A community-oriented art & graphic design collective. We make graphic apparel, hand-crafted accessories and produce events. And most importantly, spew randomness about important and non-important topics.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Need Your Help

So this is a personal letter that I wrote to close friends and family members seeking support for a program that I work with. Then I thought. Yo why not ask the 'general' public? So I'm going out on a limb and putting myself out there *freeze* and sharing this letter that has content that I'm pretty self conscious about, hoping that it will move someone who maybe is not so close to me to support this cause. Okay blah blah blah...here's what I wrote.

Hello,

I am doing something crazy. I am writing you to ask you for $50. 

Why? Okay...I'll tell you.

In high school I contemplated joining the drill team to fulfill my desire to dance; but my hair was too nappy, my clothes too un-stylish, and I was just way too African. Furthermore, any chance that I could maybe have made it were sqaushed by me falling smack on my head in front of some 50 odd pretty girls when I attempted that jump-kick thing at tryouts. Not to be deterred by my shortcomings I forged ahead only to find out that the price of uniforms, shoes, batons sticks and mini pom poms were enough to feed the whole Turkana village in Kenya, so therefore eliminating any possibilities that I might be able to dabble in this...this 'hobby' of mine.

The above was pretty much a template of most forms of art I thought about pursuing. I was left to express art and creativity by writing cheesy poems in my journal & dreaming theater productions in my head.  Until finally I was old enough to take charge of 'my life' but it may have been a bit late...because now I feel overwhelmingly insecure, self aware and unskilled. In other words, too old to be a beginner. 

If you know anything about growing up Nigerian, you will know that any academic or career endeavors outside of doctorlawyerengineer are generally frowned upon at varying degrees. It could range anywhere from your parents threatening the wrath of the local gods on you or them hinting that it would be nice if you did strive for such but they would support you with something else as long as that something else was deemed viable enough.

Art, Music, Dance, that Rubbish that Oyinbo people do though. COMPLETELY out of the question. Are you mad? Is this what we sent you to America for?

I have to wonder 'What if there was a Loco Bloco in my life at the time?' A program that was completely FREE for me to participate in. A program that had instructors that didn't judge me on how pretty, cool, and apt I was. A program where kids didn't make fun of me because I spoke different or looked like a failed Mel B Scary Spice experiment. Would I have grown up to become a virtuoso in the arts? Would you all be so beneath me now because I would be on Broadway & traveling internationally accepting short list prizes and what not? Probably not. 

But I would have had a fighting chance. A chance to fall smack on my head 6 more times and then finally get that jump-kick, a chance to kiss the boy I was crushing on under the guise of being very into the role in that stage play, a chance to stand in front of my 'oppressors' saying my poem, telling them to go to hell but in so many words that they wouldn't realize until now that that's what I was saying.

Today I am able to get my achieve my dream as a participant, instructor and organizer with Loco Bloco. That $50 I asked you for in the beginning? You would be paying for not just an hour of my time as an instructor but also for the chance for me to provide inspiration, love and fulfilled dreams for the child that I was.  

Think of that child. 

Fifty Dollars is not too much to give me a fighting chance. 

Here's the deal:
Loco Bloco is having a gala on Saturday January 30th, to raise money to keep their programs alive, to purchase tickets and or Donate ANY (it doesn't have to be $50) AMOUNT. Visit www.locobloco.org. I'll love you forever!!

Love,
Your Only N

4 comments:

Loco said...

Nkei,

Your a great teacher, friend, and dancer. Thank you for your inspiring words. If I wasn't already part of Loco Bloco as your friend I would totally attend!!!!

Thank you for all of your hard work!!!!

Original Mgbeke said...

I gotchuuuuu.

LucidLilith said...

he he he he oh my ...lol@ doctorlawerengineer

Chichi said...

That was the "christmas card" I got in the mail from you okwa ya?