Look at me, I have no shame o! – Viola Okolie

Look at me, I have no shame o! – Viola Okolie
I can squeeze into a dress size 16.

If it is a regular 16, I would have some bumps and lumps or like my daughter puts it: I would look slightly pregnant.

A 16W would sit better on me.

A size 18 would be a near perfect fit. Some would hang a little bit loose, some would fit like a glove but if I am looking for a comfortable fit, I would go for a size 18.

I have spoken a lot about my bingo wings and how my hips should have a post code of it’s own and how when I turn my back, I have a whole village going on there.

I joke and laugh about my weight and my struggles to lose a little bit of it, simply to experience the pleasure of walking into a boutique, waving my hand down a whole row of outfits and paying for everything I like without thinking about which tailor would be able to craftily insert hidden panels to contain my aSSets.

I use the gym a lot, upload pictures of myself, sweaty and grunty but – and I hope my poor gym instructor is not reading this – once in a while, I f_ck the diet. I f_ck the gym, I f_ck all the weight loss disandat. I go over to Dominoes and sit in front of a pizza and stuff my face full. I go down to Iya Basira in Zone 1 and deal with a plate of rice and buka stew. I stroll down to Exclusive supermarket and point at ice cream: 1 scoop of this and 2 of that, half a scoop of the other one and 3 of the next.

I sit down there and I eat it all.

Iyalaya weight loss, I cannot come and go and kill myself.

no shame

There was a time when I used to stuff myself into a size 26… even then, you couldn’t get me down.

So why do you think you can fatshame me into silence?

Why do you think “you are fat” is an insult? It is not. I say that to myself every morning when I have to jump around pulling up my girdle. I say to myself, “you this Viola, you are fat”.

So when you say it to me, it means nothing. I already say it to myself…

Perhaps rather than worry about my fat, let’s worry about your cluelessness.


Two people have sex, one person gets pregnant. Nine months down the line, another person is brought into the world but… for some reason which is beyond the knowledge of the busy bodies, the first two people did not think that a pregnancy is enough reason to shackle themselves together for life.

So they agree to co-parent or maybe not.

Maybe just one person takes on the responsibilities.

Maybe they split and define responsibilities and boundaries.

For whatever it is worth, one person – and it is almost often the woman – gets to shoulder the responsibility of raising the child.

And that is perhaps why someone thinks that jumping out in the middle of a conversation and yelling, “lookatewe, single mother, you wee nor go and marry”? should be enough to win him the argument?

Like really?

I am supposed to be ashamed that I have a brilliant, personable young lady to love and nurture?

I should hide away because faced with the choice of being a good girl and getting rid of the pregnancy before it began to show and being a bad girl and damning the consequences, I chose to be a “bad girl”?

And some of these people who judge, let me tell you what some of them do: they go around playing Russian roulette with sex month after month after month. “Baby let me put it in smaaaaaaall. I promise you I will put in only the head. I will just put it in, I won’t move. Baby, I want to feel you raw”.


But we are all in the courtroom of life and more often than not, the most unworthy are the ones who elect to sit in judgement, and think those “crimes” they discover should be adequate life insurance for the holder.

Single mother. Single mother. After one. After two…

Never mind that these same traducers would as quickly attempt to shame you for being unmarried even if you were not a single parent, so why bother with them?

You cannot shame me for conscious decisions I took as an adult…

If I had the same choices to make, I’d repeat the same decisions over and over again

viola new


I recall someone in the heat of a political argument suddenly stopping and flinging what he thought were hurtful words at me:

“You are an old woman. You look your age, old woman… blablabla”.

I remember that day a few short years ago, when I thought I would not last the night. I called my mum who had kept vigil by my bedside for 8 days and asked for a cup of tea.

She refused. Doctor’s orders were “nothing by mouth until we can arrange a surgery”.

I pleaded and pleaded.

Everything was surreal at that point to me, I felt disconnected from my body. I felt I was in another plane looking down at myself, my mother silently weeping in one corner and my friends who would come into the hospital room, take a look at the once vibrant me lying defeated on that bed; and retreat into the corridor to sob.

I KNEW I was not going to last the night.

I wanted that one cup of tea.

My mother refused.

And so I said to her, “by this time tomorrow, you’d probably be regretting why you did not grant me this last request. Forget the doctors, I know I will not come out of this alive, please give me a cup of tea”.

My mother did not give me the tea, but she panicked and ran round, rousing all the doctors from their slumber. She went on her knees and prayed. She wept and moaned and beseeched God while the doctors rallied round me.

Later that night, I took a turn for the worse, and as I struggled with life, I knew that old age was indeed a privilege. In those few hours as everyone who could, rallied round in whatever capacities they could, I thanked God for every ragged breath I could draw in.

So you can’t shame me by calling me “old”. I want to be old. I want grey hair and walking sticks. I want old age. I want grand children and great grand children.

Your thinking that “old” is an insult is more a testament to your immaturity, than it is to anything else.

Get a grip.

Get a life.

We are all going to either get old, or die young.

Choose one.


Should we even talk about slut shaming?

Should we even talk about how trying to make me feel ashamed of the fact that I want sex and have sex when I can get it is just plain retarded?

YOU can have sex. YOU talk about it all the time. YOU make jokes about it. YOU allude to it. YOU throw around memes where you discuss the female anatomy to stupor. YOU can approach a woman and ask for sex. YOU can even take it by force and brag about it… because you are a man.

But if I talk sex or want sex or have sex it is something I should be ashamed of? Me the woman? And my accomplice the man kwanu? No shame there? Insurance covers him?

Calling a woman “ashawo” in 2016 is something to be proud of? Threatening to leak nudes is a mark of wisdom?

But the woman should be ashamed of her sexuality?


Do we have the time to waste on that?

In 2016?

Or should we move on?


Perhaps more than everything else, the morality police needs to take a looking vacation. It is getting kind of monotonous out here…

Have you noticed that women now yawn when you attempt to shame them?

You haven’t? Wake up biko.

This is 2016.

We own our bodies.

We own our choices.

We own our decisions.

We stand by them and what they represent.

Today’s woman talks freely about sex and their preferences in issues of sex, life and marriage.

We do not kiss and tell because… I mean, how infantile to say “I had sex with this or that or the other”; but if you do give us a form to fill, we are likely to write down under “sex: three times a day and twice extra on weekends and public holidays.

Sex is jaded.

It no longer is a taboo subject for today’s woman.

We give and take as much pleasure as we can from it when we get it and do not think it is something to shrink away from.

So if you need to shame today’s woman, please ask her why she is not somewhere thinking up a formula for splitting particles and arriving at a solution that would see cars running on water.

Not sex…

Or nudes…

Or size…

Or age…

Or anything so basic on the scale of achievements…

Not even looks, that can only shame someone who depends on their beauty for a living. Not today’s generation of thinking, working, achieving women.

We own our “shame: and can fill in the blanks for you at the drop of a hat.

Heck, the man who could be POTUS, the leader of the world as we know it, has a wife who made a living flashing her breasts at anyone who was interested in seeing…

Dwell on that.

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