Life and healing

I find it surprisingly hard to write about myself, to tell others about my life, even though I am a storyteller.

A black woman is shown in low lighting, her face and upper body a shadow. She looks off to the side, away from the camera.
A black woman is shown in low lighting, her face and upper body a shadow. She looks off to the side, away from the camera.
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

I am a writer, poet, actress and theatre-maker. All of those titles share a little bit about me, and they are all to do with telling a story. So even now, I sit here wondering why I struggle to tell my own story.

I could be stereotypical. I was born in the late 90s in Nigeria. My loved ones called me Juwon, short for my full name Oluwajuwonlo. My family moved to England when I was young, and I was thrown into a completely different culture. Shock doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was no longer the ‘loud one’…

Life with COVID-19

It has been nearly a year of crisis and we are all exhausted, so let’s stop pretending.

Line at a Covid testing centre
Line at a Covid testing centre
Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

Almost a year after COVID-19 was discovered, most countries are still in recovery. Although people predicted that supposed “Western superpowers” such as the US and UK would be prepared for a pandemic, it turns out we were not. While some countries are firmly in the recovery process of the pandemic, like New Zealand, others like the UK are experiencing another national lockdown. That is to say, things are absolutely bizzaro messed up! Our world is a mess! Gyms are claiming they are an essential business, Boris Johnson is PM, and NHS workers reward for working a pandemic was a round…

The ‘Perfect Rape Victim’ Myth

During the #MeToo movement, started by Tarana Burke, the set of rules for survivors of sexual harassment couldn’t be clearer. Unfortunately, as is often the case in Western societies, black women struggle significantly to meet these rules society creates for acceptance.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mateus Souza from Pexels

Rape is a subject that people simply don’t want to talk about. Even when writing about my own experiences, I feel uncomfortable, as if I am breaking some sort of taboo. In a way I am, looking at the ways in which we discuss rape victims it is clear there is a certain way that we expect them to act. During the #MeToo movement, started by Tarana Burke, the set of rules for survivors of sexual harassment couldn’t be clearer.

  1. They need to realise that they were assaulted immediately and head straight to the police. Otherwise, why bring it up…

Healing yourself

“Call the police you think they’ll believe? A nigger or me?”

A Person holds a sign reading “racism is a virus”. They are wearing a black hoodie and look to be attending a protest.
A Person holds a sign reading “racism is a virus”. They are wearing a black hoodie and look to be attending a protest.
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

Hello Liam, I doubt you were expecting to hear from me.

I mean, how likely is it that you stumble upon an article written by one of the victims of your homophobic and racist hate crime? Not that likely, I guess. I mean the chances are you’ll never see this article. But that’s okay because this is mostly for me. My personal experiences of racism are too many to count unfortunately, I don’t really think there is a day in my life since I moved to England that I did not experience racism in some way, whether it was directed towards me, a friend or via the news. …

Entertainment

Despite having the opportunity to discuss nuanced issues to do with race, gender and sexuality, Netflix’s show drops the ball entirely.

Image for post
Image for post
Promo imagery for Behind Her Eyes provided by BT

Spoiler alert: This article discusses in detail the ending of the show Behind Her Eyes.

Netflix recently released its supernatural psychological thriller series Behind Her Eyes. The series focuses on Louise (played by Simona Brown), who is a single mother working as a secretary. One night after her friend ditches her at a bar, she meets David (played by Tom Bateman), and they have an immediate connection. Unfortunately, she discovers the next day that he is her new boss. And he is married. She meets his wife Adele (played by Eve Hewson) and amazingly forms a great connection with her…

Life and healing

4 months after being raped I am still struggling to find closure. Here’s my advice for those feeling the same.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

In October, an ex of mine had sex with me without my consent. Afterwards, when I approached them explaining how violated I felt, they told me I was wrong and accused me of trying to ‘ruin’ them. Despite having a black belt they created a narrative of being afraid of me that relied on misogynoir and painting me as an angry black woman. After launching a uni investigation that was mishandled at every turn and incredibly traumatic for me, I was told that there wasn’t enough evidence to go further. My rapist then used this outcome to tell people I…

Politics and Race

The last year has been incredibly hard for me and many black people. I have felt so many emotions: Rage and anguish and sadness and frustration.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

One of the most frustrating things that I found is the fact that people keep on telling me that racism doesn’t exist as much in the UK or that things are much better off here. As a black person, I know that racism exists in the UK and it is not any better.

I came to the UK when I was very little but even from there, I have experience racism almost constantly. There are so many things that I could talk about in this article. I could talk about when I was in year nine and a guy came…

Religion and spirituality

A poem about my struggle to reconcile my sexuality with my evangelical Christian upbringing

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned

I have dreamed of doing more than just living to serve you.

I have loved the sin and the loved sinner

I did not hate her touch or her tender kiss.

I know I said last time was the last time, I know I made a covenant with you, but I know my lies never convinced you. I believed them, but not for long.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned

I have welcomed those you cast out with open arms, cradling them to my breast. Fed them with the fruits of your labour, I have bathed them in love…

Writing and publishing

Self-publishing can seem elusive but it is easier than you think, so here is how to kickstart your publishing journey

Earlier this month I self-published my own playscript: We’re Here for Laura. I originally decided to publish the play as it was the first play I wrote and put on stage twice. It is a comedy about 4 horrible friends and the cast was amazingly funny. I’ve been preparing to self publish it for a year and a half but the day it went live I was still nervous. …

Love and Poetry

A poem about falling in true love with a girl who changed my life.

I once met a girl who loved with all her heart.

Who loved readily and boldly no matter what.

A girl who wasn’t afraid to yell her trauma because she had spent far too long silenced.

A girl who challenged me in the best and worst ways.

I once met a girl who prayed in Shakespeare’s sonnets, begging Hermes to remove her anxiety.

A girl who was so sad you could paint her life in blue, or you could paint it as she told it, in all the shades of the rainbow.

A girl who even when she was down had the most beautiful hues you had ever seen, not because…

Luwa Adebanjo

A writer, actress and theatre maker from the UK. Obsessed with musical theatre and chocolate cereal.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store