We’ve often heard this analogy that if everyone threw their problems in a pile, you’d quickly pick yours back and hold it with joy.
When we hear others tell their story, it’s like finding out that there is a single thread, in different colours, that connects all of us in our joys, our pain, and our triumphs.
When I met Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omerua for the first time, I wasn’t particularly a fan. I just thought she was a fantastic person for creating a brand of comedy that was hers and hers alone. Fortunately, some of my colleagues thought the world of her and wanted her to ‘talk like Chigul’. She sweetly complied. We took selfies and laughed out loud. And then she left.
I met her again barely a week after watching her ‘King Women’ teaser on Facebook. It felt like I was meeting someone else entirely. I hugged her and told her why. I’ve always hated the idea of putting people on a pedestal of strength or perfection, yet it was still a tad rattling to hear that someone like Chigul, a bearer of laughter, resented her mother and found no reason to hold on to her marriage. It gets deeper when she tells you how tears dance in her eyes when she sees her mom play with her nephew. This laughter peddler woman has deep yearnings too. I smiled through tears remembering this one funny time I caught myself check out this really good looking guy’s left hand to see if he was single or not.
Kemi Adetiba’s ‘King Women’ project is not just brilliant and necessary, it is so timely. As a people, we are used to burying our stories under layers of appropriateness. We take ‘not airing dirty linens’ to new heights. We hide ours and keep growing the pile until it stinks us to death or we get immune to what it smells like. Sounds bad when it’s put that way but that’s how we live. We’d rather die in ‘shame’ than ask for help or admit ‘weaknesses’ of any kind.
The ‘King Women’ series is here to redefine what many have labelled ‘Shame’ and ‘Weaknesses’. These stories of hurt, failures, and pain straight from the hearts of strong women we admire will cause a shift in how we see the things we try really hard to hide. These stories will show us that these women did not make it through because they are strong. Making it through is what has made them strong. You can make it through too and come out stronger than ever.
Whoever you are right now, going through whatever you’re going through, please know that you are not alone and time is always willing to carry the pain away. Let it. There is always the hope of later.
I almost can’t wait to see the full episodes when they start airing exclusively on Accelerate TV on Monday, April 3, 2017. May their stories be an inspiration to you and strengthen your hearts.