In our first post of the year, we asked you what you’d like to see more of, and one of the suggestions was more lifestyle and personal stuff. This is unbelievably hard to do, you personal bloggers are the real MVPs!
The Kink and I remains a hair blog, but occasionally, we’ll talk about other things we find interesting, or things that matter to us. I wrote this post a month ago, and could not get myself to publish it. But for some reason, now feels right.
Let’s talk faith today.
Are you a person of faith? I mean- do you believe in God?
I do. I was born into a Christian family so that automatically followed me on default. Growing older and becoming my own person, I realised that this isn’t enough. By not enough, I mean, I feel like I am a lazy believer. I accept my belief as my belief, but I feel like I lack the deep conviction I should have.
Generally speaking, if we want to talk about religion, or religious practices and observances in Nigeria, I think you can liken it to hair porosity. Just broad strokes, probably not the best analogy, but think about it. Some people have a low-porosity attitude, others a high-porosity attitude, and okay, let’s believe there are medium/ normal porosity ones. Like my hair strands, my mind is in the low-porosity bracket when religion is the subject. My cuticles are super selective, if you get me, you get me- and if you don’t, maybe another day. 🙂
Towards the end of last year, I was particularly disturbed. Tormented even. It became so hard for me to reconcile the idea of being Christian with being black, and also being a woman- given the history of blackness, the past and even the current situation of womanhood. To simplify the struggle, in MeeMee’s words, I’m just trying to understand how the Bible, how this faith applies to me in 2014 (now, 2015)
One day, in the depth of it all, I got an email from Biki, who blogs at My Fashion S/Ash Life, inviting me to the launch of a Christian women’s magazine called Magnify. We had earlier spoken about meeting up for something else, so I agreed to go- just for her, an opportunity to meet for the first time, as a prelude to the other thing.
It was after I had said yes (and thereby committed to a very inconvenient journey!) that I decided to look up the website. It looked good, by all standards, but it was their What is Magnify page that really drew me in-
MAGNIFY is a platform that gives women the opportunity to explore the Christian faith and how it can impact being a woman in today’s world.
At the time, it felt like serendipity. A very pleasant coincidence. I had begun to feel bad about having all these questions, it was nice to feel understood by one more person, for a moment.
The event came and went, all the hassle had me wondering if it was even worth it to have stressed myself in the first place. It went well oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s just- Lagos stress. It was difficult getting there and going back, the stress had me feeling I could have just stayed home and watched TV. That type of day.
I flipped through the magazine afterwards, impressed with the paper quality and the print and the fashion editorials, and soon forgot about it.
In January, I picked it up again and finished it in two days.
I love it. I’ve dabbled in Christian magazines, the Christian blogosphere a little, and I know it only speaks about the bloggers themselves, but there’s often something a weeee bit off putting. Like there isn’t enough space for dialogue, and where gender relations or other concerns peculiar to me as a female are discussed on these blogs, I feel very very VERY uncomfortable with the tone. I think the word for it is “Pandering”. Surely there can be a way to raise male consciousness about female issues without begging, or discuss things without massaging their egos first.
But Magnify is different. There’s so much goodness in Magnify- brilliant, witty writers, and interviews of remarkable people sharing their stories- winning at life while balancing their faith. I’m not trying to say that they told me what I wanted to hear. I felt challenged to be more receptive, I was given quite a few things to think about. About faith, and the practicality of my own. It’s a personal race, I’m working on myself, but I just thought I’d share. Maybe you’re at the intersection of these struggles as I am. Maybe you’re just looking for something edifying to read- even if you aren’t Christian, this is good stuff.
I especially love that the editor, Ruth Awogbade, is a young woman. Seeing the quality of the magazine, my mom wanted to know who the editor was, and when she saw her picture at the bottom of the editor’s letter, she was very surprised. You hear that guys? You aren’t too young, or too small to do your thing. She actually started working on this idea while still in university, in 2009.
If you’re in Lagos, you can buy copies at L’Espace, Grey Velvet and Terra Kulture. Their addresses, and also London stockist info are over here.
Magnify is a bi-annual publication, I look forward to the two issues they’ll put out this year. No way I won’t be getting them! Until then, I have their website, time and again: hellomagnify.com
P.S. It is perfectly okay to have questions, it’s YOUR journey.
P.P.S. If there are any faith-based blogs or writers you love, please point me to them in the comments. Thanks.