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How I Found Empowerment in Unspeakably Horrible Sex

Society expects women to be non-interfering bystanders during sex. I refuse to be quiet.

Picture this: I have just spent over an hour in the shower eliminating every hair on my body. Despite the many nicks caused by my Schick blade and the mild Veet burns, I forge on in my quest for silky smooth skin. Moments later I am out of the shower and rummaging through my cupboard for my "sexy" underwear—no granny panties tonight. I lotion up and generously spray myself with my favourite perfume. I slip into a cute little dress I know will be equally easy to slip out of.


Fast-forward to my eight o'clock rendezvous and I wish I hadn't gone through the trouble of all that preparation. I have just had the shortest and most lacklustre sex of my life. I feel robbed—cheated even. I just want to take my sex back, fam. You ever feel like that? To add fuel to the fire, my lover seems enthusiastic about yet another round and is preparing for just that. At this moment, I quickly dress myself without uttering a word to him. I grab my keys and announce that I'm leaving and that this is not what I came for. And with that, I'm gone.

Sex is probably one of the most talked about topics there is. In fact, last year I wrote an article that spoke of my terrible sexual encounters with African men in particular. As you can imagine, it sparked a lot of debate, laughter and even anger. While that article focused on the failings of African men in satisfying us as African women, what it didn't highlight was how that same dissatisfying sex proved the most empowering for me.

A few months back, the above scenario would have played out very differently. I would have entertained this lover and reluctantly agreed to a second round of what I knew wouldn't be much better—my various attempts to guide the process ignored. I would have pretended that sex with him was somehow amazing. I would have spent the night, leaving in the morning with the promises to hook up again but with absolutely no intention of doing so. But why, you ask?

I've learned to stop dead in the middle of sex and convey that I'm just not feeling it.

In the beginning, when sex was still a new experience, I, like so many other women put up with a lot of the bad to get to the good. You know, going through the rain to get the rainbow? Wild, I know. However, if you're like me, you've only had the bad thus far with no sight of the good. And so you learn to make the most of it. You take the lessons wherever they present themselves. And that's what I've learned to do. I've gone from being timid, apprehensive and submissive to being vocal about what it is I want and don't want sexually. I've learned to stop dead in the middle of sex and convey that I'm just not feeling it. I don't care about blue balls—they're a myth—and I will be going home now. I have learned to stand firm in the face of both aggressive and sweet-talking lovers who won't accept my decision to leave.

Sure I want good sex—scratch that, I want great sex. And of course I want the elusive "Big O," what woman doesn't? Feeling empowered by sex for me is in not an acceptance of bad sex but rather an acknowledgement that without it and its repeated encounters, I would never have found the courage to finally call out bad sex for what it is—bad sex. Were it not for these experiences, I would never have built up the nerve to tell a man to his face that what he considered magical was no such thing. I've cast aside my conditioned desire to soothe and protect the male ego—even under false pretenses.

Toxic masculinity expects us to be non-interfering bystanders during sex or at the very most, quiet participants.

As horrible, frustrating and sometimes maddening as most of my sexual encounters have been, hindsight has shown me that I have stretched (no pun intended) and grown to become more assertive and independent in a space where women are traditionally taught to be quiet and demure. Toxic masculinity expects us to be non-interfering bystanders during sex or at the very most, quiet participants. I have learnt to wholly reject that narrative and hope that so many other women will do the same.

And so to all my lovers: for your weird references to sex while we're having sex, for your amateur attempts at foreplay, for your ignorance of my female form and less than impressive set of 'skills'— you need to do better. And just because I've managed to turn our horrible experiences into a glorious moment of learning and evolution, you are not exonerated. No beloved, the credit goes to me.

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Ethiopia's New Cabinet is Made Up of 50 Percent Women

The move is the latest sweeping change made under "reformist" Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's leadership.

In an unprecedented move towards gender inclusion within the Ethiopian government, the country's lawmakers have announced a new cabinet made up by 50 percent women.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed—who has been described as a reformist, due to landmark changes that have occurred under his leadership—made the announcement on Tuesday. "Our women ministers will disprove the old adage that women can't lead," he said in Parliament. "This decision is the first in the history of Ethiopia and probably in Africa."

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Op-Ed: Kanye West In Africa Is Music Marketing At Its Worst

Scream all you want. Feel the euphoria of Kanye moving to our drums, but don't forget he's here for marketing.

One of the most interesting parts of the music industry is the marketing of an album. In developed music markets, accomplished professionals and creatives sit in a room and decide how best they want to sell the music. It's the norm. Many people deliberate and develop a roll-out plan that is improved until it's perfect for execution.

When JAY-Z rented out billboards for 4:44, with everyone wondering what it meant around the world, that is marketing. Mr Eazi drawing a towering mural of himself and Giggs in London, was another marketing tactic to push his single "London Town." Falz created an entire movement filled with conventionally attractive men, and named it the 'Sweet Boys Association,' because he had a single that needed to be sold to fans. Perhaps, what takes the cake in the world of African music marketing is one crazy move by a little known Nigerian artist named Skibii. You see, this guy died and rose again from the dead, just like sweet biblical adult Jesus. He had a single somewhere that needed the attention. Death and resurrection was his thing.

Kanye West is in Africa for marketing. The US rap superstar is holed up at the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, surrounded by his friends, colleagues and family. He is here because he has an album to release named Yandhi, and somehow, he found his way to the Motherland, where's he's built two outdoor domes, as his working studio. He isn't working from inside a house like a mere mortal. He's in the wild, connecting to Mother Nature and nourishing foliage. This is Africa, Kanye West is an African-American. His ancestors came from this part of the world. He has a claim to this soil.

Kanye West was supposed to drop his ninth studio album on Saturday, September 29. After two days of waiting, three Saturday Night Live performances, one tweet from Kim Kardashian-West and an appearance on TMZ Live, Yandhi was pushed back to Black Friday, November 23. West admitted that he "didn't finish" the album in time, and a member of his management staff suggested pushing the release back.

"I started incorporating sounds that you never heard before and pushing and having concepts that people don't talk about," West said. "We have concepts talking about body-shaming and women being looked down upon for how many people that they slept with. It's just a full Ye album and those five albums I dropped earlier were like superhero rehabilitation and now the alien Ye is fully back in mode… We're going to Africa in two weeks to record. I felt this energy when I was in Chicago. I felt the roots. We have to go to what is known as Africa."

In Africa, Kanye West hasn't laid low. Photos from his arrival hit the internet, and somehow, he was filmed listening, dancing and vibing to African music. Those songs include Mystro's "Immediately," and Burna Boy's "Ye." The videos have gone viral, Africans are wowed by Kanye's interaction with their music, reactions and takes, Africa is moved by Kanye West interacting with our music. Somehow, I used to think we are over this type of event. The event where an an American superstar, who has a huge fan base in Africa, dances to our music, and we lose it. But I was wrong. This content format still has power.

Scream all you want. Feel the euphoria of Kanye moving to our drums, but don't forget he's here for marketing. His album is about to drop, and he's publicly alerted the world that he needs to be in Africa and its strong cultural influence to complete the project. Everyone is watching, the conversation has global traction, and Africans are supporting him. Since Kanye got heat for his infamous "Slavery was a choice," comment, I knew Africa will become a part of that story. The past week has seen him visit President Donald Trump at the white house, and further moved away from the love of his African-American base in the US. Black people are not behind Kanye West right now. The media is tearing him to shreds. Celebrities are in a social media race to dissociate themselves from him. Many fans aren't proud of their icon. But he is in the Motherland, dancing to its native music, and we can all cheer.

"I'm in Africa recording," he says in a 9 minute video on Twitter about mind control free thinking and his greatness. "We just took them to the future with the dome. The music is the best on the planet. I am the best living recording artist. We, rather, because the spirits flow through me. The spirit of Fela, the spirit of Marley, the spirit of Pac flows through me. We know who the best. We know."

On the surface, Africa appears to be a gimmick. A play by a great artist to expand the story of his album for marketing talking points. Yandhi is already anticipated, and generations after us will study his art and point to this project as the one where Africa played a direct role. This black continent is a marketing tool for Kanye. Son of Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti, has already disassociated Fela Kuti's spirit from Kanye's claims. "On behalf of the Kuti family, I want to state that the spirit of Olufela Anikulapo Kuti isn't anywhere near Kanye West," Seun announced on Instagram.

Perhaps marketing isn't Kanye's only reason for his African trip. Maybe, the world is too harsh on Kanye West and his new level of introspective vibrations. Maybe we aren't seeing the bigger picture. Oh gosh! We might all be victims of this grand mind control programme that West talks about! What if Kanye West is on these shores for some actual influence? Africa has a rich spectrum of sounds, laden with enough culture, soul and character to influence any type of music. From Cairo down to Lagos, there's enough music to add colour.

A clear way for justification of his African trip is perhaps for Kanye West to give back. He is connecting to the 'roots' after all. He is soaking in the energy for inspiration. Perhaps he might actually get to work with an African artist while on the continent. Already, Perhaps Africa's contributions to the project will be anchored by an African. Already, in his creative dome, Ugandan producer extraordinaire, Benon Mugumbya, has been pictured. If he gets some of that Yhandi shine, it wouldn't hurt.

Kanye officially has to be the first hip-hop star to make a trip to the continent for direct inspiration since Africa began to hug the spotlight as an interesting market for global music players. Recent years have witnessed the penetration of African music into global pop spaces. Africa has become the new cool. And as her sonic influence grows, more artists would continue to find new ways to interact. Kanye is making a splash with this. Perhaps, he will be the inspiration for more exchange between Africa and Europe.

Perhaps, his music isn't his true reason for this trip. Maybe Ye just wants to get away from the madness from the USA, and go find Wakanda. Maybe he will discover Ye-Kanda. Either way, only the final version of Yhandi will contain the answers that we seek, and Kanye West's true intention. For now, he is already winning. All those marketing points are already helping the project.

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Belgium's First Black Mayor Is a Congolese Immigrant

Pierre Kompany, who came to Belgium from the DRC as a refugee in 1975, was elected mayor of a Brussels borough this week.

Pierre Kompany, a Congolese immigrant and father of professional football players Vincent and Francois Kompany, has been elected mayor of the Ganshoren borough in Brussels, BBC reports.

This is a history-making moment, as this victory makes Kompany Belgium's first black mayor.

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