RUIN: A PHOENIX ARISES (a pictomap of womanhood)
Thou shalt not hurt or publicly display rage, pain, shame, loss, filth or any form of brokenness.
Thou shalt despise correction and never seek help.
Thou shalt keep your face in the Strong Black Woman sunshine until it burns you to a crisp.
RUIN: A WOMAN IN HER PRIME (a pictomap of womanhood)Thou shalt BE.
Be intelligent (but non-threateningly). Be sexy (but don’t show it off like a ho). Be ambitious (but not aggressive). Be curious (but don’t nag). Be firm (but not a bitch). Be a giver (but don’t cling). Be a great parent, daughter, friend, neighbor. Be a bawse. Be rich (by magic). Be a great partner by never asking for anything you want directly. Be knowledgeable of everything under God’s sun.
BUT NOT ALL AT ONCE. NEVER SHOW OR BE AWARE OF ALL YOUR POWER. Don’t be kind and good; be “humble”.
Never get tired. Ever. Always prostrate yourself to give and forgive.
RUIN: ASCENDANT (a pictomap of womanhood)
Thou shalt allow others to define how strong, sane and sapient you are.
Allow every hardship to break and reshape you. Never be proud of crafting your fears and weaknesses into strengths.
RUIN: SCION (a pictomap of womanhood)
[If thou so chooseth]: Thou shalt have a close encounter of the 4th kind with at least one of your ova. It’s worth it 💚💛💜❤🌺🌻🌺💙🏵.
PS. Make it accidental, to maximise the horror and comedic effect.
SUPERWEAPON ( a pictomap of womanhood)
Damn all the advice to hell. You were there alone; you built the only map out.
Assemble all your broken pieces and create anew. Be your ancestors’ wildest dreams and deepest nightmares.
I LOVE YOU, HJG. God continue to bless you and entertain your madness. 💛💚💜💙💜❤🌻🌺🏵👑
Hawa Jande Golakai was born in Germany and hails from Liberia, where she spent a lively childhood before the 1990 civil war erupted. She writes crime, speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, magical realism) and is in an unhealthy relationship with all twisted tales. A medical immunologist by training, she now works as a literary judge, creative consultant and educator. Golakai is on the Africa39 list of most promising sub-Saharan African writers under the age of 40. She is the winner of the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for nonfiction, longlisted for the 2019 NOMMO Award for speculative fiction and nominated three times for fiction. In addition to two novels, her articles and short stories have featured in BBC, Granta, Omenana, Cassava Republic, Myriad Editions and other publications. Currently, she lives in Monrovia with her son and too many chickens.
Photo Credit: Kanda V. Golakai