By Omoye Uzamere
You are long and lean, like Abacha and spicy like Onugbu.
You are round like a mound of well-molded pounded yam.
You are supple and sleek like starch and you go well with a little complication like Banga soup.
You are complex like Ekpan Nkukwo, with the many incidentals that make you intriguing.
You are rich like Ukodo and so full of flavor, only a whiff of your essence and one is fed.
Sturdy like Plantain and soft when you are ripe, but you do not need to fear ageing because you know, good plantain can never go to waste in the kitchen.
Ask the Epiti, wrapped in Moi-moi leaves and seasoned to perfection with yellow peppers, whole crayfish and a dash of Dawadawa.
Your smell is the musk of comfort in a warm hug and the freshness of renewed zest.
Your smile is the reassurance of possibilities and the affirmation of one’s abilities.
Your eyes are the doorways to a truth so profound, it takes silence to unravel. The crinkle in the corner of your eye is the groove that guides your tears… when you are happy. Sad. When someone sees you so deeply or the only indication of your step-down from nine levels of consciousness…
Your arms say, “Welcome”, “How are you?”, “Feel better” and your hands say “Let me help”, “You don ‘chop’?”, “Here, take” , “Never mind” , “Don’t worry about me”.
Your bosom is home to your own – offspring, lover, sibling, parent, self (because sometimes you too need comforting).
Your mouth holds all the power – to build up or tear down.
Dear Woman, You are enough. You are valuable and you are complete.
They will tell you that you cannot do it. They lie.
You are capable of anything you want – even leadership, even following.
Others will say you do not need anyone.
They are wrong. You do need people,
But take your time choosing them, for solitude is safer than insecurity.
Yes, safety is significant. Guard your heart and your virtue.
“Listen, woman!” they always say…
Do not always listen, for you will be subdued by those who fear your ability to fly
They want to keep you subservient and insignificant, tame and timid.
But listen… to the Still, Small Voice in the moment between when you lay your head and when you actually sleep.
You couldn’t hear it in the din of the day, so it waited till you were still.
Look… before you leap, for there might be holes beneath the pretty rug that snag your feet and slow you down. It was designed to stop you, but you will not let it win.
Look before you love, for the answers are before you and if the hearts don’t blind you completely, you will see beneath the surface. Then you must choose – to love…. Or… Not to love. It will be your decision for you are worthy of the benefit of choice.
Remember that the rainy day fund was because rainy season must have its run. So save, money, time and resources. Save more than the people you can, for you might be someone’s only lifeline.
Dear Woman, a bandwagon can be a means of transportation. You don’t have to do it but if you do, own it. Chose your name and your path. Don’t accept the title they give. You are more than a name and bigger than a label. You do not have a chip on your shoulder, you are the chip. Delicious with Kechup!
Savour each day. Some days you will return tired and worn out from battle. Some days, you will brandish your bloodied sword in victory. Recall your victories when you are down and remember the days of defeat to stay humble in victory. It feels like a fight, but it is not. It is life… your life and you must live it, without the shields and spears or battle gears that encumber you.
When all is said and done, Woman, you will remember your life as you chose to live it… with purpose and passion, in pain or gain, in defiance or deference.
Dear Woman, you will be remembered as you chose to live…
Happy International Women’s Day/Month!!!
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