The most important thing

What is the most important thing I should know about you?

This is a pretty simple yet oddly difficult question to answer about yourself. It involves critical introspection and deciding on one thing that not only means so much to you, describes who you are and what you believe in or stand for.

In my teen years, whenever I was asked, tell me something about you, my answer was pretty simple, ‘I am a girl’. It was the first thing that came to mind, every time.

Over the years, however, this response has evolved. Today it is:

I am a black, Christian girl.

This is the most important thing any person should know about me. The relevancy of this statement differs from one social group to the next, but it is always relevant to me. Allow me to explain.

I am black.

That generally means that I am either of an African descent or I am African. It means that I can either relate to racism actively or passively. It means that when I do anything, especially on a global scale, I must realise that I am representing an entire race. Being black means that every time I am in a predominantly non-black environment, I am representing black people. It also means that when I am making travel plans, I have to check how the people treat black people so I am not too shocked by their actions.

I am black. I am African. I am Ghanaian (born and bred). I have a big nose and a head full of curls (which I want to perm sometimes). I have thick shapely legs, and hips which are too large for my slender frame (in my opinion). I have thick lips and ugly feet (in my opinion). I am black. That’s just the colour of my skin. It shouldn’t mean much, but somehow, it does. And whether or not I choose to acknowledge that, it is what it is.

I am Christian.

In my house, it’s not a big deal. It’s almost expected. In a 99% Islamic country, it is more than a big deal. It’s kind of weird even [to be Christian]. In a bus full of people from various walks of life, an atheist who has some bad blood with Christians might even find it triggering.

I am Christian. I am God’s special possession, chosen and loved. Being a Christian is not just something I claim, it is who I am. It is more than a box to check on a form. It’s the foundation on which my identity is built. It does not, however, mean that I have all the answers or that I don’t make mistakes. Far from it really. It means that I am in a relationship with a God who loved me first. He knew all of me, even the ugly parts and still said, “Yhup. I pick you.”

I am a girl.

I wonder if one day I’d change this and start calling myself a woman. Sometimes I do, but I feel like the baby girl in me shall always live on. I am a girl. I have the plumbing works that allow me to have a monthly period or carry a child. I am on high alert when I am walking on a quiet part of town and someone walks too close to me or too fast near me. I can wear heels when going to someplace new but would rather wear flats or trainers in case I had to run. I am a girl. It is not just by virtue of my genitals, though they play a major role in this. It is who I am. It is the body I live in. It is the representative of my inner self to the world.

So yeah, I am a black, Christian girl. And that’s that.

What is the most important thing to know about you? (It may not necessarily be who you are, but it might be something that means a lot to you.)

Think about it.


Dr Nyameba 💜

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