Chocolate Is A Redeemer

by Ife Olatona

I am trying to eat amala tonight. I think of God and throats often. Being African is a religion. I am sixteen, highly unfervent. I read its holy words like sand in my mouth, embarrassing my grandparents. I was born the colour of brown sugar, a home of honey at the back of my mouth. I grew up forgetting. I coiled my tongue and wasted saliva spewing imaginary snow, cherishing its texture more than pounded yam. I feared the weight of my name and envied the fluffy feel of Smith and Peterson. I tugged my hair and pulled it through my teeth to make it curl. It remained coiled, stubborn, like my African home in me. Being an African boy is a religion. Highly unfervent, my penitence reflects in a taste for ankara and chocolates. Yes, chocolates. They are great redeemers like Google Translate. Perhaps even greater. It’s lovely to eat a slight representation of yourself, even if it doesn’t, like amala, taste of home or wear a much darker, truthful shade of your skin.