Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When You Call Me Ugly. . . (Wiyaala)

When you call me ugly, I often think you say so because you do not have the heart to tolerate others who are outside your box.
I feel you want me to be like you or others like you. 

You set my brain back to the times when I could not be normal, the times you weren't there, the times I hardly had use for a mirror.
When you say I am ugly, I think you want me to conform. 

I ask myself. . .conform to what?
Where were your long lips and noses when I had to suffer bullying and eventually had to fight for myself?

Where were you when my mother had to struggle and struggle and had struggle become a part of her name? 

Where were you when I made it to tertiary school. .  .to Takoradi Polytechnic. . . Oh what joy!!!!
Where were you when my initial polytechnic results had me obtaining very good grades and shooting me to first class student status?

Where were you when I had to drop out for lack of funds? Where were you when my mother could not afford to take care of the children she had had with this same man who had no responsibility to these children?

And then you call me ugly. 

I wasn't ugly when I opted to drop out of school just so I wont end up a prostitute.
I never saw myself ugly during a those times when mirrors wer luxury and far cries from me.
I never saw myself as ugly when scars of emotional and physical torture wanted to drain me.
I did not see myself as ugly when I had to go through audition after audition with no proper support but hope! Hope against all else.. . .

My scars are deep. Yet they do not define me.
I know God. I know He created me in His image. I have His spirit. That spirit of resilience, of hope, of honor and dignity and that same spirit that makes Him stand out no matter what. . . That spirit I was created with. . .that spirit that makes me want to stand out no matter what. . .

When you say I am ugly, I do not respond. That does not mean I am not human. In fact I am so human sometimes I break down at your bitterness.

The few times I respond to your teasing, you increase your calls of me being ugly.
Seriously people, with all I have been through, if I am still standing, it is to the glory of God. Not to man. Not to you.

Your comments hurt me. But they can never compare to the pains of my past so when you say I am ugly, I smile and tell myself. .  .these people do not know what they are saying.

I am Wiyaala. The lioness of Africa. I mix my traditions and culture with bits of elements from here and there. Should I go to my village, I know my dressing will not push me out.

While you spend time thinking of insults and unhealthy comments, I spend time trying to keep improving my work.

Call that ugly. . . . I call it work. Hard work. Smart work. I see beauty in my eyes and in the eyes of God.

I am beautiful in my own ways. . . 

I am Wiyaala!!!

***Wiyaala is a Ghanaian musician. She has constantly been harassed by sections of the public for her appearance. This piece is meant to celebrate her. 
Written by Sakyiwaa Mensah, after a chance meeting with Wiyaala, this has been published with permission from her(Wiyaala).


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