Lies we tell everyday: “I’m f.i.n.e”


Some days back, a friend chatted me up and the first few lines went thus:

Friend: Baby girl!

Me: Hey love. You good?

Friend: Yes b! ‘m swell. You?

Me: Keeping up. Pretending to be fine. I’ll be fine.

Friend: My thoughts exactly before I just decided to send “I’m swell”

Me: Loool! For real?

Friend: Unfortunately, yes.

Me: Mine or yours first?

At that point when she admitted to be feeling the same way as I was, despite having given me a different impression, I thought to myself how many problems had gone un-shared and un-tended because we’ve grown to understand that sometimes life demands that we feel and act fine and perfect.

But is it our fault?

We have been asked “how are you” severally in the past, and been vulnerable, genuine and brave enough to reply with something other than “i’m fine”, but the feedbacks haven’t necessarily been what we expected– so we have learnt our lessons, and outgrown our bravery; and we have joined the bandwagon in chanting the same old chorus “i’m fine”, but are we? Will we ever be?

I think there are very few people that ask that question with the genuine intention of knowing what is really going on with us. And I can’t blame them. There’s very little time, and so many things to be done. And imagine that everyone we put that question to in a day would give us genuine responses, would we be able to handle it? No, I am not sure.

So again, maybe it is not their fault either.

Yet, there are days when each one of us realise that it’s okay to not be okay… and wish that someone out there would ask us how we are, and that we’d be brave enough to answer and that they’d be empathetic enough to listen to us bare our minds and deepest worries and hearts burden to them… and too, there’ll be days when someone else would wish that ‘listening someone’ was us.

So maybe it starts from you and me?

I wish that the next time we would ask the question “how are you”, we would mean it and listen in all empathy, without assumptions or hurried expectations of the usual “i’m fine.”, understanding that sometimes that question is the only window someone is needing to release– and that in just that swift moment of release, we might have saved a life, or ‘least made it less miserable. And I wish that the next time someone asks that question to us, we’d remember that a problem shared is a problem half-solved, and sometimes talking is the first step to healing… and thus take a moment to think deeply before churning out the famous words. And finally, I wish– that if we don’t care to know, we don’t even bother to ask.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to be fine when you’re fine. But again, it’s okay to not be okay. Bottom line is this– If you say it, mean it; and mean it when you say it. So the next time you want to ask “how are you?”, ask yourself first “do I mean it?”, and the next time you want to say “I am fine.”, be sure that you mean it.

Now, how are you?


© The Short Black Girl, 2015.


Blogging 101- Hello and Hi!



Happy new month to y’all. So yeah, I know it’s the 6th of July already buy hey Why, you’re welcome!

I’ve been a little off for a while now; partly because I have been lost on words to write, and also because I am working on Mr Meku (yeah, for those of you that saw the first horrible post of that story). In the middle of this semi- hibernation however, I joined the Instagram community, where I‘ve been able to re- awaken the ‘pseudo-poet’ in me; and also subscribed to the Blogging 101 bit. Yayy! Lool. The essence of all of this, I guess, is to find myself, and I hope I do eventually.

Today’s post is for the first Blogging 101 exercise- Introduce yourself to the world. And God help me, this is something I love doing. Hehe.

I am Rofiah Alli, but most people know me as Damore Alli, an Accounting Graduate, a talkative, a lover of words, and a lover of love. I think that just about sums me up. And of course, in between those words, there’s a lot more even I am still discovering. I realise now that I have been asked the question of why and when I started writing a lot of times, and up until now, I am yet to bring the perfect words together to describe that moment and that cause, so I hope you’ll listen again as I re- say the exact words I‘ve told everyone else. It started with a boy…

I remember that day in my Senior Secondary School class, I had been musing about this guy I had a huge- heavy crush on. He wasn’t cute, he wasn’t tall, he didn’t have builds, or any of those things that can be said to make a guy ‘hot’ and all, infact, he had this ridiculously huge lips that seemed too big for his face, but I liked him. And did he like me? That I don’t know, and I think that’s where the misery that made me start writing came from. There were rumours, about me, about him, and about the us that didn’t exist. On some days, it was sheer bliss- listening to people whisper words that promised he liked me just as much; on some other days, it was tortuous! If he did like me, why wouldn’t he just take the balls by the hand, and walk up to me like a man?! All these thoughts I had been thinking on that lonely boring day at school when I picked my pen, and started writing. I wrote about love, in its wonder and woes! Of how it could feel so amazing, yet haunting. I just wrote on and on, and when I was done, I smiled. It seemed like I had healed in seconds. And so it was from then on. I would write to heal about what hurt me, write to release the emotions that would otherwise consume my glorious heart. It was a gift, a miracle in the middle of June! I would write poems, and drama and show it to my classmates, who made me feel like a Queen as they seemed to stand on their toes each time, awaiting the release of the next big thing. It was indescribable, the feeling; that my source of release was their medicine. So I never wanted to stop!

I got into the University, and tried writing a book on an imaginary crush. Damn, I was loving that story. I had bought a new 60leaves note and penned down every thought, word for word with my Leo Smart pen and the feeling was just same- Indescribable. Until some arse stole the note! It hurt. I would cry for days in mourning of the beautiful characters in it and how their lives ended so abruptly! But thankfully, although the pad was lost, the ink was not… so I continued! And wrote on. In my second year in the university, when I started using a smartphone, the wonders of Facebook fascinated me and I started typing my thoughts on the keypads to reach a wider audience on there, and OH LAWD, was I swooned? The feedback was amazing. I wrote under the name Damore Alli, and that was how it became my pen name till date. People called me many beautiful names – wordsmith, romantic wordsmith and all! I came in contact with tons of beautiful writers like Neydu Onuoha, Opeyemi Owotumi, Ife Olujuyigbe and many others. I had an army of readers that made my head reel with sweet words. But even then, I just wrote. Without form, or reason; it was just pure undiluted thoughts, no paragraphs or fuzzy punctuations! Then I came in contact with Richard Ali, and he gave my words the gift of form. He taught me to pay attention, to write better. And I have been doing that ever since. I’ll forever remain thankful to him!

It was on Facebook also that I came in contact with the amazing April Laugh who made me just want to get on WordPress and have a blog! She blogged good, wrote well, and captured my heart. I didn’t know what it meant to have a blog, or what blogging was about (even now, I don’t) but puhleese, if its writing, I am so in! So on the 13th of March 2012, in my third year in the University, I created my very first blog- It took a lot of thought, the website address. I had a rush of names in my head, but none seemed right; and then I remembered the dr90210 (or so) that I used to watch on DstV in my 100level days, and dr2103 just seemed like it (21/03 being my birth details, 21st of March)! And again, I wrote on!

Maybe some of you would know the rest of the story- of how I deleted that website sometime in August 2014, because someone had made a flippery comment about my work that really put me down and shattered all that self- esteem I had come a long way building. But for wonderful friends and readers that made me promise to come back here and do the pen some good justice, and believe in myself and my might all the way, I would have been long gone off this space!

So hey, its been a helluva of a journey! And, its been fun!

In case you missed the point, I am Damore Alli and I write to heal and release!

Thank you. ❤

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.

Thank you!