Sunday, September 19, 2010

People I read

I started blogging in 2005 as a way to hone my writing skills and also vent my frustrations about things going on around me in a public form of self induced therapy. And, in the beginning, it was a blissful experience: I was suddenly linked with a group of young and adult writers whose unique outlook on the Nigerian experience both at home and abroad provided for a much intelligent discourse.

Each blogger then, had a distinct way of speaking, so much so that when I conceived and executed my Catwalq Academie Series (see links to all on the right), our general online community was drawn to the project, reacting to the familiar characters who though were anonymous avatars, had inspired personalities that were easily identifiable.

Projects began to spill out, as if an invisible barrier to creativity had been lifted and an infinite number of ideas were brought forth. Bella Naija became a brand, Blog Idols became a seasonal event and then came the blog awards, giving recognition to those bloggers the community felt stood out from the multitude of bloggers. And there was the 14th & Serenity which I was directly involved with, bringing a diverse group of characters for an amazing literary project.

As the community grew, so also did awareness of the technology and thus the different uses for which it could be put. Suddenly, the Nigerian blogosphere was inundated with spiteful, spineless individuals masked behind the cloak of anonymity who would go from blog post to blog spot leaving behind a trail of calculated insults to entice controversy.

Then, there was a mass exodus of bloggers. Most of the bloggers whose daily or weekly posts, i had awaited in high anticipation, eager for the ensuing discourse that would be conducted in the comments section. That was soon gone and a new generation of bloggers came on and my interest in the community all but died.

I have maintained my blog, largely because while I no longer have that connection to majority of the bloggers out there, this portal was initially chosen for me to have an outlet and I find myself running back to it, again and again. And even though my mother now uses this blog as a medium with which she can conduct her transatlantic stalking, I still feel most free expressing myself there.

And so, that is why I have decided to also to share what it is that stimulates me now.

By share curiosity and coincidence, I have become quite involved with Asian American issues, content, projects and initiatives. In fact, I am a current staff member on Kollaboration DC, an Asian American talent showcase holding this coming Saturday at the GWU Lisner Auditorium and being the only black person on staff, I am going to raffle names of anyone who buys tickets to see the show because I invited them, to win a lovely, free Kollab Tshirt.

Getting to meet and befriend Asian Americans also means I am getting exposed to their cultures which is not so new, as I grew up on the steady dose on one of the most successful exports out of South-east Asia: BOLLYWOOD. Outside of African cultures, I have felt most connected to Asian cultures because of the glaring similarities in community construct, social values and hierarchies. Both parts of the world (Africa and Asia) mirror one another, perfectly.

I am infused with the language, dress, food and visual culture. I have more Asian movies in my collection than any other region in the world; partly because they have many thriving industries from which budding filmmakers can learn how to tell accurate encompassing stories about their cultures and do so on a budget but also because the stories are so damn good.

I now have many friends from all over Asia and cannot wait to see two of them in particular at the upcoming Eckankar Worldwide Seminar in Minneapolis.

As a result of me opening myself up, I now read on a daily basis, a steady stream of blogs, websites and articles by Asian bloggers and writers. So in a series, I will term " People I read", I would like to introduce you all to an inspiring and rib cracking humorous individual, residing in New York and raising his daughter as a single parent; METRO DAD.


1 comment:

tz said...

Thank you for sharing! Well, if your objective was to hone your writing skills, honed your writing skills you have! I love this blog. Very well written, and very refreshing. Count me a subscriber.