Wednesday 6 March 2024

With Such Ruthless Efficiency?

Travelling by nature’s gift

One beautiful afternoon walking up Boulevard de Strasbourg in Paris, I noticed on both sides of this broad arterial route were shops purveying a wide variety of hair products catering to the African woman. More notably, were the hair extensions that I was made to believe came from the indigenous peoples of Brazil and India.

The exploitation of this resource and the middlemen that make money from this trade would be a study of world economies and how sources of extraction rarely benefit fully from the market of the produce or products.

The other unusual insight I gained from my observation was the way these indigenous people whose world is limited in its locality have inadvertently travelled the world with their gifts of beautifying customers in Paris, London, Lagos, or any other metropolis where the augmentation of natural hair demands these accoutrements.

Blog - Paris: Boulevard de l'Unpretty (February 2016)

Blog - Paris: Boulevard de l'Unpretty - Revisited. (August 2018)

Readers around the globe

I have had a blog for over 20 years, it started in Germany, I set up the domain in the Netherlands and I reside in the UK. I have posted from many locations and have been completely unaware of the reach of my blog in terms of readership apart from ballpark numbers of readers, locations, search terms, browsers used and so on.

For instance, looking at the statistics on my blog, I cannot account for why there is any interest in my blog from Iran or Cambodia and these are in the top 10 countries with readers from Nigeria coming behind these two countries in the last week. The fact is my blog is travelling to places I could never have imagined, garnering interest that I cannot explain, yet it somewhat engenders something relatable that is not done for engagement, influence, or monetary gain.

They happened upon my blog

Such is the experience I had yesterday when a renowned personality requested access to my résumé which I granted even as I pondered why ever they would make such a request. The follow on was the receipt of an email commending my blog and the work I had put into it for over two decades. They also referred to the fact that my career path which is totally at variance with my journaling and blog deserves deep respect and honour.

Apparently, I have maintained this blog with ruthless efficiency (their words), I only wish I had, as it is the kind of praise that comes to your hearing, and you find yourself looking around expecting it to have been directed at someone else rather than yourself.

My partner and my best friend have already started pointing fingers, “I told you so” said one, “You do not listen” intoned the other. When does self-deprecation morph into self-depreciation? You question your instincts as modesty remains the better virtue to self-promotion. Indeed, I do little to promote my blog, most of the traffic is organic. I have also kept intrusive and cluttering advertisements off it because it is not a commercial venture, nor do I intend it to evolve in that direction.

If like the hair extensions, I am like an indigenous woman who profits little apart from the knowledge that my hair, of which primarily I have none, adorns the heads of sophisticated women around the world, even for the praise and acknowledgement I have received, I would be both fulfilled and grateful. My blog is made up of many stories and I hope each day brings inspiration for another story. 

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