BY: Olayiwola Faith Adedolapo
‘In My Country, We’re All Crossdressers’ by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a chapbook of various poems which centers on the search for identity culturally, politically, historically and socially. A river of thoughts which races through self-doubt and self-identity; its indispensable announcement of the soul strive and mortal willingness. A war of thoughts against racism, inferiority complexity and basically, “blackness” Kanyinsola is a writer of immediate and inflammable situations with crucial value.
A Crossdresser in its denotative term, is one who wears clothing items and accessories that is mostly associated with the opposite sex of a society without a specific reason or cause of such behaviour. It is mostly referred to as transgender identity or homosexual behaviour. Many people prefer this way of life for comfort, style and personal choice. Historically, Women have cross dressed to take up male-dominated professions while men have done so to escape from mandatory military services in the past. But Kanyinsola Olorunnisola’s view of a crossdresser reveals beyond the above. It explores the hidden and repudiate regrets that silently torments the souls of many; BLACKS! Wole Soyinka once said, ‘you cannot live a normal experience if you haven’t take n care of a problem that affects your life and affects the lives of others. ‘For The Culture: An Intro’ introduces the problem that affects Kanyinsola, boys like him and every other black man/boy that lives in a society where the search for identify is restricted and mental strength is opposed. ‘This is how you spot a cross dresser/He wears his lips red’ show the features of a non-black man which is used to beautify with bright and attractive colours as opposed to a black’s man blackness. He then continues: how come only things foreign to my body make it beautiful which exposes an act that is being governed by another culture and amoral lust for things that degrades one’s culture. An act or desire to become what one isn’t and flaunt the products of another till one’s experience or recount for one’s identity begins to fade.
In the next poem, Kanyin Writes About Dreams (Or The Realization That Nothing Can Save You From Feeling Displaced In Your Own Home) reveals his search for identity and ‘a futile longing for the splendor of yester-lives to crawl back into the womb of time and be reborn as the progenitor of a race so lost in the complexity of life’
He also writes on a search for not just a native tongue but also a peaceful language that identify him as well and reveals who he is ‘two languages war for the attention of our tongue’ Kanyin shows the despise of the black culture by the Blacks and desire to go after other gods ‘our native prayers are sent to the shines of Allen gods’ This is affected by their desire to see the other world which we term as ‘blessed’ and ‘peaceful’; foreign cities take shelter in our ever-willing eyes’
Weild Introspections Upon Seeing The Portrait Of Junta reveals the Black drowsiness and sleepiness towards the imminent war. He writes: I think they are trying to tell us something, maybe if we sleep less, snore less, we will hear them, maybe they will warn us of unforeseen battles heading of wars. He further proceeded to reveal that the war might be a war of the mind. Sometimes I feel the war is already inside of us
The last poem, In My Country, We Are All Crossdressers in a complex, scattered and disrupted poem structure that reveals the brokenness of the black man: because the colonizers/broke our world into/reconcilable halves. He writes that the colonizers, the white, whose presence in Africa has torn it apart, culturally, historically and socially. The Black now lives in a broken world that has a conflicting culture which struggles for relevance; a position in the world which seems indeterminable. The language of the black fades gradually; everyday; as a foreign language gain landmass. Our language are burnt out of our mouth/the smoke snuffed out of every memory of our fathers/our native songs of water pulled out of our throat/replaced with a flaming tunes
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is an award winning poet, essayist and writer of fiction. He has an obsession with Fela Kuti, James Baldwin, Ziggy Stardust, the Beat Generation & Button Poetry. He spends his pastime listening to protest music, reading fake news and designing ads.