1. People that moan about the use of expletives.
2. The combination of capitalism and yoga. I can’t claim to know all there is to yoga but I can say for certain that apart from keeping you healthy, yoga philosophy aims to connect with something profound, some call it god, some peace, some essence. There is nothing wrong with buying expensive yoga gear, chakra energy jewels or zen retreats if that’s what you want to do, but some yogis are simply indulging in ‘spiritual materialism’. You cannot buy happiness. I see big bright red bulbs whenever a yoga class is marketed as ‘transcendental’ or ‘happiness-boosting’ or worst of all, anti-ageing. How utterly contradictory. Which leads to the next one:
3. Anti-ageing. If ever there were an indicator that western culture is not more evolved than any other it would be its fixation with ageing. Or should I say against ageing. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to look youthful as I get older, but not young. There is a difference and all the botox in the world does not make a person youthful.
4. African ignorance. This should have been number one. This is beyond fucked up. The problem is (at least) threefold. Africans that shun our history, our treasure of philosophical and cultural historical wealth. Africans that call our cultures ‘backward’ and Africans who behave as if Africa did not exist prior to the messed up shit that was colonialism.
5. African supremacy. Romanticizing Africa and its traditions is counterproductive. To develop we need to be willing to scrutinize ourselves, dirty laundry and all. We are not better than anybody else, human beings are all in the same boat. Realising this is the only way we can get to grips with the compex fabric of African society and psychology. Tradition is not dogma. We must unravel the myth and propaganda from the reality.
6. Unrealistic entrepreneurs. People that approach you for work and think that you will write an annual report, or a 10-000 word feature story, or their website content out of passion. Passion does not pay the rent. Get fucking real.
7a) African ignorance, once again. Really – this one is worth repeating. I think the disconnect between the precolonial and the modern is the root cause of failed governance in many African states. African society (and that extends to us in diaspora) is a product of long term patterns. It isn’t just the outcome of post-colonialism. Many people of this generation have a gap in African history knowledge because our schooling systems did not cater for it but with info at our fingertips there are no excuses anymore.
7b) This post. Because I don’t like writing in the negative and also because although I wouldn’t moan about using expletives, I may have overused them in this instance.
Anything to add?
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Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.