Bleached….from Head to Soul!


There is nothing wrong in cleaning our bodies of impurities and reforming our character deficiencies; there is nothing wrong in spiritual and mental renewal; there is nothing wrong in remodeling our society to compete with the best in the globe and making it better. However, there is a lot wrong in physical, sociological, intellectual, cultural and mental bleaching. For a man/nation loses his identity eventually and become a caricature of what he aims to become and a ghost of his real self… Isqil Najim

I woke up very early today, despite sleeping very late last night. Calm, comported and still basking in the memory of my midnight encounter with “inner voice,” I lurched out of my room, lazily as if to wish today is another Sunday so that I can rest and meditate much longer on my nocturnal encounter. But today is Monday and it down on me the rat race is beginning again. I have got to get out of it as soon as possible.

Done with my morning rituals, I stepped out to confront the challenges of the day. Step by step, little by little, I choose to take everything thrown at me with calmness and clear purpose. I boarded a bus to beat the Lagos traffic and I set my eyes toward completing some important tasks. I feel like a madman when I stole a meditative glance at the volume of thoughts gushing out of my mind and their contents. I reminded myself to take a step at a time. Then, I noticed something that completely diverted my mind to the message of this post.

A fat woman was sitting right in front of me. Sitting comfortably while stifling everyone else as her body volume deprived other passengers of decent space. She sat so confortable and oblivion of the discomfort she was inflicting on other people. I noticed she was sweating and mopping her forehead despite the cool ambience of the bus. Nothing special about a fat woman eating chewing gun in the early morning. But I don’t look at people’s exterior, I look inside.

Her neck was the first port of call as I turned her body into an intellectual lab. They reminded me of a fresh fried chicken. Some dark, some white, some brown and reddish in colour stimulating my hunger for more exploration. The neck was attractively ugly and looked like someone made a mistake while frying it. I decided not to judge and took my eyes away to matter of urgent important-planning my day! But the temptation was just too strong as I finally decided to let my eyes finish the job it started.

I stole a glance at her face and notice she care less what is going on. She is a beautiful lady. It is glaring she was originally a black lady. She must be in her early 30s but her body betrayed that age as she look like a grandma who is in her 50s. I moved my eyes mechanically toward her arms and the legs and then, my fear was confirmed-she had been indulging in excessive skin bleaching! Certainly an ingrained habit that spanned several years. I have seen people like this before and so I was not really surprised. The sight before me evoked pity, sympathy and deep meditation.  I overlooked the “artificial ugliness” bestowed on her by her bleached skin and began to see the beauty. Her cloths and jewelry show style and glamour, and she seems to have it in her. Looking at the skin however will make any right thinking man want to vomit. She was like a vulture dressed in royal robe.

The sight before me reminded me of an experience I had few months ago when I visited a place in my old neighbourhood. I observed a “fine lady” covering her legs as flies hovered around her while she flung a piece of cloth at them to drive them away.  She was sitting outside so naturally we can see her. As I drew closer and closer, I noticed the embarrassment of her face as she desperately tried to keep the marauding flies away. Tired, she stood up and decided to go inside. It was then I observed the bone of contention between her and the flies. Bleached! Her legs are suffering from the unpleasant effect of long time bleaching and oozing some liquids which attracted the flies. The flies might have mistaken the legs for dead meat and decided to throw a feast. I have always known her to bleach but was surprised to notice that she hadn’t changed despite the mass awareness on the effect of bleaching on the skin. I prayed silently for her to be healed and regain her original body and moved on.

Over the years, I have observed the tendency by people to change their natural endowments in response to what they think is “acceptable, fashionable and in vogue.”  They remove their natural “skins” and put on “mascara” so that people will approve of them.  They never realize how much damage they are doing to themselves and how much curse their “supplanted gifts” are pouring on them.

Beyond the Skin-bleaching and fashions, I found out that this is equally true of manner, cultures, traditions, character and thinking. People love imitating others and wanting to be like someone else instead of blessing the world with what they have got to offer. Black people are becoming white; wearing wigs and destroying their traditional values.  They want to imitate others in talking, eating, dressing, thinking and in everything they can think of. And of recent, they are indulging in large scale ‘‘mental bleaching.” Some calls it civilization, others call it stupidity. My friends call it “mental servitude.” They are losing their identity and spotting confusing ideology and character.

When a Tunisian boy committed act of  immolation by setting himself ablaze in protest against the authority, it sparked off a mass protest which led into the ousting of that country’s long serving dictator. I noticed that some African youths caught the revolution bug and started thinking of how they will execute the same plan in their countries. No one want to start by burning himself alive though. When the Egyptian youths started camping in Tahir Square, as they demanded the departure of their Iron-fisted dictator, many African youths started toying with idea of camping to protest against their government. I heard some youths in Nigeria talk about camping at Eagle/Tinubu Square and I laughed at their lack of creativity and abundant thoughtlessness! When the Libyan rebel begins taking up arms against the government of late Gadhafi, some African youths started thinking, it is arms that will do it after all. Large caches of ammunition were intercepted in a Nigerian port. When American 99% decided to come up with “occupy Wall Street” idea and went ahead to ignite the spark across western world, I heard some African youths started thinking in the same pattern. Someone mentioned “Occupy Aso Rock” “Occupy Abuja” etc.

I asked myself, why are Africans so much clueless and bereft of ideas when it comes to problem solving and tackling issues affecting them? What happened to our rich cultures and why can’t we sit down and think for once instead of looking at what our neighbours are doing before thinking? How can someone be “indulging in skin bleaching in order to remover dirt on his skin?” Why must one cut off our hands because we have leprosy? Why must we turn the land into warzone because we want to oust a crazy dictator? And why must a land be turned into famine-ravaged town because we want to protect it from invaders? These are the same people that will tell you they want to “solve African problems with African solution!” yet they are utterly clueless when it comes to thinking creatively and constructively. They will import mercenaries and ideas from foreign lands while at the same time trying to dissociate themselves from these lands. What a confused set of people.

Economically, they are becoming “accursed parasites” feasting on foreign aids and investments from other continents. Yet they talk so much about “slavery, ” “imperialism, ” and whine like disgruntled tortoise who is perpetually complaining of why monkey is getting banana despite both of them sitting under a banana tree.
Here is a continent blessed more than others both intellectually and materially. A continent that nature has strategically protected from most natural disasters affecting other continents. Rather than encouraging these talents and building on what they have, they are frustrating them, and driving them out of the continent to help develop other continents. They compete with one another in purchasing talents and products from other continents while killing and suppressing the ones they are endowed with.

Every man, black, white, redhead was born unarmed and innocent. With our minds, intellects and environments being the only weapons they have to become what they choose to be. Indeed, we need to learn from other people as I told Avy this morning in my Monday message to her: “each and every one of us are angels with one wing. We need to hold onto each other before we can fly.” We grow and develop ourselves. Sadly, Africans are refusing to use their own wing but preferring to cling on to others like parasites instead of adding our wings to the fleet and join the global community in elevating the world to better level. We don’t appreciate what we have and we don’t support those who have it. Corruption, despotism, barbarism, nepotism, rascality, and dormancy is our badge of honour and we proudly showcase them to the world when we are chanced.

Africa…… so close to God (as manifested in numbers of religion bodies and organizations,) but far from God mercy. Not God’s faults but ours, as we insist on reading the laws and scriptures upside down. We have been “bleaching” all these while. Not just our skins but our minds, intellect, and ideologies…. Now we are beaching our souls and exposing ourselves to dangerous cancer.

There is nothing wrong in cleaning our bodies of impurities and reforming our character deficiencies; there is nothing wrong in spiritual and mental renewal; there is nothing wrong in remodeling our society to compete with the best in the globe and make it better. However, there is a lot wrong in physical, sociological, intellectual, cultural and mental bleaching. There is nothing wrong is borrowing ideas and learning from others but  making a wholesale photocopy of another person/society and then adopting it as ours is not only irresponsible but an invitation to disaster and confusion.  For a man/nation loses his identity eventually and become a caricature of what he aims to become and a ghost of his real self.

He has been bleached from head to soul and now a living ghost waiting for disaster to knock and then start a battle for his dare life. That is the prize of being stupid and greedily longing for what belongs to others instead of developing and improving on what you have.


Isqil….inspired to change lives!

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