Friday, 30 December 2016

Nkemakonam

I never heard of the Word ' CrossDresser' while growing up until few Months ago.  It was on one of the Social media, Some people were discussing a 'Risky' guy who dresses like a 'girl' & puts on Makeup (it takes him close to 1hour to complete his Makeup Routine). Before Now it has never occurred to me that there's any word like 'Cross Dresser' , infact I have see people cross dress while growing up but we didn't Call them Cross dressers, We call them other Names.
Nkemakonam leaves down my Street and She's a Friend to my Elder brother. Nkem as we fondly call her is almost friend with Every Boy in the Neighbourhood. She looked after me like an older Sister which I never had. If I had crush on a girl, I will ask Nkem's Opinion. She taught me how to Ride a Bicycle and often when I lose my grip on the Bicycle and trip off she will tease me  and say 'Come on! You're a Man'. We played Computer Games together and she's very good in Soccer. She's an Athlete.
The kind of Trousers my Elder brother will put on are yhe same Nkem will put on Every other day. She just hate feminine and chic clothes the same way she hates Makeup,  High heel and house chores. Her Mother is never bothered, She often tell us the Story of how Nkem took after her  Father (she was birthed 3 days after the Man's demise). Mama Nkem often referred to Nkem as 'Agbala Nwanyi' while the Children in my Neighbourhood (including me)  referred to her as 'Tomboy'; there was actually Nothing like CrossDresser in our Innocent Vocabulary then.
Now for Non-Igbos, Agbala Nwanyi can be used in different Contest; When a Woman does anything that is not expected of her by the Society then we can call her Agbala Nwanyi. If a Woman becomes the Leader of a Nation, we can call her Agbala Nwanyi (I disagree with this tho because I think female Achievements should be treated  merely as a Male Achievements) and so on. So in African we associate Female cross dressing with Strength but that's not the same for an African Male Cross Dresser.
In Igbo, we expect too much from the Male Child and as such we raise boys to be Afraid of Fears and Mistakes. Being a Male CrossDresser in African will not tell too much of one's 'Masculinity' and as such its too Much of a Luxury for the Males. Most Africans don't like the sight of a Male CrossDresser, it comes with too many baggage than the Society can contain. If a female CrossDresser walks into a Hall, she's hardly Noticed but if a Male CrossDresser walks into the Hall, he's sure to get enough comments (not positive comments ). For the Male CrossDresser,the Society Mostly associated them with Sexuality(I can't tell) but for Female Cross dressers it's mostly associated with Strength.
While I was growing up my Mother always disapprove my habit of Chewing gum not because it might lead to Headache but because she thinks that gums were made for just Female gender and me Chewing gum makes me less of a Man (Ridiculous right? ). Not just my Mum but many other Africans have this issue of Stereotype. My Secondary school Teacher will punish boys she caught 'chewing gum like a girl'. And now Blue Colour is for Boys while Pink and other bright Colours is for Girls.
This has got me thinking about so many things the Society has made us to Internalise(consciously or unconsciously) which might be True and might not be True. We should Never be Afraid to Question the things we are Confused about and the we don't Agree with, we shouldn't internalise.
Nkemakonam means 'I will not Lack my Own'. As you Live your life always Remember not to 'lack your own' and if Cross dressing is your thing then don't lack your own style. Am in a Process of Unlearning some of the Secular Virtue the Society has taught me and one of the is not to link Cross dressing with Strength or Sexuality . People can do whatever they like so far its not hurting others.
By the way I like wearing lip gloss during Harmattan season...Am I a Cross Dresser?