Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Affirming my black identity in London?

I am proudly Nigerian and I will always be. I am also the queen of procrastination. If I had a penny for the number of times that I have blogged in my head but failed to type a post, I will afford not <1Kgof gummy bears right now. If you don't know what gummy bears are, google 'em. They are the best study snack, next to seedless grapes. yum!

If you have not noticed, this blog is turning to a study abroad blog. I want to highlight my experience in London so far, related to me being Nigerian. For every black person I meet in London, I assume that ze is Nigerian until ze proves otherwise. Trust me, you will save your time and your curious spirit some energy, if you go with my formula.
  • At my host university in London, Queen Mary, they are more South Asians than blacks and even whites, I believe. This is probably because QM is located in East London, the domain of South Asians. Whenever I see a dark-skinned person, I become so eager to meet them. Getting closer it turns out to be a dark-skinned Indian and I becomes low-key disappointed. This is not to say that I'm racist but I just like meeting all sorts of Black people, whether it be African-American, Carribean or African. Sadly, the ACS (african-carribean society) is not as active as the Black student unions in the States that I am used. Thus, I have to meet fellow Black students, with an extra effort on my part.
  • I usually go to south London aka the hood to get my hair done. Y'all know that black hair is done and cheapest in the hood. But then, you gatta be careful because finding a good hairdresser is as difficult as finding a good husband. Anytime, I go there to get my hair done, they seem to be confused by my 'hybrid' accent until I say my name is Yinka (Yinkuslolo is from Yinka, get it?)
  • Most of my study abroad buddies are African Americans (called akatas by Nigerian english) from the States and everytime we go out, we are asked which country we are from. As usual, I give my long story that I'm a Nigerian studying in the USA. My akatas friends have a problem though because they will tell you that they are from chicago/atlanta/** America but many blacks in London are not buying that. Then, my akata friends will have to the enquirer that their forefathers went to the USA as slaves from Africa. Thus, recent akata generations are mixed with other races and have no idea of their precise African origin. I think this long explanation is due to difference between the Black-British and Black-Americans. This is because the blacks in Britain are more recent immigrants than those in the USA. It is sometimes sad to see my Akata friends have to go through the slavery explanation so many times. Actually, my African American friends often ask what their looks can suggest about their place of origin in Africa. I often joke with them and say oh you look Igbo/Yoruba/Kenyan.
  • I must have mentioned in an earlier post I went to the Basketmouth show on Feb 13th, that show was basic. I felt the jokes were mostly recycled. Maybe the theme of the jokes (ie Naija hustlers in Jand) was over-flogged. The show just wasn't working for me. I had a good time though, because I went with a new friend and saw my crazy ass Nigerians.
  • Two Saturdays ago, I went to CokoBar, a Nigerian club in East London. I had heard loads about it and it is just 10 mins away from QM. So, I decided to go see what's up there. One word for CokoBar. basic!!! The music was nice, the DJ did a good job in mixing Nigerian music with mainstream western hippop/ R &B but the transitions were kind of wack. Of course, the dressing at CokoBar was at the two extremes, regular Jand dudes in Blazers in the club's heat hian! and some girls with GUCCI clutches (with green and pink stripes instead of green and red). I had fun though because I was with friends and busted all my moves with Michelle, my PIC. Btw, what is it with most Nigerian girls (and some dudes) not dancing at the club? I understand if it is your day off dancing but if you don't dance every time, there is a problem. How will you just be sitting and boning (frowning in Naija slang) in the club? You might as well stay at home or go to a pub.

I must admit that the title is somewhat misfitted with the content of this post. But yeah, I typing at as many character per min as possible at 4:30am. Pardon the grammatical error. I dislike proof-reading, like I always remind you. My next post will be about my London Fashion Weekend Experience and my trip to Wales.

Till then
Je t'embarasse
ff me @yinkuslolo on twitter

Happy Ash Wednesday! ( I'm Nigerian and we celebrate everything/day even 'Happy Strike!')
Are you giving up anything for Lent, if so what is it?


leggy said...

i do not know what i'm giving up for lent yet. there is nothing i do frequently enough to give up. i stopped going to nigerian parties because of that, i love dancing but i'm a horrible dancer and i just feel like everytime i go to nigerian parties i can't dance cos i feel like people are judging me. it's prolly all in my head sha.but whenever i go to other races parties i dance like mad cos everyone is as bad as me anyway.
i really want to study abroad.

doll said...

sounds like you are having fun

@ Leggy is the us you are in not considered abroad?

Yankeenaijababe said...

You have been tagged...with the One lovely blogger award...check it out..have a fun weekend.

Anonymous said...

So sad Black Brits don't seem educated on slavery, that's a fail. Funny thing is that so are many people in naija but they aren't literate.
On naija people not dancing at parties, I don't get it either, they also are toughest crowd at concerts. God forbid I pay 100 dollars for Bon Jovi and not be hype

Femme Lounge said...

seems like you are having fun and settling in well. enjoy your time here!

Nice Anon said...

LOL Someone is having too much fun

Yinkuslolo said...

@Leggy: So what did you give up eventually? twitter? Because I've not seen you there in a while. I see you throwing the race shade on dancing abilities. I think that you should go to nigerian parties and have fun, regardless. Let them judge, as long as you're having fun and with the people that you like :P

@doll. I know right haha. We ar ealready studying abroad in the States but it does not hurt to go out of the States for a semester.

@YNC: Thanks a lot. I already did it in a previous post called ' Stylish and Versatile blogger award'

@Anon: I don't blame those Black Brits as much as I used to. I think there is a lack of conversations on diversity in the UK, compared to the States

@Femme L and Nice Anon: Thanks, I'm trying

Ginger said...

Ahh, so you went to the famous Coko bar and didnt think it was all that? The place has got plenty hype shaa. That reminds me that I havent done my post on the Basketmouth show. It did have its lows but I was just happy to be in a Naija environ ....the aggressive dressing killed me small. kilode?!!
At not dancing at clubs...some people have not outgrown secondary school days and caring what people say...msheeew.

Yinkuslolo said...

Yeah, It was ok. I went to Legacy, another Nigerian club this past weekend. I think Legacy is better but Coko bar is just 10 mins awar.

SMH. I wore a simple hip-hugging dress to the show. x_x. Yinkuslolo cannot carry last mehn but some girls over-killed it