Beyond A TV Series, There Cannot Be More Than One Black Person In Many Establishments Abroad

On Being Mary Jane…

Ronda Sales, black woman, refuses to let Mary Jane Paul, black woman, rise in the industry.

Ronda would rather vote for the ascent of any other woman of any other race.

I hear it is an African American thing.

“There can only be one black woman in the office”.
I had some kind of opening, an opportunity last year to build a media career in New York. Faintly so, but an opening nonetheless. If I had pursued it as passionately as I pursue my goals in Nigeria, maybe…

But America isn't built for me. Or my race.

I love New York! But I was certain America will not be willing to pay me as much as Nigeria does.

I am a black woman. African. With an accent. Trying to walk and work my way through a system created for a race other than mine.

An accent that would require “I beg your pardon” a million times a day for comprehension. Then I’d have to trade my identity at some point; the start of a process downhill where I either sound like an idiot to get rid of my Nigerian accent or lose my melanin along the way.

Nigeria annoys me. But Nigeria is that itch on your leg that is a sign of decay still you love to rub on it, until it is red and round and in need of surgery.

Nigeria has shown me great kindness, but Nigeria is a sore.

And this is where it gets really frustrating for the Nigerian career person.

America isn’t going to choose you over the Caucasian blonde or Australian hunk, most of the time… your roles are limited. Yet Nigeria has very few opportunities for its vast numbers because of decayed infrastructure.

Beyond a TV series, there cannot be more than one black person in many establishments abroad. One nappy hair here, one black head there. And that’s about enough! The rest of you, go to BET.

So there’s intense pressure to occupy that one seat designated to your race.

Nigeria looks like something without a future. You are caught between leaving an editorial seat in your country, for instance, to run internship abroad. Yet you have no future abroad, not with the fierce racial inequity.

Na wa. Just thinking out loud as I leave the office.
By the way, if you are a black woman running the career race, why are you not watching Being Mary Jane??? 

Written By Joy Isi Bewaji
Previous Post Next Post