The Sugabelly you know is the “Rape Girl”. The twitter siren and the devious, political tool. The Sugabelly we know, is a multi-talented artist, illustrator, writer and blogger. Between 2007 to now, we have watched her blog bloom, her art get better and better and her resolve get stronger. The Sugabelly you know is a victim of rape or political manipulations, or worst still, a fabricator. No. The Sugabelly we have met and come to admire is none of those things for us. For us, she is an artist with promise and potential that she hones everyday in writing and in craft.
Meet the Sugabelly we know:
She is witty
A lot of things are considered, “Un-Nigerian”….
Homosexuality, Feminism, and …. Eating Disorders.
No Nigerian I know, and I know a lot of Nigerians, has ever admitted to having, or claimed know of someone who had an eating disorder. They just don’t exist on the general plane of consciousness for Nigerians, and any attempt to discuss eating disorders with friends, family, acquiantances, and strangers of the Nigerian variety are swiftly met with dismissal, disbelief, and sometimes, straight up derision.
Responses range from
Only Americans have eating disorders
It is not your portion, in Jesus’ name. Reject it!
as if simply verbally rejecting a serious psychological condition could just make it evaporate into thin air, but no amount of rejecting, praying, or wishful thinking allowed me to wave away the stench of vomit as I upchucked my guts into the toilet after every meal.
She is kind and empathic
On a comment on her blog in 2014, she wrote
Your last reason was horrific. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’ve been raped too and I remember the dead, dazed feeling when he finished and afterwards, just lying there and telling yourself that it wasn’t you, it didn’t happen, etc.
I hope you’re okay emotionally, mentally, and physically, and I hope there weren’t any negative health issues later. Thanks for being brave enough to share
She is grounded
..in her Nigerian roots despite her long stay in the US and the hate and backlash she has endured from Nigerians in the past month. On one of her works, titled Chineke, she wrote,
Chineke is the Igbo supreme god and the most powerful god in the Igbo pantheon. He rules over everything including all the other gods and created the universe and everything in it. I drew him with the sun in his left hand and the moon in his right.
He’s wearing a traditional Igbo robe with the wide round collar, the red Igbo cap with two eagle feathers showing his elevated status as well as the traditional Igbo leather bi-colour shoes.
He’s sitting cross legged on an Igbo iroko stool (Igbo culture is famous for our hand carved stools which world famous and premium quality). I would have loved to make the stool more complex (as most real life Igbo stools usually are ) but I got lazy and tired.
Around his neck and wrists he wears coral beads (Coral and ivory beads are status symbols in Igbo culture and can only be worn by royalty and the very important).
The diagonal marks on his forehead are called Ichi.
Ichi is the name of this particular diagonal type of scarification (cuts made into the skin to form scars) that is worn only by titled Igbo men.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m Igbo (majority ethnicity in Nigeria) so I draw a lot of Igbo-themed art.
Most importantly, she is truly a talented artist. Her art has made it from illustrations in print or on paper, to the back of phone covers, pillow cases and t shirts. See pictures below: