Have always wondered as a teenage what it’s like to be a white girl with long hair, pointed nose, good clothes, speak through my nose, and looking like a perfect doll. When I see white kids from afar, I will love to touch their hair and sometimes want to touch them to know how their skin feels. ( Always curious as a child even to my present age)
Then I was independent of anything called colour or race. I just wanted to know why they look and sound different from me. Although I had long hair, mine wasn’t as long as theirs but much more full.
Was there anyone to answer this curious mind? Not really.
And then I became a young youth. I came very close to a white man when I went swimming at shell pool. Shell is an oil company in my state and they have like these organise facilities, and things have not seen or been used to.
My parents were not staff of shell and so I had no access to these facilities. Just staffs kids and relatives were allowed but I was granted access by the coach.
I happened to meet the coach one faithful day during my sales as a marketer then. He was in a haste and he said you know what, why not come to my office tomorrow and let’s see if I can get anything from you. I said yes of course. I was very glad and excited because big man + big sales = huge profit.
So the next day I went to the company, dressed as best as I could with all my products in my bag and hands. I told the gateman whom I wanted to see, they gave him a call and he said they should let me in. The gate men gave me a description on how to locate is office and after walking a while, I found it.
In his office, I introduced all the products I had but he was only interested in one and he later purchased it. He then said, let me take you around to see my colleagues if they will like to buy one or two. I said thank you. As we walked passed the large expense of land, that was when I saw the whites in different areas and as we walked, I asked questions. At the end of the day, I told him I will love to learn how to swim. Come during the weekend he said. You can use my pass my children don’t like coming anyway. I was so thrilled. That day was awesome. Got a great deal and am also going to learn how to swim in this cool environment? Oh my God, what a deal.
I could not wait for the weekend to come and finally, it did. I waited until noon to go there. When I arrived, I went straight to the poolside where he said he would be, greeted him and he showed me where to change.
There were not many people at the pool that day and I wonder why? 🤔🤔 being my usual self, I asked him. He said you know some of us don’t really like to exercise. We would prefer to go to a bear parlour than come out here. This is our way – blacks. After the swimming lessons, he took me to the cafeteria to get something. In the cafeteria, I saw lots of white also but this time up close. I would have loved to ask one of them my questions, but there was no opportunity.
Follow me please, am going somewhere. I want you to see things from two perspectives that’s why am going through this tale. I can’t really recall what happened but somehow I could not get through to the coach and so I lost my access to the pool but I know how to swim now anyway. So I opted for another pool.
I do visit the pool every Sunday to relax my nerves after the week hustle. On this faithful day, when I got to the pool, there were lots of people but who cares. Just want to take a bath and leave. When I got in, I was just observing the others when a young gentleman came close and said Hi. I turned and unbelievably it was a white man. In my heart of heart, I said finally I got a shot but my dreams where short-lived because some other black guys in the pool chased him away saying I was their woman.
I was confused. What do they mean am their woman? Before I could say jack, the white man just said am sorry and he left. I confronted the black fellows asking them why they would do such a thing and what do they mean by saying “am their woman” they didn’t give me a reasonable response instead they said I choose a white man over them. They spoilt my day and I left the pool.
You may be wondering why all this story? The essence is this. All this while, I never cared much about his race (white man). I just wanted to be friends with him who is not of the same colour.
Fast forward to my university days. We were taught our history. About slave trade and about how some group of individuals who are white in colour, came to Africa, gave us Christianity and took out idol worship, gave us their language and took ours, gave peanuts to our greedy leaders and took our resources, took our artifact, and above all, they took us to their land without our consent and made us work for them until we die as worthless creatures.
The history class was epic but of course, it made me seek out for more. I watch various movies and documentaries on slave trade and every time I cried my eyes out. Was I lucky not to be born in that era? Maybe.
And then, hatred started growing in me. I was no longer fascinated about them. I do not even want to know anything that is related to them. I became aware of the injustice rained down on the blacks even in my country.
He lives in the neatest of environment. He has all the facilities. He holds the highest positions in the company while we do minimal jobs. He is treated with uttermost respect in every sector and nobody cares if I die. He murders and he is free because he has the money, connections and backings.
Year’s roll by and I still can’t figure while things are that way. Why is he seen as superior? He kills me in my own land and he also kills me in his own land. What a life. Why am I being treated so bad because of my skin colour? I did not choose to be born with it but was given by the creator.
Over the years I see ladies wanting to bleach their skin so they could feel among or be accepted as beautiful damsels. Even when I try to talk them out of it, they just say am not black that’s why I don’t know how it feels. I might not know the magnitude of their pain but I do feel sorry and wish there is more I could offer to ease their pain.
Even when I read books written about an aspect of Africa from a white perspective, it’s always one foul language. First, in terms of their way of life, they see them as primitive. Also, they change our name and gave us theirs. For example, Mosi-oa-Tunya falls in Zimbabwe was changed to Victoria falls by an explorer who came to Zimbabwe. To honour the queen, he changed the name. This is not right in all sense. This is like stealing one’s identity.
As time moves on, and I became much aware of my identity I felt pain and hatred for the white race. I did not stop reading, however. As I read I found out that the whites are the highest donors to poor African countries. Someone ones told me that they do that to make up for what their forefathers have done to the blacks. I don’t really buy the idea.
I read a news about a black man in Europe forcing a white lady to watch a slave trade movie for about seven hours. He wanted her to see and feel the pains of those slaves. That was wrong on his path. Racism is not something that can be forth by one person but by all kind and genuine humans.
I always look forward to this day, that Luther King said
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of character.
I believe all white is not racist and there are good people among them. Some were not born when slave trade was the other of the day, so it will be unfair to judge them based on the sins of their fathers. I feel sad when I read about the rate of blacks dying outside the country but I do hope things get better.
Both blacks and whites are given birth by a woman. Was once a baby that was nursed and cared for, go through life crisis and they both will die and be buried under the ground and not above.
To my white friends out there, I do not hate you nor am I judging you. In every race, there are always good and bad people. I only wish we treat all humans right and help to fight out any injustice that will defy any black man the freedom to live a well-fulfilled life.