Saturday, March 10, 2012

Celebrating Women

I attended 2 events back-to-back at the Life House today.

The first was Reel Women, a film series in celebration of International Women's Day (March 8). I believe the entire month of March at the Life House is Women's Month.

So, this Saturday's film was Real Women Have Curves, which is one of my favourite films. I have watched it, I'm sure at least 50 times. Since it is a film I've seen countless times, I was initially not going to go, but decided to meet up with my friend there as she had not seen the film. Watching the same film can be different every time you see it if you are with different groups of people. And so it was today. And every time I watch it, I'm struck anew about the hard choices we have to make in life even when our loved ones do not support us.

Following Reel Women, was an Open Mic evening titled Women Rule and which featured a film called Scent of the Street by director, Remi Vaughan-Richards, a photography exhibition by Lolade Cameron Cole, music by songstresses Ruby, Modele, Omolara, and Aramide. There was also some inspiring poetry and spoken word by Lala Akindoju, Tosin Otudeko and Ugoma Adegoke of Life House.

Scent of the Street (with cheesy BBC voice-over, which was not on the version that was screened)

Members of the audience were encouraged to read poetry and so a gentleman called Gbubemi read a lovely poem dedicated to his Mum. Before I knew what was happening, I was also asked to read a poem. It all happened so fast. What can I say? I was there to watch others and not be watched.

I read Phenomenal Women by Dr. Maya Angelou, which is the modern day ode to women's power. It's ubiquity might cause many to forget how truly beautiful a poem it is and what a wonderful tribute it is to the magnificence of women.

So, in honour of women all over the world, I salute you all phenomenal women:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

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