Whenever I have money or sometimes even when I really don’t, I randomly give out; I ask the bike man to keep the change, I tell the child hawking in the hot sun to not bother about my change, the woman with so much kids trying to make ends meet by selling roasted corn gets some too, I randomly ask people online to send their account number so I could send something no matter how little, and very recently, a mallam hawking sewing services with his little sewing machine balanced on his shoulder.
He charged me #200 and while I knew that was already exorbitant for the clothes I wanted to fix, I agreed to pay it. Because I had some money at that point. It’s not like I wasn’t broke myself, but at that moment, I was definitely richer than a mallam surviving on sewing clothes on the streets.
I left him alone and went indoors, telling him to holler at me when he’s done. While inside, it hit me that there’s no way I’d ever find myself in a situation where I’d have to carry sewing machine all about. It hit me that I’m actually very lucky with my circumstances and the choices I have made. It hit me that there’s just a financial level I would never be lowered to anymore. And I’m just lucky; lucky to be smart, to be educated even beyond the nonsense systemic education, to be aware, to be conscious, to see and to understand how to navigate this very chaotic place. I wouldn’t know exactly why I’m lucky, but I always try my best to give back to the society to the best of my ability; money, listening ears, encouragement, my writing skills, my boldness and letting people live through me and even better their own lives.
A lot of times, I feel very guilty that I have when I see others having to toil so hard to have access to what I do have access to. It’s not even my fault, I’m not even one of dem bastids hoarding what we should all have access to, but I feel guilty all the same and sometimes, I feel really sad.
And to combat these feelings, I just make sure to give out.
And so instead of the #200 the mallam asked for, I got #500 ready. When he hollered at me that he was done, I gave him the #500.
This man quickly squeezed the money and took off really fast, he probably thought I had made a mistake and before I realized my mistake, he’d be so far away.
Of course it’s easy to sit on our high horse and judge him. It’s easy to ignore the systemic structures that beat him into a corner where he’s that desperate and dishonest. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the fact that he literally had to suffer in the hot sun and walk all about so he could get pieces of paper. Without those pieces of paper, he’d go hungry and he’d be shamed and disrespected. It’s easy to ignore the white elephant of the kind of president currently ruling us, being able to sleep at night while being shamelessly ruthless. It’s easy to zero in on this mallam alone and judge him, thinking we’re better than him.
Nobody is better than anybody and anybody would do anything to survive.
I myself thought I was some tough girl, right? Tough and seasoned and not easily fazed. I thought I was disciplined and principled, especially in the light of the different economic circumstances I’d been put in to jeopardize my freedom and my voice and I came out unscathed.
But last year, that resilience was put to test and immediately that mallam took off, it was like looking in the mirror and seeing myself.
I wrote and released a book about abortion rights last year and I made it freely available online, and then I came in contact with this organisation in Abuja; one of their advocacies is centred around abortion right. I was really excited to meet them, and I’d be honest that the structures and resources really excited me too. I went: “Finally! I would have a lot to work with!”
Sometimes, I think I am like a child; gullible, easily trusting and taking things too literally but it’s alright, my child-like outlook about life has also protected me many times.
Almost immediately, the control started; go back to school, go back to your mother, and we can’t have you littering your nudes everywhere, you have to “clean up.” Like women’s bodies are dirty or something. Like I had to forego my freedom for the “greater good”, for the collective. It is a scam because you cannot give what you do not have.
They practically wanted me back inside all the cages I’d managed to break out of, they wanted me to go back inside all the structures that make so many people miserable and suffocated.
These people let me see and taste wealth first, they flaunted it in my face. They let me see what I would have if I broke but I tell you that not even all the wealth in this world can fix you and put you back together once you break.
I was put in the middle unexpectedly, and I stood my ground.
Look, abortion right is under the umbrella of body autonomy rights; it is saying people’s bodies belong to THEM and they can do whatever they want with their bodies. I don’t see why my nudes online would jeopardize my abortion activism, it’s even promoting the other. Intersectionality is so easy and simple.
They said anti-abortion activists would use it against me. I should imagine speaking on a UN platform (look at that psychological breadcrumb thrown at me) and someone stood up from the crowd to shut me down and referenced my nudes. I wouldn’t be “respectable” enough to fight for freedom. Okay, read that again. If that makes sense to you, you’re in big trouble and I’m willing to make a bet that your life is not satisfactory to you right now. You’ll surely be miserable with that kind of thinking.
And no wonder the UN is currently useless, it’s full of people willing to stay inside cages so they could eat, while pretending they’re fighting for the “greater good.” While the rest of us wonder what the hell all these “activists” are doing and where all the money being pumped to change things are going to.
I argued and smiled at them while I demolished every point they brought, until all else they had was force. I particularly like how they got angry honestly, I thought I really didn’t know how to make my points while keeping my calm. I did.
“Pull down your nudes or all of these are gone!”
And by “these”, I mean everything I could have worked with. These folks have so much money and network please. But they’re so useless you’ve never probably heard of them. Well, except you belong, except you’re in.
Look, a woman that is sexually free is a very powerful woman. She’s literally bringing a bazooka to the war against patriarchy. Everyone is scared of her and needs her to be silenced, even when ALL she’s doing is embracing her body and being confident enough to share.
I have a lot to offer, but I have limited resources. They have the resources while I have the energy, the passion, the fierceness, the voice.
But they wanted to take all that are mine away from me first in exchange for some change. You will never even be paid your worth to buy you and that alone is really annoying. They intentionally water you down, as if you’re nothing without them. But you’re worth more than something, that’s why they’re attempting to break you and buy you in the first place.
While I maintained a sturdy front, kept my cool and stood my ground in the open, I went into my room to cry.
I was so disappointed. I thought I had found an ideological family to work with. I was angry I was being asked to pay more price even when I had already paid so much price to be who I am today. I hated the feeble dumb attempts to break me, because by gawd, I am smarter than all their godfathers and mothers joined together.
Because tell me what is dumber than going through the hassle of breaking and controlling people when you could just let resources be available for everybody with equal respect and we can all live in harmony. It is also dumb to think you can control all of the people all the time. Further dumb are you that you’ve been trying the same method over and over without any positive results, what have the attempts to control people led to other than so much chaos and irreversible destination towards human extinction?
It is at this point that I would admit I genuinely really wanted to sell out too. I would get married to some rich old man, probably one of them who’s been on my neck and who I also liked back then, have one or two kids, go back to school, and pull down all of my nudes from Twitter. Yes, I post my nudes there. It’s not done that a woman posts her nudes herself right? It must be men posting the nudes themselves and using that to shame and blackmail the woman. And we think we’re sane as a species.
I tried so hard to break, I took a hammer and hit myself all over with it. Because by gawd, I was just tired. I had no strength left in me honestly, I felt it’s time to let go. It’s useless constantly fighting to keep my head above the waters. It’s okay to drown. I would hold my breath until I couldn’t anymore and just slip into oblivion.
I’d go off the radar and come back as a repackaged low budget feminist; the fire would be gone, the passion would be gone, I would pander to the system while calling myself a “women’s advocate.” I will not call myself a feminist anymore for starters. I would be their poster baby and tell you feminists also get married okay? While trying to refurbish the very useless patriarchal marriage institution as “it’s not so bad” to you, just like one of your favourite “feminists” likes to do. I would never make analyses about oppressive systemic structures and connect the dots.
I would stop at “protect our girls and teach boys not to rape” instead of my usual style of going for the jugular and exposing all of the root causes like religion that demonizes women’s bodies, the media’s contribution to rape, the family system that is patriarchal and treats the girl child as inferior etc. I would stop at regurgitating the practically meaningless “no means no” and get my funding and shut up.
I would become so formal my words would be meaningless, like something I’m paid to say which is actually the case.
I would travel to places and speak on the TV and feed very fat on your oppressions while sprinkling empty advocacy words here and there that have no meanings at the end of the day.
I would become disconnected from the society since I’m now part of the chosen few and everyone, myself included, would wonder where the Sisí that’s been in existence has gone to.
I would join the never ending cycle, and while I claim to be fighting for freedom, I have lost mine for the “bigger picture.”
I can’t talk anyhow anymore, I can’t blast anybody anyhow or else my handler punishes me, I can’t, of course, post my nudes and flaunt my boobs and pussy as I like to do because now, I’m a “freedom fighter.” Are you kidding me? I mean look at the goddamn irony!
It was so agonizing ruminating over these things. I felt cornered honestly and I tried really hard to break. I tried really hard to run away with that #500. I tried really hard to give whatever it would take for the “bigger picture”, I tried to break and lose myself and I tell you that I simply COULDN’T! It’s almost like I had no say or power over it myself.
If you go to my Twitter page, there aren’t any nudes or videos there anymore. I “cleaned up” like they asked me to while I continued to do my thing on my WhatsApp status, and the little I could do on Facebook. Look, that thing gives me joy. I enjoy when people enjoy my body and the enjoyment doubles whenever I get paid for it (EVERYTHING is valuable under capitalism, even just that sex chat should be paid for) so it’s some useless propaganda you’re spreading when you claim all sex workers are into sex work because they’re broken or that they’re being trafficked or som’n. Instead of addressing all those pimps who force women into sex work and take their earnings, instead to decriminalise sex work so it’s not shrouded in secrecy anymore and nobody gets hurt and protect sex workers, you’d just emptily shout for sex work to be scrapped.
You’d like to take other people’s freedom and right to bodily autonomy away so you can fill your belly, and I understand. Because I’ve been there.
And that brings me to the recent barrages of messages I’ve been getting from men about seeing my nudes and whatnots, trying to subconsciously make me feel scared and asking me to “do something about it.” Please, stop playing. I don’t give a shit. Just watch the videos and wank and stfu!
I understand an average woman would run helter-skelter because of this thing but not me. I’m not under any structure that will make me run and I don’t have anything to lose.
Family, nah. Religion, nah. Educationalism, bóyá I’d get expelled from school, nah. Marriage or relationship? Maybe my relationship will scatter? Nah. My future and destiny would be jeopardised? How please, I’m the real deal here baby. As if Nigeria and the whole world’s destiny, whatever that means, is not bullshit already. You’re only showing your level of consciousness and this may sound narcissistic, but you’re beneath me if you think like THAT; that I should be scared my videos are out there and whatnots. Your brain is empty and I’m annoyed you don’t have the capability to think beyond that level and people like you have to be disturbing my life with your stupidity. I hate that I HAVE to coexist with idiots like you, honestly. It’s so inconvenient. It’s just a goddamn body! And stupid humans are the ones building useless constructs around their own bodies! Now shoo!
I remember this organisation didn’t particularly have a problem with my nude pictures, they had a particular problem with the videos I made and I honestly didn’t know why. Anyway, I recently just got to know that two platforms released a video of me playing with my boobs (I play with them all the time you see) and here I am wondering what sort of mess I would be in right now if I had totally stopped being sexually free “for the greater good.” What weapon would I have to defend myself right now? I even went ahead to post more on my Twitter page for the new followers I got from the “leak” if you can really call it that.
I “cleaned up” but nothing was forthcoming. They sensed I wasn’t willing to comply. They needed my eagerness to break and hand over the control of my life to them. They saw I was still in control of I trying to break.
Who are the they?
THEY are NGOs.
You would wonder why we seem to be going in circles with nothing really being done to better our society. You would think with all the mind-blowing amount of money being pumped into NGOs, you would see changes. The reason is because these NGOs themselves are the gatekeepers, they’re one of the major stumbling blocks to having a revolutionised and better society.
They are getting paid to stop our society from having any meaningful change; they just talk and talk and get their money while heavily gatekeeping. And their words are like word salads, they make absolutely no meaning and no sense at the end of the day. They’re elitist and the masses they claim to be fighting for have no place in their midst.
We have been talking about cultism since MhoBad died and I need you to start seeing that NGOs are cults too. They operate in the same exact way.
You cannot get in unless you have connections, you cannot get in if you don’t accept top-down controls and have handlers, you cannot get in if you don’t want your life dictated out to you. You must be dumbed down by the system and know how to regurgitate empty disconnected words offline and on the social media. You must know how to bite your tongue and not say what’s really on your mind. You must be ready to play dirty games to get resources. You are made to feel better and special than the society you’re supposedly fighting for.
All you do all day long is lodge in luxury hotels and attend conferences and meetings and workshops where you drone on and on like zombies and are bored out of your mind because by now you’re fucking dead inside. You cannot bring any radical ideas that will actually change the society because you definitely don’t want the funding to stop flowing, do you?
I’ve always wondered why someone genuine and hot always just become dead immediately they enter into the world of NGOism and that’s the end of them. The experience I had last year explained to me exactly why.
There’s a whole lot to unpack from NGOism and the point of this article is to at least puncture it first and make a hole so we can start digging.
NGOs are also cult groups controlling the narratives in the society and gatekeeping so so so badly and fiercely.
Let that sink in.
Think about it.
Use that as a starting point to see how much of a mess we’re in as a society.
NGOs are being funded by the very people that want to keep the masses down. And they’re being asked to popularise only ideas that will serve in the oppressors’ interests. NGOs are supposed to gate-keep and make the masses blindly believe in them that some structures are at least doing something to help them. It is to give the masses some semblance and facade of resistance to oppressions.
How many NGOs have you seen that are radical and say beyond all the useless empty propaganda you’re used to hearing all the goddamn time? The more funding NGOs get, the more useless to the society they are. They just brush over issues on the surface and would NEVER confront oppressive systems. Their activism is basically pushing you right back inside structures they should be telling you to run away from. The ones that really want to change things do NOT get any or much funding and so are not popular and that should tell you something.
Of course a whole lot of people already know this is how NGOs operate.
This is for those who go “Sisí, you need to connect to all these NGOs and go places” and mean it from a place of care and genuineness.
No, it doesn’t work that way. You’d either have the zombie dead inside Sisí that regurgitates bullshits online and feed fat off oppressions or the Sisí that’s alive and well and free and trying to let others see they can absolutely be free too.
This is for the ones who think NGOs are pure and think you need to get in to do something.
No, you don’t.
YOU are all the resources you need. By simply existing, you’re fucking oppressive shits up and I’m your goddamn fan!
’til we meet again on this topic.
Because we’re just getting started.
Written by SISÍ AFRIKA.