Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Profiling Lua Nsume Davis, #babishai2015shortlist from Cameroon


  22-year-old Lua Nsume Davis was born to Cameroonian and Canadian parents in South Florida. Currently attaining her bachelors in psychology, she plans to eventually receive her PHD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with research interests in gender, race, sexuality, and disability based workplace marginalization.
Upon her first communion with a pencil, Lua fell in love with how words could transcribe feelings. Although she had the courage of a mouse, this gave her the liberty to speak up. From age 5 to 16, she entered and placed in many local poetry and prose competitions. And after a long hiatus from writing, she has fallen in love again.
My hair Is. is a tribute to African identity in America. It exemplifies how the sole act of displaying ones African Hair, in the myriad of styles it backs, is an act of solidarity.  It is the hair of people who have done great things with little recognition, and she is glad that it connects her to Africa in ways deeper than blood. She believes that wearing her hair proudly combats the same Eurocentric beauty standards that have suppressed people of color. 

Her shortlisted poem is below.
    My Hair Is     By Lua Davis (Cameroon)
                                           My hair is loud!
                Like the ricochet of voices rumbling
              down the streets of Washington, D.C.                                 ,,
              during the march of 1963. It yells: “Here I am! Here I am!” Even in silence.
          My hair is triumphant. Like the exultant echo of my mother’s footsteps as
         she glided across that stage to embrace the diploma of a first generation
       graduate. It dances to the discord of discrimination, never forgetting that
      a symphony is only made with patient persistence. My hair isresilient. Like
      the Cameroonian women of my family who toiled selling granuts &palm oil
      on the red-clay-soil roadside to ensure that their brothers received education:
      women who, despite being regarded 2nd, still moved mountains for themselves
    and their kin. It revolutionarily recoils at the oppositional pull of adversity in order        to
    revisit the importance of its roots. My hair is poetic. Like songs loftily uplifted bymy
    Bakossi people to heaven during prayer. Each strand is the stanza of a love poem to
                 God. My hair is proud. Like the coalition of kings and queens crowned with the
         curls of their           ancestors---whose hair continues to bloom in spite of
    the cumbrances of oppression. It blossoms
    in common accord with allied heritage
    preservation. My hair is intricate. Like
    the diverse cloths that kiss the skin
    of my African brothers and sisters.
    It harbors clusters of contrasting
    curl patterns: each beautiful in
    its textured diversity. My hair
    is a thank you note to the soil
    from which we leapt, to sun--
    kissed mothers plaiting their
    childrens’ ulotrichous locks,
    to the men and women
    with raised voices and
    elevated signs, protest-
    ing in Ferguson, MO,
    to the parents who
    tell their dark-skin
    babies, “You are
    more than the
    world says
    you are.”
    My hair
Our Poetry festival takes place from 26 to 28 August at The Uganda Museum. We'll be launching Poetry on The Mountain, an excursion of poetry on one of Uganda's mountain ranges and Boda Boda Anthem, the Kampala Poetry Anthology.

The winner will be announced on Friday 28 August at The Uganda Museum main hall.
Contact: bnpoetryaward@bnpoetryaward.co.ug
Tel:   +256 751 703226
Twiter @BNPoetryAward

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