“Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice. I say the darker the flesh, the deeper the roots.”
– Tupac Shakur, 1971-1996
My skin tells a story; a story of creation, oppression, determination, and adaptability…in fact, it tells of my people’s foolishness, naivety, greed and curiosity of the mysterious unknown that led them to their cultural murder; or should I say silencing?
My skin is an indescribable phenomenon. Not chocolate, not coal, it defies trials and tribulations. It bears the brunt of the heat, it accentuates the darker shades of the marks of lovers, it boasts of the wounds of mighty falls and mishaps, rough play and rivalry, of always getting back up. My skin tells a story of resilience, of a silent but necessary strength.
My skin tells a story of beauty, a story of perfect imperfections, a story of cleanliness; the waters of the lake wash away my troubles as I am pushed in by my mischievous and giggling friends, as I enter to wash the dishes, as I wade in to relieve myself of the stress of the day, paying no heed to the fact that Mama will beat me wet and sopping, and nothing hurts more than a wet beating. I risk my bumbum’s comfort because water is life and knows no colour. It does its job, whether you are as white as the clouds or as dark as the midnight sky.
My skin tells a story of tradition, of scars and wounds that are given the fancy name ‘tribal marks’…my skin tells a story of radiance, perseverance, healing…. the injuries of yester time are slowly but steadily being healed by the shea butter rubbed in, its smell poignant but effective as Mama chides Obiora once again for his carelessness.
My skin tells a story; a story of possibilities, of unbelievable potential. My skin tells a story.
By Anaecheri Angel Okwuosa