…and 2020 in general
Sakina: Hey girl, what’s up? Did you sleep well? I know you and your late nights…
Medrine: Hey Sakina. I am good but still sleeping at odd hours. I did better yesterday and slept at 1:30am. My sleeping pattern has gone to the dogs but coffee and water have helped the long mornings. Sometimes a plate of fries with loads of ketchup is my pick-me-up at noon. How are you?
Sakina: I didn’t sleep well – indigestion is an enemy of progress. Woke up and watched videos on YouTube and went to sleep, then my nose got blocked so I definitely couldn’t sleep. I gave up and watched more videos about dogs and babies. I am obsessed with big dogs right now. I’m at my mum’s and she still came to wake me on a Saturday. Surely. Sigh.
Medrine: Hahaha, you are never really grown up. I have a neighbor with two big dogs that you would love. He is also built like a big dog, if you know what I mean. And no, I am not talking about anything that we cannot see with his clothes on, but he gives off a bulldog vibe in his walk and demeanor. So…October.
Sakina: Yes, October. Where do we begin? Who begins?
Medrine: You first.
Sakina: Well, maybe we should go back to September… I was headhunted for a job that I wanted and that looked promising. I was going to have my name on a notable TV project. By the time the first week of October was rolling round there were so many hanging threads, but I told myself it would smooth itself out…right? Wrong! I was dead wrong. There is a healthy amount of stress that work can give you but fam, I was sleeping at 11PM and waking up at 3am with knots in my stomach. Dang! They wrapped the shoot last week of November. I think I would have died had I not quit two weeks in.
Medrine: I can almost guess the rest of the story. So first off, not really reputable if it heightens anxiety at ungodly hours or any other time really. Were they paid? That is always a truth-teller.
Sakina: Well, they’re promising to pay and are asking for feedback on how they can improve. LOL.
Medrine: A valid cheque is a good place to start.
Sakina: I suppose. I think for me what that experience did for me was both good and bad but in the greater sense good…
Medrine: Gigs like those leave us questioning ourselves because you want to work and your landlord is living their best life waiting for a deposit alert message. Did you worry about the money?
Sakina: Of course sis! I was like trying to talk myself through it but the biggest injustice was that I realized my employer did not care about my wellbeing no matter how many ways I tried to communicate. That is not a place I ever want to be in again – so I chose my peace of mind and dignity over money at the worst possible time.
Medrine: Why was it the worst possible time?
Sakina: Because I was just finishing up another job. This was the next cash cow, for at least 3 months I would be sorted.
Medrine: You mentioned there were telltale signs, that this was, in the words of Jake Tapper, “A hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.” What were they?
Sakina: I like that definition, a lot. Some I can’t disclose here lest legal action is taken against me – but everything was just such an emergency, unnecessarily. I would get information about actors at 7:00pm that needed to be on set the next morning by 6:30am; or worse even on the day of the shoot. The food was meant to be 5-star with a shoestring budget. Transport in the time of Covid was a game of cat and mouse. I was forced to find a way to get people from point A to B in cramped spaces; I hated it. I hated that my concern for people’s health and safety was a non-issue and that I looked like the problem.
Medrine: Sis, we have always been those people in the room who ask questions that no one wants to ask. How do you think we got here? I once asked a boss whether we were back to slavery because they wanted employees to run an event for 8 hours with no allowance, overtime, food or transport. This is not why our grandparents fought the white man out of Kenya. I literally said “that is going to be a No for me,” and everyone in the room looked at me like I was crazy. Afterwards they came back to say that I was right and they shared the same sentiments… “Um, so was your mouth closed?” So how did the train wreck affect the month that shall not be mentioned?
Sakina: I was asked to leave quietly. Very few people know why I left – I got calls the next day after leaving the Whatsapp group, I tried to be civil about it. I handed over all my tools of office and went back home to my husband who welcomed me back with open arms. His support was everything. Meanwhile, a film we were going to make in October also fell through badly. We were now in debt and needing to talk to the landlord again… Eish! For tears!
Medrine: You ask a mistress to leave quietly, not an employee who signed a contract. I genuinely want a country where a creative can make a living without hating their craft in the long run. I have seen creatives compromise their intention for a cheque and I don’t blame them. Is rent paid now?
Sakina: Well, it’s going to be late but it will be paid. Thank God we settled that debt and are done with that business. That one was an ugly one.
Medrine: My October surprise pales in comparison to what you went through. I had more of a mental and emotional breakdown. I genuinely worried for my mind. I do not say that as a millennial personal trait like the people who say, ‘I don’t do gluten’. I was headed to a dark hole and I was not sure how to get out or if I could get out.
Sakina: What happened?
Medrine: A boy.
Sakina: It’s always a boy, huh? What was different this time that sent you down this path where you were literally losing your mind?
Medrine: Hmmm. It was different because I thought I was healed. 2020 has been a spiritual awakening for me before Angels in Africa were summoned by Paula White for a gig in America. I began the year with a desperate plea to God about being tired of my sob story. I wanted a new story to tell; one about victory over trauma, loneliness and mental struggle. I wanted to win in my mind. The boy liked me and he did boyfriend things for me without being one. The sad truth though was he did nothing spectacular, but I have been deprived of good treatment from a man for a long time that I would have given him a Humanitarian award for flushing the toilet. It gets worse.
Sakina: It does, how?
Medrine: This is so embarrassing. After 9 months of intentional healing and God pruning things and people out of my life, I prayed for a partner. I have never been one to pray for a husband or make a list about someone who would like ‘The Script’ and love avocado as much as I do. I pray for things to accomplish and the house I want to build my mother. But I got to a good place where I thought the healing so far had made room for someone to be here in a healthy way. So the boy showed up at my door in the literal sense. He was (and guess still is) a tall and handsome Ghanaian man. I have not met many tall Ghanaian men. He was thoughtful and his spontaneity was good for my introvertedness. As with many good men, he had a girl, and suddenly I was ready to pull up a seat at the Red Table Talk.
Sakina: Aki Ghanaians are the nice guys from West Africa. I know a tall and handsome Ghanaian but he’s married. Enhe, I am ready at this Red Table and have rubbed it in circular motions; tell me about this girl!
Medrine: You just proved my point about Ghanaian men! The girl… She is what Twitter would call a boss babe. She is fiery, drop-dead gorgeous and a body to boot. Cue that song by Meg the Stallion (I don’t know anything beyond Tik Tok videos). We would probably be cordial in an alternate universe. There was something about their interaction at the party where we first met that was a red flag; but I had prayed for a partner and he had shown up at my door… Who am I to interfere with God’s plan? She reminds me of Lisa Raye McCoy in a weird way but I don’t know her well enough. They are together but not together. It’s an entire mess. I removed myself from the equation three times before actually leaving. I was fighting because I wanted him to choose me. I wanted someone to leave the other girl for me. Do you know how ‘sad and not healed’ that sounds? The funny part is that God was speaking the whole time and one night he asked me, “Is this what you think my best for you is?” That is when I knew that I had the spirit of rejection that goes back to my father and subsequently all the male relationships I have had. Sakina, I used to say that I have been left a lot and that is not necessarily a lie, but I instigated most of those situations because I responded from a place of rejection as opposed to choosing myself.
Sakina: Daddy issues are a real thing. I heard Iyanla say that women marry their father, someone who is almost like their father or someone the complete opposite of who their father was. Now if you don’t have anything to go off of – that’s difficult. I feel like saying a genuine sorry for that void. It occurs to me that, even though I wish my Dad was different, the most important part of it all was that he was there and is still there. We didn’t have Daddy-Daughter dates but he showed me by his example and few words that I was beautiful and smart, and that I deserved better than even what he gave me.
Medrine: I like your Dad. We have probably said less that ten words to each other, but he always treated his daughters like princesses and built a good life for you. Thanks for the apology too. I think secretly I entertain the thought of motherhood to see someone ‘daddy’ differently, because the former generations in my family are every antagonist in a Tyler Perry movie. God, I hope he does not read this. I would love to work with him someday and visit his studios… So how are you feeling about 2021?
Sakina: I am hopeful, I really am. I already have a word for the next year and waiting for that ka-booklet for planning the year. LOL. You?
Medrine: Wait, am I supposed to send you the booklet?
Sakina: Kwani you already have it?
Medrine: I am completely lost here. What booklet are we talking about?
Sakina: You know the one, where you put together what you want for the year
Medrine: The Year Compass one?
Medrine: They should have the 2021 one by now, will send it your way.
Sakina: My word for next year is ‘Elevate’. I have been doing a lot of inner work trying to change how my mind thinks. I am so used to expecting things to fail but what would happen if I expected the opposite? The Bible says, ‘As a man thinketh uhso is he’. If God says no good thing will He withhold from us, then why am I acting as if I am a slave and not a friend; a co-heir with Christ? (Went to Church on that one.) I want more for my life.
Medrine: I can church any day of the week so I am here for it. I have always wanted better for you to the point where I have imposed my dreams for you, and we have talked about that before. In the spirit of respecting your boundaries, I promise to support you where you need me – celebrate the highs and encourage you in the valleys. 2021 is the year I start working on my thesis; yes we are at the tail end of school. Bonkers! My word is ‘Launch’. I sort of started this year but I have nothing left to give to fear. Fear can suck it because everything fear could take, fear has taken. I am moving towards everything God has put on my heart with reckless faith.
Sakina: By the way congrats on your Masterclass this year, that was a boss move; and still writing on your blog and your IG live sessions. You have been doing the ting! Can’t wait to see you shine even brighter.
Medrine: I have always known we are going to be alright but now we need to actively participate in being alright. Thank you for all the flowers. I really appreciate you. A check-in next year at the same time?
Sakina: Yup! This was awesome. Now let’s see who reads to the end.