by Temidayo Ahanmisi
Once someone went off on one Joy Isi Bewaji about an opinion she shared. He said Joy was ranting.
I think this was about just over a year ago.
I do not remember the name of this person, and truth be told, I might even be mistaken as to their gender…and I have a good memory, especially for names.
This person has long faded into the woodwork of the “sub-ville” that is the Nigerian slice of the global Social Media, but today people feel the need to sign off on their most strenuously worded opinions by calling them “rant”.
We now have terms like ” Rant of Life/Laive!” as part of our social lingo.
And the woman who forever changed the course of our social history this sharply?
She has gone on to pen at least 700+ RANTS – all epic submissions on just about everything Life and Society is about – and even patented the word in the best of ways.
Joy has ranted on topics from parenting to sex; politics to religion; from friends to foes; people to animals. Every important thing in this world.
She has, in her usual style, gone on to broach realms of intellection we would rather leave uncovered, uncharted. She has done this with rare aplomb, so that whether we want to give our assent or not, we cannot run away from the tentacles of truth, and the rare wit in which she slaps it into our shared consciousness.
She went on, while at it, to initiate a series of especially creative events around her pet concerns – Feminism, Child Rights and Social Justice.
She took her rants across seas right up to the UN while we listened.
Then someone, pissed at her, made a slur about her pussy.
I mentally slapped my forehead at the faux pas, even though I was to be honest, not a little excited at the anticipation of the endless labyrinths that slip would take us into.
I knew there was a grand matter of a cake, and the unearthing of subterranean alliances against Joy and the Feminism which has come to be associated willy nilly with her personal brand…with actors on either side of the Hate spectrum wresting ownership of the term from her metaphorical grasp.
There was a lot of ribbing and sobbing over various vexations going on, but there was this small matter of a vagina, which for reasons I can’t yet fathom, went unnoticed by the motley.
Joy is not the motley. This is the anguish and the joy of most who encounter her.
She saw it.
Today #StoryOfMyVagina is a stage play organised by the Crown Troupe of Africa. It “threatens” like most things this woman does to go even more global and forever stamp her creativity and genius on the landscape that is the Social Mind.
Now just as, as Nigerians with social media access, we find it increasingly difficult to think of “‘Joy” as just a word or even just another girl name; “conversation” as a conversation – gist between persons; “rant” as a bombastic spewing of declamatory outrage…all thanks to a Joy Isi Bewaji…
…we face the delightful threat of being forever immersed in the vagina of the cerebral Joy and the new Universe of meaning and fulfilment she has created alongside.
Although I unfortunately couldn’t find my muse to participate in this uniquely creative word fest called “Story Of My Vagina” for reason that my Vagina Story is riddled with agony too profound to explore, I congratulate all those who sent in their entries.
This is what I personally think the business of writing should be about:
The creation and exploration of meaning and depths of meaning beyond the shackles of the seemingly banal and the coarse.
This is what Ms. Bewaji does with her RANTS every time. She sieves through the ugliness and presents with something that leaves the undulating edges of our thoughts forever splayed.
I don’t know about anyone else, but good writing, like all worthy Art, never mind how brief the encounter, must leave all of its purveyors – Writer and Audience – changed in the most profound ways, just from encountering one the other.
I trust this experience has left all of us, participants and audience alike gloriously enervated from the privilege of being insiders in a beautiful mental orgy of rarest of intellection and most exhilarating prose.
All to the glory of the Vagina. Our vagina
Door of Life. Threshold of mystery. Most vilified of human beauties.
I actually was going to simply attempt some wit, warning everyone to not make the mistake of pissing off Joy Bewaji, but I became distracted somewhat and made a verbal risotto of my musings on the many creative antics of Joy and musings about vilified vaginas of many a woman.
Such is the power of the Joy Phenomenon.
I should keep these thoughts private, but in the spirit of vulnerable honesty and omnipotent sincerity that the Vagina embodies, I feel compelled to spill from the fullness.
You don’t want to piss this woman off. It makes her go into creative overdrive.
Or maybe you should, so that we will glimpse the beauty of her angry mind just once more.
Book your seats for Story of my Vagina on stage this December. See flier for details.