Here is an awesome review of Wabona favourite, Neria. Neria is a story of a woman caught at the cross roads of traditional Zimbabwean culture and a rapidly modernising urban Zimbabwe.
This is the second blog post in a Blog Series called Mafuta Vibes.
Are we like the Klumps?
Later that night, after al the drama with parents, I was still very confused. I was not really sure why my parents reacted in the way they did. I only remember my mom crying when her sister died when I was 5. She was always really strong and laid back, nothing phased her even when my sister was in hospital for 3 months with meningitis. So why did she cry today about something that was seemingly harmless? It was just a question from a rude girl. It was just very strange.
A few weeks after the “are you allowed to be fat” incident, my dad recommended that we watch Nutty Professor and Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps. I must say at the time I didn’t know why my dad made us watch these films but in hindsight I think my dad was still dealing with that incident. I had moved on, well I thought I had. During these funny films I asked my sister, are we the like the Klumps? She was horrified at the question and she said oh no we are not. Then I asked my brother who laughed and said we can’t be as dad is too thin to be a Klump. We all laughed but still I was confused. When I was young(er) my older sister was or still is my hero, when we are not fighting. She was so cool as all teenagers were to me but she was the coolest. Like mom, she was very confident, funny, loud and proud. But that night I saw a different side of her. I asked her again when we were about to go to bed. “Are we like the Klumps?” I expanded my question “Tumi, mom says you and Morena are fat as am I and mom. So are we like the Klumps, right?” She got angry with and said “we are not like the Klumps, we are not fat, yes we have heavy bones but we are no different to anyone and we most certainly not like the Klumps!”
Before I could ask anymore question she ran off to her room. In her defence she was 16 and having been 16 for a few months now, I understand why she would be irritated with me. Nevertheless I was still struggling with this questions “Are we allowed to be fat and are we the Klumps?” Crazy questions they were but they rolled around at the back of my head. The Klumps were a family of very crazy people who happened to be fat but as a young girl I couldn’t make the distinction. And I maybe that’s why my sister got angry with me.
I’m older-ish and much wiser, you you are reading right, wiser, and all I can say that episode of my life was not that traumatic, just very confusing. We are not like the Klumps and fat families are not all like the Klumps but it was an interesting experience to see how Hollywood looks at fat people or fat families. I think I will get into Hollywood and Fat people in a future blog. I think today I kinda get why my mom cried that day and why it was so serious. The reality is that being fat may not be a right in today’s world. With all the anti-obesity campaigns, all those thin, non-curvy girls on TV, in the magazines and in the film, sometimes is hard to accept yourself with everyone telling you there is something wrong with you.
There is a sense that being big, chubby, overweight, big boned and such you are pretty strange or not allowed. This may all be in my head but growing up as a fat girl has had its internal and external issues. Shopping at times feels like a trial as you need have to find clothes that fit but that doesn’t make you look fat, but shit I’m FAT! How will clothes hide my hips or my big chest? Going out with friends can be a nightmare as I have to try out these so called non-fat-looking clothes for 30 minutes to get the ‘right fit’. Clearly I am insecure about my body, sometimes I hate it, sometimes I love it, sometimes I kinda like it. But who isn’t? Thin girls have issues too, I see it at school.
The crazy thing is that my family is full of fat people. My dad is not that big but my mom and her family are big. There is a sense of pride in their sizes but I think they still have some of my struggles. I remember during one of my countless diets my grandma asked why do you try so hard to remould your body? Is it not a gift from God that you should love and cherish, she asked. I was stumped. I was spending so much time trying so hard to be a slim girl forgetting that I was allowed to be fat.
I am not really sure if I am allowed to be fat, its hard being fat but it’s all I know at times. Does it define me, I don’t think so and should it define me, I don’t think so. But every day is a struggle. I am more than I look but that’s the first thing people see, especially boys. Oh! Boys that’s for a whole other blog post, suffice to say in South Africa big girls have their fair share of fun.
Every day I ask myself am I allowed to be fat?
These are my Mafuta Vibes
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