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Say my name, say my name: Would You Change Your Name if You Were Asked to At Work?

It’s no surprise to me that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are being asked to change their names at work. I have worked in several sectors and my name has always been an issue for my colleagues. I recall working in a high-end department store, where my then-manager insisted on calling me AID instead of Ade. This is pronounced Ah-day (for those of you that haven’t met someone with a Nigerian name before). This manager called me AID for nearly over a year only to stop when a former colleague corrected him. (Which confuses me because during the countless times I did correct him, he continued to say my it wrong!)   

What’s happening…

The whitewashing of BAME names is still happening despite the surge of diversity on our screens. Billions of pounds have been poured into telling stories from minority perspectives in movies and TV shows; a big chunk of celebrity athletes and musicians are BAME people– there is no avoiding us. 

Yet, people still seem to have difficulties with pronouncing non-western names. According to ITVNews more than a third of employees from an ethnic minority background are being told to change their names to something more English.  

I, on several occasions, have had requests to change my name. When it comes to having a supposedly “unique” name, English people, in my opinion, are the worst at even attempting to say your it correctly. I’ ve had people who willfully ignore how to pronounce my name. Telling me: “I will pronounce your name how it’s spelt, darling!”.

Final Thoughts….

It makes me sick because your it’s your identity; if someone can’t have the respect to even try to pronounce your name correctly. It says more about them than you.   

I’m still learning but I have now learned that my name is who I am, and if you can’t learn to give me the common courtesy to pronounce it properly you don’t deserve to speak to me. You should be proud of your name and don’t change it for anyone.  Read – Don’t TOUCH, Ask Q’s About MY HAIR

Have you ever had to change your name for people? If you have, share your story in the comments below. 

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Don’t TOUCH, Ask Q’s About MY HAIR

This is for the beautiful amazing black QUEENS out there in the corporate world that just want a new fresh hairstyle, but threat on how to deal with “those comments and questions” read more you will understand….

Warning you may want to apply a slight American dialect to this but I think regardless we all will appreciate!

Girls, girls, girllllls! I write this as I listen to Solonge – Don’t touch my hair! which I know y’all have listened too and can relate! If you haven’t then girlllll you better get on it! She speaks about our crown that they (you know who… and if you don’t you will) shouldn’t touch. I can’t tell you how sick, tired, annoyed but also slightly amused of feeling uncomfortable about doing my hair in different styles simply because of the working environment, my work colleagues in the past and present have put me in. I know, I know why should I care?! I shouldn’t but it’s hard when you go to work with that fresh new weave or those fresh new braids, or coinrows were you’re of course feeling yourself as you should; then you have someone ask you.


“Your hair looks nice, how do they make it like that”

“It’s very interesting how they make your hair like that”

“Do you wash your hair when it’s in the weave”

“Your hair looks like you have snakes on your head”

“How long do you have to sit still for … ohhh no I couldn’t do that”

“Do you think they could do my hair like that I have…..

LOOK listen let me just stop you right there!

YES! These statements and questions can get annoying!


Let me tell you my most recent story….

I went to work with a curly wig (I made it myself so I was quite pleased) picture below so you get the idea. People at work (you know what sort of people I am talking about). Yes non-black people told me my hair was nice and all that ish; I appreciated it, but then someone had the cheek to then turn around and tell me my hair looked springy! Like what does he mean SPRINGY??

LIKE girlssss you know when a black person says your hair looks nice there’s a difference to when a non-black person says your hair looks nice. They wanna know more! They wanna follow it up with a detailed explanation on how your hair magically got like that! Like Please!

That type of shit be getting on my nerves!

When this person allowed his mouth to open and tell me my hair looked springy! At that very moment I just wanted to have an Issa moment, you know where I rap and drop a base on how curly hair ain’t springy! (I would write the lyrics but I stink at rap!) Instead I politely smiled and let that one slide. No one wants an angry black woman in the office right?

Anyways, anyways let’s face it I could be here all day telling you what stupid, ignorant statements I’ve received after spending time and money (lots) may I just add… on making myself look presentable in this corporate environment. Ok I’m really doing it for that weekend outing that we all got planned (you know how it goes right right!)

In all of this rant, there was a reason why I brought y’all here.

(Mix that British and American dialect now ladies)

Well basically, I just felt like someone (me) needed to provide some tips on how us black beautiful, Nubian queens goddesses cause you know we be royalty! And yes you amazing non-black people (cause you can learn something here too) should deal with such annoying questions and statements! I only have a few tips, but I’m sure you girls will be able to share some tips on how you deal with this situation so please, please girls, comment let us all share our stories on how we be dealing with these comments!


Don’t touch my hair, don’t touch my soul! – Literally!

I know I already mentioned Solange song but it an actual statement that needs to be heard! Have even seen people (non-black people may I add) listen to dance and actually twerk to this song (yes you’ve all seen Miley Cyrus right?)

I keep drifting sorry…. my point is that I personally think it’s okay to tell your colleagues not to touch your hair. Why not? You don’t know where there hands been! I think it’s how you say it may be an issue, but heck if you don’t someone gonna touch your expensive Afro (yes our hair is expensive ladies) or that extra virgin weave/hair that payed a lot of money for so girl you better tell em “don’t touch my hair”

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The comments just let them slide!

Lord knows I have to turn a blind eye when these stupid comments come my way! I remember when I just got these fresh and I mean fresh Ghana braids! I was feeling myself to then hear my colleague tell me that I looked like I had “snakes on my head” yes ladies read it again!

I’m sorry! But black hair is beautiful. It’s a masterpiece! You’re a “masterpiece” – Jazmin Sullivan (I’m just quoting lyrics today, but it’s needed) and I don’t appreciate you telling me that I look like I have snakes on my head. This one is not really for us sisters this is one for you Caucasian people, but if you do get those comments just let that one side please!

“No I don’t have snakes on my head. My hair was looking BRAND NEW and those comments are a big no no, because when Kim K be rocking that hairstyle it’s no longer snakes it’s called stylish! Why?!”

These people (you know who I mean) don’t mean it.

Okay this one is for you and me. I generally don’t think they mean to be mean, rude or ignorant. They are merely interested. I would say intrigued and damn right nosey but hey! we are amazing exotic people to them so we must represent when we are in the corporate world and educate those that lack the knowledge and exposure to the real world. And if they don’t understand just remind them of what “culture appreciation” is because you and I know it’s real (sips tea).

Be comfortable/confident in your hair style!

Yes girl be the Nubian Queen that you are rock that style! Slayyyyyy your hair. We all know that a woman’s hair is her masterpiece, her crown but this is something I am still trying to work really with. I have been on and off natural for about 3/4 years now and I can honestly say I still lack the confidence to rock my hair out naturally. It sits under that wig!

It’s sad I know but it’s me being very honest with you and myself. I even find it difficult having a new weave colour or braids because I hate the annoying comments/questions that come with it…. and I know I’m not the only one, but I know that this is a process and in time I will be able to slaaaaayyyy.

I hope these tips help you guys and as I’ve said please share some of your stories and tips!

Like Solange sings

Don’t touch my hair
When it’s the feelings I wear
Don’t touch my soul
When it’s the rhythm I know
Don’t touch my crown
They say the vision I’ve found
Don’t touch what’s there
When it’s the feelings I wear
They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know
They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know
You know this hair is my shit
Rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine
You know this hair is my shit
Rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine
What you say, oh?
What you say to me?
Don’t touch my pride
They say the glory’s all mine
Don’t test my mouth
They say the truth is my sound
They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know
They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know
You know this hair is my shit
Rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine
You know this hair is my shit
Rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine
What you say, oh?
What you say to me?

Work With Me

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How Happy Are You?

I loved this quote because it seems like everyone is doing everything to tick of a grocery list,  rather than asking the simple question? How happy are you?

Am I happy?

It’s scary; everyone in this world is living and surviving for this simple fact, that we have no other choice but to live. So many people are living for fame, for popularity, for friendship and to simply be accepted, which is honestly a shame. I ask you are you happy with this lifestyle and how long do you think you can keep this lifestyle up? Most of the key motivational speakers will say that – “Materialistic things cannot buy happiness”, yet so many young people, (except a few) I see around myself are trying to hunt for this happiness in these very things, but even those few have yet succeeded into finding their own happiness? Why is this? Why are you not happy with the life you already have? What is it that you are missing in your life that will make you truly happy with where you are?

What does happy mean?

I recently did a search on Oxford dictionary for the true meaning of “Happy” the answer was “Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment

It’s a pretty straight forward meaning don’t you think? When we express feelings of pleasure or contentment from ourselves, it means we are happy. How often do you feel like this? Do you feel like something is missing? Does your happiness come from natural things or do you have to have materialistic things to show the world that you are happy? When you realise that is all you have to offer is the latest designer, doesn’t that bother you? It will most certainly bother me if people didn’t see me for who I am rather than my social status. People like that no longer exist in my life thank God. Why because people don’t realise all this stuff fades away and when you are away from this world, you remove yourself from the lies and fake that people portray to the world.

Two weeks ago I decided, I needed a break from the social media world; I needed to recognise that I was blessed and happy within myself. Now don’t get me wrong I knew all this already, sometimes I think you can get stuck in this world and see what everyone else has, things you don’t have and think to yourself if I had these things I might just be happy.

No.

You should be happy with where your life is and where it is going; if you don’t like where it is and where it is going you most definitely need to consider changing it. It might be simple things like, your attitude, the people around you, your environment – the list goes on but the first step is recognising that you need to find happiness within yourself.

I am no expert in telling people how to live their lives and finding happiness and I most certainly still have things I need to change about myself, nevertheless I can honestly say I have never been so happy in a long time with myself. I know myself and the people I have around me. They are genuine people with good hearts. I feel that my life can only go upwards from here and I truly believe that. Of course there will be hiccups along the way, but I know with the strength of God, I will overcome any issue that comes my way.

Life is very simple; sometimes we just over complicate life so much. I am a huge victim of this. Yes there will be problems, they will be hard times, but look around you, and recognise there are many things in life to appreciate.

The problem with all of us is, we try to look for happiness in others, and rather, we ourselves should be the very source of happiness. We have to fill our souls spiritually and mentally happy and completely move on with life without any expectations from others. Don’t expect but give and go on and have a little faith, happiness will come back to you in many ways you can’t imagine!

Just remember life isn’t a grocery list, life is for living and as I will always say “you must live your best life”

What does happiness mean to you? Have you found your own happiness?

:):)

Read also: Why Let Society Dictate When You Get Married?

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