Janet (Jane) Okang, PhD Student

The African in Me Giggles!

Reflecting on a common challenge that the Africa continent faces

On a recent visit to Ghana in West Africa, children titled me Oboronyi (Oburoni). “Oburoni, Oburoni, where are you going? Oburoni, Oburoni, you are back,” they asked. Oburoni, is a gender-neutral word, which simply means a white person. A white woman!!!? By affiliation, relocating, or deeds!? I bet you would like to take a glimpse of me. So, I stood:

I have crossed the ocean, and if oceans could speak you will know 

I am black, I am brown,

My skin glows, dries, and cracks, yet in perfection and beauty,

I am black, I am brown,

My hair is kinky, thick, and curly, yet long and beautiful,

I am black, I am brown.

I am Obu…

Hold on! I hear giggling! It is the voices in me. 

The African in me, giggling and saying, 

“I” am not, you are not, we are not!

Look, are we black? Brown? Oburoni? The African in me, giggles!

Am “I” color blind? Or some-one-thing told a lie, that “I” is that which I am not!?

And children believe it!?

Look! “I” is an African. 

From Africa “I” came, 

From Africa’s rich lands, people, and cultures, I came,

with brown beautiful skin, black kinky, thick, curly hair, I came 

“I” have crossed the ocean 

then and now “I” is African 

Call “I” black, brown, even Oburoni, regardless “I am” is African.  



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