A somewhat short post today guys, please ignore any errors, literally posted this half asleep and between a break from uni work and exams which are just taking over but yeahh……
Waking up, going through my daily dose of Instagram and BAM! There it was, my next blog post. I stumbled across one of the people I follow, a YouTuber I believe and she had captioned one of her pictures as this ‘Stars can’t shine without darkness’, and there we had it, today’s blog post. I quickly scribbled this into my dairy and added it to my notes page on my phone. So here, I am on a train back from Manchester, with my fellow engineering classmate returning back to University after being in Manchester for Festival of Praise which may I add was AMAZING! But yeah, here I am, writing this. I actually struggled to find a direction to write in, but then my thoughts took me to something and I quickly realised this post would be perfect for Black History Month which is in October in UK. However, I couldn’t wait till then..
I love this quote why? Because to me, the lady I took it from was talking about her skin. Being a black female in England who saw the beauty in her skin colour and it was from that, that I realised we had to love everything we’ve been given and made with. Now, as many of you may know, I’m actually a textile artist who studied art at both GCSE and A Level, so I like images or at least forming them in your mind. Let’s take a potter for example.. Gathering the clay, putting it on the wheel and for hours sitting there, preening it to perfection, despite the dirty, dry hands or the crackling skin or the occasional splatters of wet clay or slip! Just patiently sitting there, making sure the end product is what they originally planned out. That’s like our creator, our God. The way he created us, created every hair on our heads, our finger nails, every cut and crease in our bodies, so we could come out as perfect as he anticipated. And boy didn’t he do a great job. Come on look at yourself in the mirror.. Liking what you see yet?
It’s so easy to pick up on the little imperfections we have, but in an artists world, it’s the imperfections that make the masterpiece. For me, I never liked my height. It was something people always always always picked up on, but I’ve learnt to embrace it, and just buy endless pairs of heels, anyone that has come into my uni room will see the array of heels I have placed on my shelves! Another thing was my skin. Not that I didn’t love my skin colour, I was always brought up in areas where coloured skin or darker skin was the minority. Leaving Nigeria to live in South Africa as a baby, to living in Essex in London where at that time, the black people per say hadn’t migrated there, to coming to live in a small town like Luton and then being educated at schools that was hardly urban. It was difficult and it’s only now I’ve come to university that I realised that ‘stars can’t shine without darkness’. Not that the lighter skin tones or other races are nothing without us but that the beauty in our world is the diversity, no one race is better than another, we just complement one another. Sorry another word slipping out from my artistic vocab -_-. Yes we may be in a country that we can say wasn’t originally for us but look how far we’ve come, not even just our nation. Look at America, Australia, Asia. We started as the minority and now in some areas we can be seen as the majority like in my university for example. Now we can blame that on reproduction or see it as fate. How would white sportsmen excelled without having people like us to compete with? How would our country stand against others without the diversity and culture we bring like in politics? How would we have had the opportunities we have now without them?
Now, this post isn’t about racism or one race being more superior than another, it’s about equality and coming to the realisation that no man is an island. You can’t be an effective Union, if you aren’t an effective human? It’s not possible. It started from somewhere and we’ve been given the baton to continue the race. Not just for humanity but for our Faith as well. Start from yourself, love yourself, be both the star and the darkness. Let your talents, your strengths and achievements be the star that is shining ever so brightly. And let the darkness be your challenges, your struggles, your journey and lessons. So even if your talents fail you, you can still be the darkness to another star and help them by sharing your story. We need each other and the sooner we recognise that, the easier our lives will become. This reminds me of GCSE English back all those years ago, where we had to read the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ and the main character, Inspector Goole spoke about everyone ‘being members of the same body’. Even the Bible has something to say about this ‘ I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought’ – 1 Corinthians 1:10. So whether you are black, white, yellow, pink or even green, love yourself because by doing that you’ll be able to love others. Now, even if you think you have no talent or feature that can make you that star, share with others because after all, that’s where I started and look at me now. Being the dark backdrop for all you stars to shine on, great right?
Love starts from you. Start from yourself!
Praise Gbemisola x