Etikettarkiv: Abbyan

Me – and the beautiful African men

As a young girl, the natural choice of partner was the available man. The available and abundant were the African men, of many different shades. I found them beautiful and cool, fun and friendly, but some I thought to be rude, fierce and unfriendly.

Foto: Jenn Warren, USAID Africa Bureau
Foto: Jenn Warren, USAID Africa Bureau

I never felt that the fierce had respect for girls, or even knew to speak to them. These were the feared, they were rowdy.

The majority were the friendly. And the liked? They were the ones to feel shy with. I did not know how to speak to them, even though I really liked them and it’s what I wanted.

As a young woman, some of these really cool and beautiful African men were even more unattainable. They were also the loved by the blondes as well, the white girls of all hair colours. What most of the white girls could offer in a relationship, I could not as easily promise. But I always had friendships.

But there is a dawning of these really cool African men, and they are sprouting up in huge numbers and this makes me feel happy.

See, at one time, I got very interested into listening to all music made by black people – what the African American men a lot of times sang about was not to my liking. Some of their songs were to me rude, fierce and disrespectful to girls and women. I loved the tunes though.

I felt sad that many young African boys took after these men, copied their style, talked to women and girls in the abusive languages used by these men, thinking it to be OK.

It felt even less appealing when I heard young girls referrer to each other in these disrespectful ways – coz some man in a song sang of such.

But what the new generation of African men sing about, I truly appreciate. These are men that sing about loving their women, respecting them, wanting good for them and appreciating them.

And guess what – I think that this is really cool, it is the truer. They have always been there, these respectful and really cool African men.

They were to me the cool and beautiful. But they are more visible now. More available and more true. True to their colours of being the beautiful and cool, respectful and attractive and now visibly available to this African woman.

….This dawning of the really cool African man is also the dawning of the really appreciative African woman.

The African child need not get tips on how to behave or talk to their girls or women from men who know less. The knowers are the respectful – what most of our diverse cultures have always been wise to know. That societies are made up of MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN – and respecting each other is a norm to be taught and practiced by all, even the children.

So rise and shine, show your cool and stay beautiful African child – man, women AND child.

This African woman is already appreciating… and truly respecting, the beautiful African man, an African child.

Abbyan Ali
Abbyan Ali

Beautiful Shades of brown

“What a black beauty!” has been a common reference to many dark skinned girls, and even boys, within the Somali community. See in our community, beauty was never something that was exclusive to lighter skinned people.

Bild: 17:39, 9 April 2014
Bild: 17:39, 9 April 2014

We are a people who have many shades of brown, some more lighter and some darker. And the beautiful young girls with darker skin were always praised for – their darker skin complexion. But at times they were also never pleased to be referred to as – blackies.

I was surprised, to say the least, when I understood that only light skinned girls were ever considered beautiful in many other African communities. I find the many shades of brown to have so much great and very beautiful appeal.

And yes, I am guilty of trying to lighten up my skin at one time – I avoided direct sunlight at some point in my early twenties – I even used a skin tone complexion at one time, only I came to my senses and stopped, after a short while.

People were often praised for their smiles, their teeth, their gums, their eyes, their hair, their height and their complexion. And guess what, it is not only the tall that got praised for their stature, the short were praised as well for being petite.

Wherever there was a feature that was considered beautiful on any person – praise was abundant. And sometimes the very same physical traits that were praised were the very same that were ridiculed – ”Beware of light skinned men”, is one. Their beauty is not that of the brains.

And I think it could be a darker skinned man who could have minted such a phrase, or maybe the mother to one. Could it maybe have been the mother to a girl who was criticising a light complexioned man for his treatment of her daughter? Anyways…

And even though it is our physical features that are the first that people see of us, the very easy to evaluate and talk about – our personal characteristics are what is still valued more – and this is a reality in many cultures.

As a mother to African children, I think it is very important that we praise our children for their physical beauty. Teach them the value of their beautiful white smiles, the twinkle in their eyes, the beautiful things one can do to the different textures of their hair. Praise their different shades of brown – and most of their physical traits.

All so that they too can start noticing the beauty of the African child – it is what we are all identified by anyways – the colour of our skins. Long before someone asks of our names, or knows of who we are.

Having said this, the more important personal traits – our characters, let’s remember to teach of the value they have.

They are the beautiful as well.

Abbyan Ali
Abbyan Ali