“What is so different about me that irritates you?“

The following text and poem were written by Beauty Ekator

I am a 23 year old Nigerian-German. I was born in Nigeria and lived there till the age of 15, and then I moved to Germany. There, for the first time, I came across the term racism.

After eight years living in Germany, it is true to say, I have not been attacked and spoken to inappropriately due to the colour of my skin. I have always felt part of the system. I have always felt like I belong. I know I am lucky and part of the minority of persons who have been privileged enough to live a peaceful life. However, why should it be a privilege to live in peace as a dark-skinned person or any other skin coloured person? Why shouldn’t it be normal?

I have always been aware of what people who share my skin colour go through worldwide and I have felt and still feel angry, upset and the need to show my support. However, i have never had the courage to act on these feelings. But after the incident with George Floyd, I knew showing just how frustrated and upset I am was not enough. I had this rush to do something.

I felt this was the time for me to take a stand. To stand up for what is right and to push for justice not only for Floyd but for every single person who is affected by this. We need change, we want to be able to breathe again, we need justice. We matter, our lives matter.

To show my support, I have written a poem describing my feelings, emotions and frustration. I want those who hunt us, those who take our lives, those who are so obsessed with our skin colour, those who see differences between us, to tell us why and to tell us what differences they see.

I want them to explain themselves, and at the same time, I want them to look at us. I want them to take a deep look at us and tell us, why? Why? Because i want to understand, and maybe there is something that we don’t see that they do, and i am ready to listen to whatsoever conclusion they will or might come up with. I also hope that by them taking a good look at us, they can see beyond our skin colour, they can see something else, something that needs to be protected. They can see us; us as an individual; us as a person.

For the sake of future generations, for the sake of what is right, for the sake of justice and for the sake of people’s lives, this madness has to stop. My name is Beauty Ekator.

Look at me

What is so different about me that irritates you?

What is it you don’t like?

What have I done to you to be treated like this?

What is it?

What is it?

Tell me, what is it?

Don’t we breathe the same air?

Don’t we have the same body parts?

Are we that different?

Are we really that different?

Look at me, are we that really different?

I have no freedom,

I am seen as rubbish,

I can’t be successful,

I can’t make it,

I can’t voice my opinion,

My life doesn’t matter,

My life doesn’t count,

I am just a dot in your statistics,

I am nothing,

All these basically because I am dark skinned.

What is it about my skin that you can’t take?

What is it?

What is it?

Why are you so obsessed over my skin?

Why?

Tell me why,

Tell me as if I am a child, a stranger in this strange world.

Look at me.

I said, look at me!

Just look at me.

Is my skin colour the only thing you see?

Is it?

Is it really?

Am I that different?

Am I that really different?

Imagine I was your sister, your friend, your daughter, your girlfriend,

Imagine I was you.

Would you want this?

Would you really want this?

Are you sure you would want this?

Think again.

Think again.

Because my life matters;

Black lives matter.

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YMCA’s Youth Empowerment Programme gives the opportunity for young people to create projects of their interest in areas such as research, sustainability, outreach, social wellbeing and non-formal education. At the core of the programme’s modus operandi is the concept of empowered teams. Through solid support and mentoring system, young people are given the necessary trust to share their vision, and through co-working in the creation of projects, encouraged to take responsibility and enact their own decisions. This process of personal development is enhanced by various training opportunities locally and abroad which YMCA Malta gives to its members through the international network of YMCAs. To become a volunteer or inquire about student placements, you may send an email to info@ymcamalta.org or call 27674278.