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.

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

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.

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.

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. …


Rape culture

Minaj and Petty have been attempting to use their power and wealth to silence Jennifer, a form of abuse that rape victims often face

Kenneth Petty and Nicki Minaj attend Church On Sundays Hosted By Nicki Minaj And Phil The Mayor And DJ Clues Birthday Party at The Argyle on Feb. 8, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif.
Kenneth Petty and Nicki Minaj attend Church On Sundays Hosted By Nicki Minaj And Phil The Mayor And DJ Clues Birthday Party at The Argyle on Feb. 8, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif.

There has been much controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj’s decision to defend her husband Kenneth Petty against criticism. Petty was convicted in 1995 of one count of attempted rape in the first degree, assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon. The problem here isn’t Petty’s criminal history, but Minaj’s insistence on defending him by harassing, threatening, and defaming Jennifer, on her YouTube channel. In 2018 in the comments of one of her Instagram posts, Nicki said,

“He was 15, she was 16…in a relationship. But go awf, internet, y’all can’t run…


Racism

An article I cannot believe I have to write.

The amount of racism in the British press this week has been incredible. What’s even more astounding is the number of people acting shocked, as if this is not business as usual in the UK. Racism and colourism have a long history in the UK and it is an ignorant and disingenuous position to claim that whoever asked about Archie’s skin colour wasn’t in the wrong.

BME experience racism and we know how to spot it. …


Rape Culture.

It is beyond time for Hollywood to retire these harmful stereotypes about male survivors.

This article contains spoilers for the film Coming 2 America

I normally shy away from reviewing anything I dislike, out of respect to its creator. I am an artist myself and I know how heartbreaking it is to work so hard on something only to get unhelpful criticism, but I am making an exception for Coming 2 America. Words cannot express how disappointed I was with this movie. The original movie Coming to America has a special place in my heart, and it's one of the only movies my whole family will happily watch together and the film is in…


Anti-racism

No excuses! Time to get radicalised

The last year has been incredibly hard for me and many black people, and I have been asked many times by white allies how they can start unlearning racism. The problem is going to your one black friend to ask them to teach you to not be racist isn’t the supportive move you think it is. There are many pieces of media and literature that can help you begin your journey of anti-racism. It is incredibly hard to talk about racism and our experiences and it isn’t always the best way to understand institutional racism. So I went and scoured…


Healthcare and Politics

An interview with Candice Starling

Britain and Cuba both have nationalised healthcare systems, yet one of the richest countries in the world has over 100,000 Covid deaths, whereas Cuba has only 250.

Candice Starling is an activist and socialist who has written and given speeches on the failings of the British Government during the Covid-19 crisis.

Last week, I had a (virtual) sit down with her to discuss what we can learn from Cuba’s handling of the crisis. Candice is one of those people who are effortlessly memorable, and during our Zoom call, she comes off as incredibly passionate and driven. She is someone I have wanted to do an interview with for ages, I have been interested in writing about and activist's point of view on the pandemic…


Entertainment

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

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…

Luwa Adebanjo

A writer, actress and theatre-maker from the UK. Self-Published author and Editor-in-Chief for @shout-out-loud. More info: linktr.ee/LuwaAdebanjo

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