When I started writing, whether personal poetry or blogs, I really never questioned the why beyond “I loved it”. However, the more I talked to people that pushed me to think beyond that, the more I realized a thing or two. Most times, I had a new reason as to why I wrote but one thing remained consistent- my younger sister. If you’ve talked to me or attended a talk I did, you probably already know this. I believe my younger sister deserves to know the plurality of Afrikan Girlhood, she deserves to know her history, her power and to learn how to celebrate herself and other sisters. She is the younger me I always say I do what I do for.
It was amazing when I was able to experience the relationship between Kanyana (who did the first interview of the series) and her 16-year old radiant sister Kakazi. When asked what her hobbies were, Kakazi said, “laughing, making people laugh, exploring the internet and MY SISTER.” I personally think sisterhood is survival and existence for Black girls. So I was happy to catch Kakazi and talk about her radiant lifestyle as a carefree Black Girl.
What does being carefree mean to you? And why do you or don’t you think it is important as an Afrikan young woman?
It means having freedom of all manners because the people and things in my life are not only good to me but also good for me. Being carefree means trusting that my curated environment has my best interest at heart.
Being carefree is important as a young Afrikan woman because it gives you so much authority over your own life. It’s very difficult to be an individual, when as a woman the world has only validated you in relation to someone else and when as an Afrikan your identity is synonymous with stigma, and as a ‘youngin’ you’re still trying to grow and figure everything out.
It’s always a plus when doing the bare minimum by living your best life is a form of rebellion to all the people and systems that would love to see you fail.
In what ways do you practice being carefree?
Primarily through laughter. Nothing clears my mind like a smile or better yet a laugh, especially someone else’s. It’s an honest display of life’s most pleasant feeling.
Through self expression. Mostly through my hair and the way I dress. A pink head of hair or sequined pants. Whatever reflects the mood I’m in.
I also practice carefreedom by being my own greatest critic.
Being carefree doesn’t mean that you can’t be bothered with the not so carefree world around you. You have to be able to check yourself time and time again in order to stay carefree.
And lastly, but most importantly, Self Love.
Tell us about the journey that led you to being carefree.
It all started like all good things start, during puberty. I had issues with self esteem – my growing body – and I felt really lonely at the time. I remember being very sad looking in the mirror one day, and asking, “What do I like about me?”
I decided I liked my hair and that made me smile. I decided I liked the way I spoke, and I liked the way I gave hugs.
Slowly by slowly, I just really started loving who I was. I made the choice, and I found so much truth, confidence and freedom in self love.
I love that so much. Knowing where you are right now, what would you tell the younger you that started off struggling?
There is nothing you will fail to accomplish if you just play to your passion.
It’s only human to be afraid and uncertain, but you have to overcome that because there is an even better version of yourself on the other side.
Love the people around you more. No one will love you as much as your mother, and no one will love you the way your sister does. You need to be kinder and more caring towards those and more because those relationships hold the best feelings you’ll ever experience. Practice and cherish empathy because it’s your greatest strength.
Love yourself. Please. Start. Soon.
Now, I know that you know that I know that you are a vegan. An Afrikan vegan for that matter. So hard to come by. Tell us about it.
I’ve always been a picky eater and when I moved to America, I was almost afraid of the way food is prepared. The “medium rare”/undercooked meats, the absurd amounts of cheese, and the overall foreign palate did not interest me. I saw being vegan as a means to eating the same wonderful rice, beans and avocado I grew up on. I tend to like vegan food if I prepare it myself, but I spent most of my time at school where I had to eat what was served up. I discovered I didn’t like tofu unless it was deep fried, and I lived off variations of mushrooms. My vegan life has felt more limiting, than freeing and I think I may be stopping soon.
I will still choose to eat food that is better for my body, but I want to have the choice to eat or not to eat whatever I please.
Earlier on you mentioned your sister, would you please tell us about your relationship with her and whether it has contributed to your carefree-dom?
She is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I always think that no one loves me the way she does. Growing up, my sister and I weren’t nearly as close as we are today. When she went off to college, we grew even further apart than the 8 year age gap had previously pushed us. It wasn’t until she came back home, and I had grown up a little bit more that we became the best of friends. She had practically raised me so she saw right through me, therefore she always expected the best version of me.
In her, I saw the chance to be completely honest, and fully dependent on someone else and I wasn’t afraid to completely be myself around her. I learned unconditional love. Every good thing that happens in our lives, we hurry to share. Every bad thing that happens, we are quick to console. Every boring, mediocre, or uneventful day is just an opportunity to be with each other. My sister taught me to be carefree because she was the first person who honestly asked me to just be myself.
Featured Video for today’s Carefree Black Girl session, the original Black Girl Anthem India. Arie: Video