Not with that accent “Samaz”
By Yaya Rudo
Talking about identity takes me back to my first year in college when I came up with my own homemade American-cum-British accent.
I was tired of fellow students laughing at my heavy Eastern Highlands accent. I was terrified of a future with a whole lecture theatre full of people roaring with laughter each time I presented a paper or answered a question during tutorials. To be accepted, I faked it.
Surprisingly, my fake American/British accent worked like a charm, suddenly a lot of people viewed me differently. (It says something about being young and clueless). I used the accent in my classes and when hanging out with my new “cool friends”.
What I did not realize was that the accent did not come alone. It came with an expectation. It came with certain eating habits, shops you must buy from, venues where you must be seen and restrictions on who you hang around with. This turned out to be expensive, but even more importantly, it was exhausting.
Being something I was not was tiring and even draining. I would be so tired physically at the end of the day. Everything I did was not me, from eating a lot of salads to playing dress up every day for classes.
The real me would rather have pap,beef stew plus covo and go to class in my old faded track suit and cap. I could not even laugh like I do at my mother’s house. I had to laugh more lady like regardless of how funny it was. Thank goodness I snapped out of the fake zone quickly it was too draining. I missed the authentic me.
Real Lemonade Makers are authentic people, they are themselves. As you try to turn Lemons into Lemonade remember to hold on to who you are. You must never put yourself under pressure to make lemonade within 24 hours of your fall or hurt.
What is important is to commit to turning the mess around even if it is just taking one small step once a month. The world needs someone exactly like you, when you spend time not being authentic you short change the world. There will always be a hole in the life puzzle waiting to be filled by you when you finally decide to be yourself.
Sadly, even in adulthood, well meaning grown men and women have over the years hinted that I could get bigger, more paying gigs than I currently get if I spice up my accent.
My answer is always the same, I can spice up my hair, nails, wardrobe you name it but my accent, is not up for spicing. The thing is, my accent is a big part of who Yaya Rudo is.
- My accent is loaded; it is more than an unusual way of pronouncing English words.
- My accent is not a measure of my intelligence; it says I grew up in the ghetto in a specific region of my country.
- My accent says my primary care givers were bold; they worried more about the content of what I said rather than the accent.
- My accent says,”I am on the big stage now, but I am still the same”.I raise my glass to Lemonade Makers who are authentic!
2019 Powered by grace and mercy