Everyone expects the African Writer
To wear glasses
To have a mass of natural hair, or dreadlocks or tie her hair in scarf
To wear African print and beads always
To have a certain accent
To speak big grammar
To study abroad
To talk about Pan Africanism
Or Afropolitan Dreams
Or our ancestors
To write about calabashes and palm wine
And laughter under the trees
And bringing the cattle home
To write about the hips and dance of a princess
To talk about kola nuts
And to have the most local name ever
I am African
But I don’t have a mass of natural hair, because I think it’s painful, so I perm my hair. (lol)
I sometimes tie my hair in scarves, so that’s a plus.
I have loads of trousers and miniskirts, not made of African Print
I do wear jewelry, the gold colour ones, the silver ones and some beads.
I do have an accent.
I don’t speak big grammar, my English is even not good
I don’t openly talk about Pan Africanism
I don’t talk about my ancestors. I put them in my family history records
I don’t write about calabashes and palm wine
I talk about kelewele and sobolo and CHO-CO-LATE
I did not study abroad, I studied right here
I don’t have the most local name ever. My name is Marietta DeGrant, not Afua Afi Bronya, so you are allowed to have a little bit of doubt that I am African.
But seriously, I am African.
So, does that mean, I am not an African Writer?