The African Woman


This is a beautiful story told by a friend of mine shared on her Facebook wall on the perceptions of people to women’s sizes and well how they’re sometimes picked on by other people even unconsciously. This post elicits a few thoughts.

A few weeks ago, Araba, Éowyn, Ann-Platinum and I were in the Ridge area. We walked to the Kempinski to see what all the fuss about the place was. No, we didn’t go in. Just stood at the entrance and discussed hotels around the world and took a few pictures for the ‘we were here some’ album. Anyway, this story is not about services in +233 that cost an arm, a leg and a tooth(in some cases).

This is a major, long overdue post about some Ghanaians and their annoying habit of picking on people over their body sizes. More specifically, their weight.

Right from when we are babies till we depart this life, people always have something to say about the weight of others.
“Ei, you’ve grown o!; What have you been eating?; Obi nny3 ne k3se kwa; Bofti!; Michelin(after the michelin tyre man); Oboshie!; Obolo!; Ok3se3!; Baby Elephant(Yes, I have been called that too…”

Those on the not so plus size of the measuring tape also get their share of choice adjectives. “Atia dongo!; Ahoma tiaa!; #1 ni agbe fa(a half-wiped #1)!; Somalia!”

Some of these comments are made in jest but most of the time, it is pure vitriol.

For most of my life, I have been a big girl. The smallest i’ve ever been is UK 8-10 up, 10-12 down…because I was on a diet of a sachet of tampico and eggus brodus(bread with fried egg) once a day and 3-4 hours of intense dancing every night for almost one semester and nursing a broken heart at the same time. As soon as I healed, I went back to my regular size and my family heaved a sigh of relief because they didn’t have to struggle to find me among a host of slim students. True story.

If you are fat and you lose weight, matter! If you are thin and you gain weight, why? You just can’t win.

There was a time I struggled with my weight because the insensitive comments cut me deep. Even feel-good phrases like big-boned, thick, phat etc didn’t help much. I desperately wanted to be thin. If you wanted to make me cry, you only had to say something about my weight. Thank God for the wisdom that came over time.

Anyway, my conversation with the girls as we stood in front of Kempinski segued into the insensitivity to weight issue. And I realised I wasn’t the only one who had made this observation. We stopped a cab and as I moved to sit in the front seat, I had the most surreal exchange with the driver.

Driver: Ei! You will give me a flat tyre o!
Me: *experiencing disbelief, anger, hurt, sadness in rapid succession* So, should I get out?
Driver: I have a spare tyre so I can change when the need arises.
Me: Never mind. We won’t go anymore.

The girls and I got out of the cab.

Somebody should please give that driver some money to buy a clue! That’s if he’s not already dead from the disses and curses we rained on his head in his absence. We are ladies, after all. And ladies don’t swear. 😉

Maybe you’ve been at the receiving end of the insenstivity or perhaps, you’re a major distributor. To the former, I say if you love what you see in the mirror, forgeti obiaa and be you.

To the latter…
#DiamondsAndChampagne #BeYou #SelfLove #ForgetiObiaa


So there you have it. Plenty food for thought from this writer. Whatever side you fall on it is all about self love.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!


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