Outspoken- Salted Words By: Arogundade Oluwanifemi Olatundun

by Eden Benibo

We all have our

Our voices to speak

Messages to give 

Lives to change, people to teach 

Stories to tell, Melodies to sing 

But fear keeps us from what you should willingly bring

Seriously, so you mess up and you’ve messed up 

Guess what? you still live 

Courage is one thing we must acquire 

Let our voices be heard and not retire

We’ve been given this gift for a reason

A weapon to withstand the seasons 

Nifemi

  I wrote this poem a while back , I may  have tweaked it a little (to the OGs that may recognize it). I remember the feeling of satisfaction when I first wrote this poem(I know it’s no Shakespeare but I was like 11 when I wrote it , give me a break) I thought to myself “OUTSPOKEN?, ME? NIFEMI?

Growing up you see different qualities/ features in the girls around you and sometimes ( I know this isn’t a good thing but it’s a true thing) you start to compare yourself to them saying things like “How come when she does that hairstyle, her base glides gracefully on her face like a gazelle or swan and mine flies like a scared  bird ?, How come she doesn’t have acne on her face? How come boys are more into her? ( Please tell me , I’m not just projecting here).” Anyways like most teenage girls I had my fair share of insecurities but the one thing I was a  jealous of in my peers was the amount of CONFIDENCE they had, at least compared to mine.

Nifemi and award-winning writer, Chimamanda 

I was a terribly timid child, I say this all the time but I don’t think people really  understand the gravity of the situation. My first real prayer points were around the lines of ” Dear God, in school please don’t let Mrs……….. ask me any question in front of the class and I promise I’ll be of good behavior starting now, I’ll even let Taiwo be my friend “( Most times Taiwo and I ended up fighting almost immediately after the prayer, maybe that’s why my prayer didn’t get answered, I had no follow-through).

I remember my mom always saying to me things like “Be confident!,Say how really you feel!, Don’t  you know who’s you are ?,Don’t you know who you are? What’s the worst that could happen?”and like her saying  “Never go to an owambe with an empty stomach” she wasn’t wrong but it just wasn’t easy for me.

Hey, if you’ve read this far , we’re practically friends now, so I’ll let you in on a secret I’ve learnt over the years “Confidence comes easily for some lucky people, but for some of us it takes a little more practice and that’s fine ,we all have things as humans we should and can work on”. Like the legend Hannah Montana taught us “Nobody’s perfect”. I still have days I swallow my words and twiddle my thumbs but that’s no longer my basic instinct and that to me is progress. It also helps knowing and truly believing ” In Christ I can do all things” on the really bad days, Plus having people that believe your thoughts and opinions are valid and worth hearing.

I have to be honest at this point and say, I really don’t have any tips on how to be confident or more outspoken , “Who am I really but a 21 year old graduate that actually believes the reality tv show THE BACHELOR is actually about finding love and commitment ( I wonder who Colton will end up with?)” but I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite writers :Dorothy Parker, she said ” The first I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue” and I try to live by that . Each morning I say to myself “Today I will be confident”, “Today I believe that my opinions and words are valid” and hey what’s the worst that can happen?

P.s I do however understand being outspoken doesn’t equate to being confident and I am aware sometimes people talk a lot to cover up some underlining insecurities but hey that’s a topic for another day okay.

About the Author:
Nifemi is a graduate of Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG). She best describes herself as “Quirky with a lot of spirit.” Need we forget to add that Nifemi is a twin, who believes in the gift of an individual uniqueness, regardless.
The art of writing to Nifemi has been her greatest channel of expression.
With this, we look forward to seeing the world dance to the melodies of her art, soon!

To read more of her works,
Kindly visit her personal blog at: https://thingsishouldreallysayoutloud.wordpress.com

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2 comments

Nifemi November 22, 2019 - 3:45 pm

Thank you Eden ♥️ You’re a real one!🙌

Reply
Eden Benibo November 22, 2019 - 3:48 pm

Glow on, Queen
Thrive!

Reply

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