Who? Me?

Me? I’ve been trying to do cool things this year. One of them is joining the Afrideom for a nice little film project (watch the space). As part of our promo, each of us was asked

What is your voice as a filmmaker?

I said that mine was building confidence for girls and women. Why such a lame generic voice, Sama? Because with the new wave of feminism, we have been let into spaces but we still don’t believe we can fill them in. I might as well have been answering the question

Are you afraid?

If I had a mantra, like every good twenty-something-year-old girl with an active Instagram account probably does (we’re mindful these days, you know), it would probably be ‘Who? Me?’.

‘You did a good job!’ ‘Who? Me?’ ‘Your hair is nice’ ‘Who? Me?’ ‘We’ve chosen you to be a part of this cool new thing?’ ‘Who? Me?’ See, its hard to pat yourself on the back when you feel like you’ve been frauding your way through life.

But you’re not a fraud…?

2020 was nasty, and so we knew 2021 had to be better. For me, part of doing better was reviving my dead blog. The plan was one piece a week, but here I am, 3 weeks later and nothing to show for myself. And then I saw the cartoon at the end of this and knew it was time to call myself out in front of you good folks. And because someone that thinks about me a lot sent me this.

Chaotic.

I am entirely chaotic. I’d like to be one of those quiet, beautiful girls that have everything in order, but my afro can never stay combed and some days, my knees are ashy. I might fry you an egg with a tiny little piece of shell in it too. Soon, I’ll be 24 (and will vent about that too lmao) and on the outside, I’ll pass for one. I’ve got wipes and lip gloss in my handbag and savings in my bank account. But I cannot, for the life of me, answer the question

Who are you?

And this, folks, is after 23 and a half years of literally being me. Because how do you one sentence to label one person? I’m Sama. I’m the one that drew that thing on the walls at school. I’m a former biology student. I’m the one that called you last week. I’m someone’s mother and I don’t even know it yet. So many labels and I‘m afraid that if I say them out loud, I will have to stick to just one.

So, what’s your voice as a filmmaker?

And we start at one.

I’ve had a job for a year now, and every day that something doesn’t go perfectly well I go to bed feeling like I’ve failed myself and my team. And if you know how work goes, that 2 out of 5 days, maybe even more. 

And when not everything is perfect, I will start to think that I’m not perfect. That I don’t have all the answers. That I’m not as good at being a developer like I thought I was.

And then it escalates

Into me not being good enough for the job. And me not learning enough, working hard enough, not being smart enough. So I don’t deserve the job. I should be fired. OMG am I going to be fired? Dammit, I’m losing my job. Hey Joanna, how do people get fired? I’ve failed my siblings. I won’t get to see the ocean. I won’t afford to make that podcast. And it goes on and on and ends with me crying myself to sleep a few days in the month.

Until I hear, ‘You’re doing really well!’ To which I’ll answer

Who? Me?

And we will be here until I believe that for everything I am handed, I have earned and deserve.