The Jamaican Spirit

Imagine standing in Half Way Tree waiting for the 100m finals to start, because Usain is in the race and you’re hoping that Gatlin doh win. Even though you don’t know him- you jus’ cyah stan’ di bwoy. The lights change from green to red with cars still in line. Pedestrians look intently on the big screen while the athletes get settled in their blocks and wait for the gun to go off.

Gun cocked and the athletes are out of their blocks, you watch with bated breath as you see Usain off to a slow start and Gatlin look good, then out of nowhere….the Legend increases his speed and just like that- he wins the race!!!

Gold for Usain…Gold for Jamaica.

Being blessed to live in that very moment, Jamaicans celebrated all over the world with persons they know and don’t know. At that moment nothing else mattered, only that Jamaica has something to be happy about.

This, like many other moments are what I will call the Jamaican Spirit.

Like many other countries we get together and celebrate our nation’s victory in an international event, wherever we get the opportunity to see. However, the Jamaican spirit is unique.

Earlier this year Wray and Nephew launched their Our Spirit campaign, one which I publicly lauded them for as it truly embodies who we are in this land of wood and water. Despite the many setbacks we are facing; our spirit provides us with a level of cohesion that makes us use that One Love Bob Marley sang about.

 

 

On August 6, we celebrated 54 years of Independence and the question I asked myself was, What makes me Jamaican? I was unable to answer for a few minutes and then I remembered bits of our culture.

It’s that unique behaviour that makes us who we are and Usain Bolt I believe is an great representation of who we are as Jamaicans on the track.

  1. There will be instances in which we’ll mess up, but when it’s time to work you can count on us.
  2. RESPECT us and we’ll RESPECT you.
  3. We know how to make a situation work for us.
  4. We enjoy the opportunity to showcase our Jamaicaness (word of the day).

There are many more things that we can think of which makes us who we are. At the end of the day, though small in stature we have made an indelible mark in the world. The generations to come, once led in the right way can continue to make this country be the place to live, work and raise families.

 

 

Advertisements

Love Potions for the Skin

Growing up, I always felt that I was “too black”. Among that I never used to feel beautiful, I felt unloved, unnecessary and worthless, just because I was black. I got teased a lot in primary school, it would happen quite often too. My skin color was the first thing someone would use to refer to me instead of my name and it was never in a positive way. I was either called “ugly black gal” during a confrontation or just naturally, or I’d have someone tell me I’m simply “too black”. This made me cry myself to sleep several times feeling unimportant in such an environment, at school. The other hurtful part was that it came from the same girls who would call me their friend, smile with me once I brought food to school or once they saw me with my parents.

All this eventually took a toll on me. I grew up not liking the act of taking pictures unless it was on my own, that way I could set the camera at the perfect angle to look pretty. I could scan my environment and get my own lighting. I could finally feel beautiful. I could love my skin for once.

However, as I grew up I realized that my whole past about being black negatively was stupid. I am beautiful, whether or not anyone else thinks so. It’s as if I just gained confidence overnight after doing some mirror talk routines. I slowly learned to love my distinct black features. My discolored, imperfect, yet beautiful skin. My nose, my naturally puckered lips and big forehead. To help myself, I used to take long stares into my mirror to realize how beautiful I was. To look in the mirror and simply smile. I gave myself pep talks, had empowering conversations with myself. I taught myself how to acknowledge and accept my flaws day by day. In the end, I grew into a girl who completely loves herself and appreciates every aspect of my being despite what the world has to say.

My advice to anyone feeling “too black” or ugly due to being black… is that you’re uniquely beautiful. Love your features, but most of all, love your skin. And yes, not all black girls have perfect even-toned skin as the ones on the internet do. It’s okay to have an uneven skin tone as a black person. You’re still beautiful.

~Nykefah Nairne