiful accessories and clothes with glamourous prints. Yellow, orange, wood, metal, cottons, rayons, the chitter-chatter of negoatiations and the bored looks of the chidren helping out their mamas on the stall.

Finding something to observe or participate in is not hard as there are so many events and opportunities. Take for example ‘Meet [the Author] Chibundu Onuzo’. At 25 years old, with two books under her belt (The spiderking’s Daughter and Welcome to Lagos – which is coming out soon!), a coloumnist for The Guradian and overall diva, she has a  young yet impressive quality about her! She was very quick with her back-handers and wit which made us all laugh.

This is her response when asked about her political stance as a hypothetical Nigerian politician: “Am I here to talk about my political ambitions or about my book!” I get you Chibundu. It’s not the one for me either. Despite that, she did answer well referring to education, female sanitation and the high levels of youth unemployement and crime.

In terms of fashion, my partner and I discovered a great talk about lookng beyond African prints in the fashion industry, as it can stereotype some African fashion designers! Unfortunately, we got hungry so we ate and missed the catwalk that was after.

The last day of the festival is tomorrow, Sunday 4th September. If you haven’t been before, or you like African culture and want to explore, please go! Visit the Southbank Centre’s website which will tell you the schedule if you’re pressed for time.

Enjoy!

M x

 

 

 

Rabbit

Sensing . Sensing. Sensitive. Sense. I sense. I have sense. Does it make sense? Why doesn’t it make sense? How should it make sense?  Does it matter that it doesn’t make sense? Philosophy, Politriks, Anthropology, Culture.

Sense. Sensitivity. Emotion. Caring. Sensing. Tensing. Caressing the tension. Feeling, Feelers, whiskers, feather touch, goose bumps, sensual. Sense-sual. Healing. Feeling, Caring.

Sensitive: Positive. Negative. Empathic. Unstable. Caring too much, Loosing sense…touch. Helping for the greater good.

Me.

 
Featured image:
“Gray Rabbit” by Arti Chauhan

 

Food for thought….

As I was searching for cheap healthy recipe ideas….At first before reading this, I was sceptical thinking, ‘here we go, another ‘How to’ about super foods and such’, but actually Jamie Oliver has got a point.

He focuses more on the spirit of community, (social interactions, sharing food and stress with our support networks) **which is hugely important and can lack badly in city cultures**, the role of religion or belief systems in maintaining a sense of purpose in life, and getting more physically active by doing simple ordinary things like housework or walking more to destinations, which we have an app to do everything now for us it seems (although I’m not completely knocking apps because they can be quite useful). Appreciating more plant based diets and consuming moderate amounts of wine every day if at all.

And if I look back at my parents lifetime when they were growing up, it’s true. I had grandparents that lived till 100 and older relatives that are still mentally, physically strong. Food for thought…

Welcome & Selamta!

At a local small town restaurant in Lallibela, Ethiopia. Lovely vibes.

If you’re reading this then thank you for visiting firstly! I think it’s about time I started a blog since i’ve just started my new Youtube channel of the same name!

Anyone who is habesha (that’s anyone who is Ethiopian or Eritrean) might guess from my title that, yes, I am habesha too! My mum is from Eritrea and my dad from Ethiopia. Me, I’m a born-and-raised Londoner, but that doesn’t stop me from questioning my identities now and again in terms of how I fit in this society that I live in, as well as other things….like being….akward…. lol. It’s harrddd.

So that’s why I will be sharing my passions, my views as a brown 20something female with Afrikan roots.

I’d love to know more about you too, hopefully you can share your thoughts too on topics like society, Afrikan culture, addressing the big questions…oh and what cartoons were the illest when I was growing up back in the late eighties/nighties (go ninja turtles!) and also what star sign you are (go pisces!)

Ciao! Ahmesegenalow! (That’s thank you in Amharic)