Before I talk about how I fell in love with African women I have to talk about how I fell in love with the African culture. Growing up in a predominantly European environment for most of my life I was only exposed to the European perception of life and culture with very little understand and less interest about my own heritage. To be honest I did not care to know because I felt fulfilled by knowing only what seemed to me like an international western culture. I had an exclusive preference for European women mostly because of their aesthetic but especially because I lacked African role models in my school. When I moved back in my country Ivory Coast the first year was the hardest . Beside the fact that I was completely estranged to my own country, my country was going through a political civil crisis that nearly destroyed the capital. War, death, terror were kings at the time caused by politics . It lasted about a month or two before it came back to some level of stability . As strange as it may seem, I started to love my country after that war. It was maybe the spirit of togetherness or the ability to rebuild that seduced me but I felt safe again. I interacted with more people , learned to adapt to the cultural differences and be a citizen to my own country.
Until I met a woman. Her name is not that important. She made me realize what was missing inside me. My African heritage. She had a way of expressing and embodying the whole African heritage in a divine fashion. But realizing that hole in my life I felt empty because I was illiterate when it came to African culture. And I was miserable. I did not know the history before and after colonization, the artifacts, the languages, the meaning of facts and gestures, the importance of cloths and so on. And it is then that I started to learn more about my country and my culture in any way possible. Reading, documentaries, films ect. But that still wasn't enough, so much to take in, so many directions. It's in the spring of 2017 that I met the one who did not only show me the light but gave me a path or at least a good place to start. Another African woman Dr Ichilé who taught a course on African women and the diaspora. I was thrown off by her appearance when she walked in class wearing African waist beads above her long skirt, short stylish hair and many features. What was most mesmerizing was how she was teaching the course. Full of life, vivid and knowledgeable. Her teachings on the African body and black women in the media is what showed me that black women needed to be loved by black men and vice versa. But that love was polluted and destroyed with slavery and colonization. Black love was lost and black beauty was damaged. As a photographer I knew then that it was my mission to revive and worship black women with their power and beauty. I cannot help everyone and not everyone wants to be helped . After that class I found myself being attracted only to African women but not any. only those who embodied and expressed the African culture. I knew what I liked in a woman. I want to see my culture in women so i can learn to develop it also within me. I want through the woman to feel closer my origins, more than a reflection a perfection facing me. Someone I can rub shoulders, socialize, love and even marry.
There is an essence to being African whether it is from the mother continent of Africa , America and the islands. The colors, the music, the languages, the aesthetic, the philosophy, the care, the passion.
I love my culture because it is the root of my ancestors, I love my country because i found a home and a refuge, I love my beliefs because they gave me comfort. African women to my eyes are those who embody and preserve the African heritage. They build, they create, they protect. My teachers, my mothers, my queens and my goddesses. I love, pray and worship African women. Light skin, dark skin, albino, mixed, they are all beautiful African women. The media may try to deceive me and people may try to pollute that love. for me, loving our women is the best way to love our culture and heritage. When I kiss an African woman I kiss my country, my nation, my culture, my past, my present, my future.
The strong loving educated African women and the diaspora everywhere, I love you.