an African girl’s 2022 final reflections

2022 kicked my ass. I am not even joking, I felt the pain this year, but I also felt the joys and simple pleasures. This year’s theme was focusing on love within my relationships. Let me be specific here- we’re not talking about romantic love. When this year started, I wanted more for myself. I created my vision board to serve as a guide for me (see below):

Round of applause for me because I followed most of what’s on this vision board. But let’s get serious here; I still don’t know how to describe this year. I started the year feeling lost and depressed, wondering when something would happen to me. Something good? Something exciting? I turned 25 thinking my brain would officially be fully developed (I am not being funny here, promise). I was excited to turn 25 because there was this hope of change. There was this hope that something would happen, but what I did not realize was that everything was happening. Everything that needed to happen happened. Change occurred. The 25-year-old Diakha in January is not the same 25-year-old Diakha in December.

In my vision board, I emphasize sisterhood and its importance with the quote on soul sisters. I remember craving a sisterhood that made sense to me. A sisterhood that brought me closer to my religion. A sisterhood that felt warm and embraced me as a whole. But, before I could even have this, I needed to learn what type of friend I was to the people in my life at the time. I hurt people. People hurt me. I’ve always been self-aware, but there’s a difference between being self-aware and working on yourself and being self-aware and causing damage within your relationships. Unfortunately, I was a good friend to some and a terrible one to others. The consequences were loud, painful, dreading, and an emotional rollercoaster. I spent January and February of this year feeling this heaviness in my heart as if someone was pressing weight on it and just kept pressing it down. When the clouds hung above me, I was having uncomfortable conversations. Apologies came and went. It was during this time I was finally told about myself. The one thing I needed was someone to just say, Diakha, do better. And I finally did.

The clouds still hung above me, but it wasn’t as gloomy as before. During this time, I learned what type of friends I needed, and I prayed for them. I learned that my passive aggressiveness needed to end at some point. I learned to set boundaries. I learned to tell people in my life when they’ve done me wrong instead of avoiding them. I learned to be comfortable with people telling me when I have done them wrong. I learned so much, so I started this post by mentioning how 2022 kicked my ass.

Around March, my life changed. I am so dramatic. It did not change drastically, I promise. Something was always missing in my life, and I could never pinpoint it. And then it happened. My cousin invited me to a Mosque hosting an event for young adults. I remember that day so well because I was contemplating attending the event. I sent my cousin seven messages, to go or to not go. I finally made my decision, which was one of the best decisions this year. From that day on, the clouds slowly disappeared, and the sun rose above. I found a community and sisterhood (don’t cry for me).

The rest of my year was honestly a blur. I had a nerdy hot girl summer. I read so many books this year; not to brag, but I am almost at 50 books. I had a terrible dating experience this year, which I’ve spoken about in my blog. I’m sure you’re tired of reading about my singleness, well too bad. We’re in this together until I… Let me stop. I am still in grad school, having the nerdiest time of my life (almost done iA). I went to the Poconos this year and realized how much I loved hiking. Throughout my hardships this year, I got closer to my parents, and I hope I will get even closer to them next year.

As I prepare for 2023, the year I turn 26, I hope for a new chapter in my life. I am unsure what to call this next chapter, but I am ready to embrace it. I am ready to embrace hardships, lessons, and blessings. I share this with you all to inspire you to create your vision board. It does not have to look like mine; make it your own. You can even make it your wallpaper to serve as a reminder for you. I also share this with you all to remind you that growth is necessary. Change is necessary. Reflection is necessary.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to read more of my work and tell me what you think via email (

Written by Diaka Thiam (your favorite inconsistent African Gyal)

“Maybe I am the problem…” – An African Girl’s Dating App Experience

Welcome to The Life of an African Girl in America

Ahhh, I’ve’ avoided this post for a while now. But here we are. In November of 2021, I decided to download Hinge for the first time ever. My heart raced while I watched the app being downloaded on my phone. To me, I was starting fresh. I wanted to see what the hype was over Hinge. So I created my profile, making sure to select great pictures of myself and prompts that would garner attention. In less than 5 minutes, I received likes and comments on my photos. There was one man I matched with at first— he wanted to take me out on a date, but I never responded. He then messaged me a few days later and said, “If you’re not going to text me back, please unmatch me.” And, I did. 

Hinge was weird at first, but the attention I received was thrilling. I loved it… too much. I met (virtually) non-muslims and a few Muslims— those are the stories I will tell you about. The first Muslim man I talked to was not someone I would go for. Let’s just say he was from a different background, and I was sure his family would disapprove of a Black girl. I went along with it though because he seemed very interested. When we first started talking, we both mentioned our intentions– I told him I was looking for something serious, and his intention was to meet new people. I should’ve ended it there, but I wanted to give him a chance. I was interested until our text messages became… What’s the word I am looking for? Odd? Weird? Bizzare? He texted me *with emphasis* every morning— “Good morning.” At first, I thought it was cute, but that was it. Just a good morning, and anytime I tried to talk to this man, he wouldn’t budge.

Nah but I was confused

Our conversations would be as stale as the hot Cheetos left open for 2 days (sorry for this description, but you get the point). Finally, I was so sick of it that I confronted him and asked if he saw our relationship going anywhere. His response was that he got on the app to meet new people and to see who he vibes with. He then apologized for wasting my time. At that point, I was over whatever this was because my intentions were different. So, I stopped talking to him (NO JUDGEMENT, PLEASE).

I know you’re going to say I should’ve ended it a while ago and he did mention to me his intentions in the beginning. I know. He was the first of many downfalls for me. After him, I matched with other men, but it never went anywhere, which I am so grateful for. There was one Muslim man that made me reconsider. We connected so well, especially about basketball and books, that I had to give him my number. I didn’t know at the time I would be talking to a very inconsistent man. He was wonderful. We facetimed, and I learned that he was African like me, but I am West, and he was from the East. We talked for about four months (very inconsistent), but we also argued like an old married couple. It was one of the most toxic talking stage relationships (whatever you want to call it) I’ve ever been in. We argued over the most minor things. He picked on something I would say and would not let it go. It was like he wanted to argue with me. I liked him a lot, but I couldn’t take the arguments. There were so many issues that I will not disclose, but just know it was not meant to be.

Hinge was not the only dating app I used. I downloaded Muzz because I was tired of the non-muslim men. I thought Muzz would be different; I was in for a surprise. Out of 99+ men that liked me, I matched with one man from West Africa and a writer, and I was excited. To me, he was it. Our conversations were great, he was educated, ready for marriage, and religious, but something was missing. There is always something missing when I meet a good man. And this, folks, is where you exit out of this post and curse me out. I didn’t know what was missing. I never know what it is. I even pray about it, hoping Allah could make it easy on me, but I never know what is missing.

I am the problem.

Sometimes, I know what I want, but then there are days I contemplate everything I want in a man. Some days, I tell myself to stop being picky. But then I think, am I really being picky? Some days, I tell myself to give this man a chance, and I do, but then they turn out weird. Some days, I tell myself I know exactly what I want, but then I think, no I don’t think I do. Some days, I just stop thinking about it and let my brain focus on other things.

My dating apps experiences have been quite interesting. I was afraid to write this because I knew I was the problem. Will I stop using dating apps? Yes… I will. I do not think I will find the person for me on a dating app. Some of the men there are not serious. If you are someone looking to use dating apps, think about your intentions first. As a Muslim African woman, I would not recommend apps if you want to get married. This is my opinion, so do not come for me, please. For some, apps have worked!

If you are considering downloading a dating app, please be mindful and careful. In the meantime, let me go see a therapist and get my life together.

Written by Diaka Thiam

Thank you for your support! 🙂

The Single African Girl

Welcome to The Life of an African Girl in America

I am sitting outside of Starbucks, with an interesting iced brown sugar oat milk espresso drink and a banana nut bread. The sun is beaming at my oily forehead, as I had forgotten to apply another round of Black Girl Sunscreen on my face before I left the house in a hurry. To my right, there’s a Brown man and a Black woman chatting it up. I am trying to not listen to their conversation but it’s difficult. I want to assume they’re on a date. Prior to coming to Starbucks, I spent my day off reading this book. A book I just could not put down for the life of me— of course, I did stop reading when it was time for prayer. But this book had a significant pull on me. I hadn’t realized that books did that to me sometimes. I would read a wonderful book and just be stuck in that world. Forever wished I could just stay a little longer in that world. I guess it’s because that world helped me escape my world. My problems. My family’s problems. And the people in my life who projected without ever taking me into consideration.

Lately, I’ve been moving along, rising with the sun, setting with the sun. Shining bright like the sun when my mood would be lifted and hiding away like the sun when my mood was low. As I am sitting here writing this, I realize how much I’ve missed just being. Finally looking around at my surrounding, taking in a deep breath of fresh air, air so crisp, the gentle breeze hugging me tight reminding me of how loved I am. Reminding me that what’s waiting for me at home can wait. That I can forget I am twenty-five and unmarried. I can forget the assignments piling up. I can forget the friendship I’ve missed so much but am too stubborn to contact my dearest friends. I can forget the awkwardness between my father and me and the strain we have put on our relationship. I can forget my mother’s constant pain and not knowing ways to help her. I can forget that I need my wisdom tooth taken out. I can forget my other relationships, the ones that are too painful to describe. I can forget how alone I feel, how loneliness sometimes creeps in when it’s terrible timing. I can forget… a lot.

Sometimes it’s easier to forget, it’s so much easier. And when I open up a book, I step into a new world. A world of forgetting my mere existence. It just dawned on me how I love to make people laugh, either with my corny jokes or just stupid things I say. Making others laugh is a love language I never thought of- seeing the people I care about laughing makes my heart flutter in ways I can’t describe. Sometimes, I joke about my singleness because it’s my way of dealing with my loneliness. I am single by choice, but there’s this longing, more like yearning for love. The love I can’t find in friendships, my family, or close ones. I yearn for passion, and I think I’ve looked everywhere, but maybe love doesn’t want to be found. Not yet. Maybe the love I seek is not ready.

Some may say self-love is what I am lacking but that’s not even close to being true. I am very tender with myself. The harsh Diakha that was once before doesn’t exist today. This new Diakha, she’s aware of what kind of love she wants. Needs to be exact. She’s aware of every emotion she’s feeling and although sometimes it’s hard to name them, she still tries. It’s not self-love I crave, the love I crave is tender, gentle, almost caressing, and honest. Love that hugs me when I am in pain, reminding me that everything is temporary. And, I know it exists. Somewhere out there it exists. Now, as I am sitting outside of Starbucks, I am alone. With my thoughts but the trees, the wind, and the birds chirping in the background are keeping me company. 

Written by Diaka Thiam 🙂

Thank you for reading, much love ❤

Ramadan Series??? A Gentle Reminder


Author’s Note: LOL, not me starting this series and completely neglecting it. But hey! I was focused this Ramadan.

I can’t believe Ramadan is ending soon. SubhanAllah. I wanted to journal every week, but your girl was focused on other things. 

For my brothers and sisters, I am so proud of you. I hope you are proud of yourselves too. I wanted to take this time to give you gentle reminders. During this holy month, you may have been more present. You may have gotten closer to Allah. You may have picked up and read the Quran every single day. You may have stopped listening to music and let go of the attachment you had with music. You may have prayed more. You may have dressed more modestly. You may have listened to more Islamic podcasts and lectures. You may have visited the mosque more often. You may have put Allah at the center. 

What happens next? 

Over the past few Ramadans, I wish I had reminders. I wish someone reminded me of the things I did during the holy month for the sake of Allah. You worked so hard in this blessed month, now what? Do you go back to the same routine you had before the month of Ramadan? Or do you create a new routine? Do you start over, now that you’ve changed? Now that you’re more aware of your religion? Now that you’ve gotten closer to Allah? 

All this hard work should not be thrown out the window after Ramadan ends. For the last few days, try to journal your experience. Write down all the things you’ve done. Write down any emotions you’ve felt. So, you can always revisit and have reminders for yourself. To remind yourself of the healthy habits you built during this holy month. To remind yourself of how you tried your best. To remind yourself of the connections you’ve made. To remind yourself of the things in this Dunya you detached from for the sake of Allah. 

It’ll be hard. I know this. However, try to hold yourself accountable and know that you’re trying your best. 

Written by Diaka Thiam 🙂

Ramadan Series: The Gift of Pausing

Recently, I experienced something that frustrated me on my first day of Ramadan. This Holy month is about detachment from my desires and distractions. It’s about getting closer to Allah. It’s about being present and mindful of my thoughts and actions. This month is my restart for the year to cleanse my mind and soul. To heal, reflect, and give. Although life continues, Allah provides us with a chance to pause during this month. And that’s what I chose to do this year- learn how to pause. You’re right; I cannot pause school, activities, work, or responsibilities. But, I can pause myself, meaning I can stop for a few minutes, an hour, maybe two, and be mindful of Allah. We are so busy, moving at a speed that sometimes scares us to just pause. We forget the art of pausing. The art of being mindful. The art of looking at our surroundings and appreciating the beauty of life. The art of watching the trees bloom back to life during spring and birds chirping beautiful melodies in the early morning. The art of giving back to any and everyone. The art of gathering as a community, your community. 

I was sad last night, but I decided to pause. The frustration I felt was valid, but what frustrated me will not hold power. I refuse to let it keep its power. So, I breathed, I prayed, and I read. I spent time with my family. 

Pausing, of course, is difficult, but it’s manageable. I believe you can do it. You can take a few minutes to breathe. A few minutes to write. A few minutes to put the phone down. A few minutes to check in with yourself. If you allow it, someone or something will be the thief of your pausing moment. Do not let that happen. 

Ramadan Mubarak, and may Allah continue to give you the peace you’ve been yearning for. 

Written by Diaka Thiam.

“You’re going to grad school to run away from marriage?”- my African mom


Author’s Note: Maybe I spoke too soon on consistency. Well, I am trying. But, it’s a new year, so that means we need more content. So, my beautiful readers, how are you?

If you’re wondering if the title is accurate, then yes, it is. A couple of years ago, I was told to not worry about the m-word. You know exactly what word I am talking about!


Ever since I told my parents that I was going back to school, they will not leave me alone about getting married. A couple of months ago, my dad called me to his room for check-in. I thought it was sweet because there are times when he will randomly check on me. I went to his room with smiles and asked, “What’s up?” He said, “I want to talk to you about your life.” Let’s pause for a second-

Still on pause

Talk to me about my life? In my head, I KNEW what was coming. So, being the smartass I am, I told him about going back to school. He immediately stopped me and said, “Diakha, you are about to be 25. You need to get married.”

Okay, this wasn’t my initial reaction, but we need to add drama.

Obviously, he said this in English and our native language, Soninke. My heart sank just for a millisecond. And so it begins. The marriage conversation- the one I keep having with everyone. The one conversation I cannot seem to avoid. The one conversation that is tied to my identity. Honestly, I was in disbelief. All that I have accomplished, yet the only thing people can mention, is marriage. Do you know how frustrating that is?

I remember going through a phase when I told my parents I did not want to get married. This was to stop them from talking to me about it. Did it work? No, of course not. It made things a lot worse. After my father told me I needed to get married, I actively avoided him. Because, if that’s your way of checking in with your daughter, I want no parts.

It’s not just parents. It’s relatives and friends. I can only chase after things that are in my grasp. If I can’t see it or hold onto it, I can’t chase after it. Marriage is so far from me. It’s exhausting trying to find your person. Talking to someone new every few months, just to realize you wasted your time. Putting in the effort, bringing down your standards and expectations, and being vulnerable it’s all too tiring. And, this is what people don’t realize. All the work you put in to find your person. What do you get out of it? People shaming you. People saying you’re getting too old. People comparing you to your mates. People refusing to acknowledge other aspects of your life. People not respecting you and your privacy.

I told you all before that I would not give up. But, I will give myself a break (well, I already have). My main goal this new year is to be in tune with myself and stay in the present. But, unfortunately, I live in my head too much, dreaming about my fantastic wedding day and marrying Jaylen Brown. Love has already found me. In my friendships. In books. In my schooling. In my job. And love will continue to find me. Someday, when the time is right, marriage will also find me.

As always, thank you so much for reading!
Written by: Diaka Thiam 🙂

An African Girl’s Early Twenties Reflection


Author’s Note: We are back babyyyyy. I turned 25 yesterday! I felt so loved and appreciated, which was a great way to ring in a new chapter of my life. I hope you enjoy my lessons. Let me know what lessons you’ve learned 🙂

A quote for you: When the sun rises, you rise with it.

“Growth is everlasting… even if you reject it.”

You cannot deny the growth you experience every year. Even if you don’t feel it, you are growing each year. What you have experienced can indeed make you a new person. For some, this may seem obvious, but for others, it is hard to accept. Imagine all the new people you meet each year and what you’ve learned from them. It doesn’t have to be direct. Simply, it can be what you’ve experienced with them.

“Friendships bloom but can also wither.”

Not like a dying flower, but you get it, right? I think each person I’ve had as a friend was super important. No matter what I went through with that person, they added something to my life. No matter the hurt I have caused and vice versa, I will forever be grateful. With each friendship, I learned so much about myself. I knew what kind of friend I am, and what kind of friend I would like to become. I became more vulnerable. And, I think the best part is that I learned more about my own love language and the types of friends I want in my life. The difficulty, though, is accepting that not every friendship is meant to continue to bloom. Everything in life doesn’t last. Some friendships wither to make room for newer and stronger friendships.

“Your community is everywhere.”

I don’t think we talk about this enough, but the community helps us thrive in this world. Without our communities, we are empty. A community is like a nest; as birds build their nests sometimes, they consider what’s needed to make their nests strong. The communities you are part of help develop your character. We are born into communities, but we also have choices as we get older. Everywhere we turn, there is a community for us. Over the years, I didn’t realize the communities I was part of- the ones that shaped me into who I am today. Without those communities, I would be lost. So don’t forget to keep finding your communities. It is never too late.

“If you want to sing a song, make sure to sing it loud and proud.”

I remember this one time I was driving to my house with my mom in the passenger seat. Harry Styles Adore You came on and I busted out my singing voice. My windows were down, and I was happy. I sang until we got to my house. I parked next to this car, not realizing someone was in it. When I turned to look at the car, there sat a woman in the driver’s seat, giving me the dirtiest look I have ever seen. To this day, I am still hurt because that woman really must have hated my singing. Why am I telling you this? Well, if you want to sing a song, sing it. Do not let other people ruin your shine. You will have people hate on the very things you love to do, but that should not stop you. Keep going. And this goes beyond singing. Interpret this lesson in any way that suits you. Did I stop singing after that encounter? No. I sang my heart out even more because I love Harry Styles, and singing makes me happy.

Do not let the pressures of marriage get to you.

I have been pressured to marry since I turned 18 years old. Luckily while I was in school, it wasn’t that bad. But, once I graduated from college, it got worst. Marriage proposals left and right. I wish I went to therapy more often during this time. I wish there was someone to help me get through it, and not deal with it on my own. Though I joke with my friends about wanting to get married, I still cry to myself knowing the pressure has gotten to me. This lesson is easier said than done. But, you have to try to not let people get into your head. Some will tell you you’re getting too old so you need to get married. Others will tell you to settle and stop being picky. At the end of the day, this is your life. Marriage will come when it comes.

Document your highs and lows.

Every year, I love to revisit the millions of journals and pictures on my phone. Although I do not like to be reminded of the past, knowing what I have been through is still good. The good and the bad. You don’t have to do this, but I find it helpful to document your life, whatever it looks like for you. Journal. Take pictures. Create a physical photo album. Make your own scrapbook. This is for you and only you.

You will always find your passion/purpose in new experiences and challenges in life.

I talked to a close friend of mine, and they mentioned something so important. They felt lost and didn’t know if they really knew their purpose in life. It made me realize that with each new experience, you will be reminded of your passion/purpose in life. And, you may not have just one purpose. Honestly, I don’t think any of us have one purpose. If you’re feeling lost, think about your passions in life. Think about what you’re truly passionate about. What makes you happy? It took me a while to figure it out, but when I did, I was a happy woman. Take your time too. Do not let anyone rush you to figure it all out. One step at a time.

“Do not forget to take care of your open wounds.”

You put a bandaid on that wound, hoping it will heal in due time, but have you checked on it? Have you cleaned the wound? Your open wounds need to be addressed and taken care of. I have always suppressed my emotions and the pain I’ve felt. I would remind myself that with time, I would heal. But, that was never the case. Eventually, all the emotions piled up, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. I became bitter. Your open wounds cannot become scars until you do the work to heal. Once it becomes a scar, you’ll be reminded of your strength and the obstacles you’ve overcome.

Thank you so much for reading! Stay safe!

Written by Diaka Thiam

feeling the feelings cause I wanna be in my feels.


Omg, what is this? Consistency? No way! Hello my wonderful readers, I hope you are all well. How are you feeling? Are you feeling the feelings? All the emotions you’ve been suppressing? Holding off? Convincing yourself that you are okay when you are not?

There are days when I cannot explain or even understand my emotions. If I do not understand what I am feeling at the moment, I put it off. Reminding myself to come back to it, but never do. All the feelings begin to pile up, and come back to me by force. It usually takes one moment, one situation, or one word for me to give in. To feel the feelings. All of them.

This may be the case for some, but for others who actually take the time to understand their emotions at the moment, not so much. Back in college, people used to tell me how positive I was. In my head, I took it as a compliment. Who doesn’t want to be positive? But, there was something I didn’t realize at the time. I was engaging in toxic positivity. Yet, I wasn’t the only one. The people who continuously mentioned my positivity are to blame as well. I mean, how can someone be positive every day?

I would push my “negative” feelings aside. Whenever I showed any type of sadness or anger, people would comment, “You’re not your usual self today.” So, what is my usual self like?

It bothered me a lot. I began to hide my true emotions. I would plaster a smile on my face and just go about my day. But, when I returned home, the tears would escape and I suddenly became vulnerable. I wasn’t being honest to myself.

I struggled for a while, especially when I came to a realization that I wasn’t being honest. I let my emotions pile up once again, not really taking the time to explore them. It was after college, when I was no longer surrounded by people who encouraged my toxic positivity, that I finally decided to stop. Journaling how I felt was key. No matter how I was feeling, I would pick up my journal and write. I was inconsistent for a bit, but that’s okay. While journaling, I would reflect a lot on everything happening in my life, but also outside of my life.

Here are some ways you can feel the feelings:

  • Reflect and choose something to help document your reflection.
    • This can be through anything. Some people prefer journaling. Others prefer creating art. Maybe creating a playlist of how you feel at the moment. Or, writing a letter to yourself.
  • Move your body.
    • Sometimes to feel the feelings and to let them go, you want to move your body. I switch it up depending on how I am feeling. If I am feeling sad, I will do yoga. If I am feeling joy and energetic, I will choose my favorite dance playlist and dance. If I am feeling angry or stressed, I will do a 30 minute exercise to let it all out. Find out what works for you.
  • Talking to someone.
    • This can be anyone, even you! You can also talk to a therapist. Therapy is effective. If therapy is not an option due to any reason, then maybe a friend or someone close to you. Sometimes, talking to yourself can be helpful. Hearing yourself talk about how you are feeling helps.

Be mindful. Try your best to feel the feelings. Just try. I am learning everyday to feel my feelings. I’m not going to lie and say, it’s been an easy process, but hey, I am trying. If you want to add any suggestions to the list above, please reach out! If you are looking for resources, let me know!

As always, thank you for reading.

Written by Diaka Thiam

If you want to reach out, email me at

talking about mental health in an african home pt. 2


Author’s Note: Hi my wonderful readers and welcome back to the Life of an African Girl in America! I hope you are all doing well.

We are back babyyyyyy. Wow. It has been a minute. I haven’t been active because your girl is now in school. Yes, I am a graduate student now studying Counseling Psychology. My concentration is in school counseling. Honestly, if you asked 18 year old Diakha if she would ever pursue school counseling, she would’ve laughed. But, here we are.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post titled, mental health in an African home and at the time, I was an undergrad student studying psychology. Now, I am revisiting this same topic because a lot has not changed. Well, I have changed. I have decided to continue my counseling psychology journey for the sake of helping and educating my own community. Over the past few years, I have always tried to have an open and candid relationship with my parents. I took over our relationship, not to control it, but to find a balance. My parents will always have the mindset of “I am the parent and you are the child.” But as I have gotten older, I have noticed a change in them. How they view me- as if I am the parent. The dependence. The yearning for care. I noticed sadness in their eyes. The silence.

Our home has always been quiet. We’ve been through a lot of traumatic events, which we barely speak about. I try my best to check in with my brothers, specifically the youngest. One thing I have noticed over the years is how my mom talks to me about her pain. I listen carefully because that is the least I can do for her. No matter what is going on, I always make sure to ask everyone in the home how they are doing. For me, it’s a great way to start the conversation. How are they really? But, sometimes this is not reciprocated. My parents do not ask me how I am mentally. Usually, they only ask if I am okay when I am physically ill. I can walk around the home, depressed, and I never hear, “Diakha are you okay?” Or, when I tell them how I really feel about being the eldest daughter who carries a lot on her shoulders, and they aren’t listening.

In my African household, my goal since college was to start the conversation about our mental wellbeing. Even if my parents refused to ask me how I am, I told myself to not give up on them. If I don’t start the conversation then who will? My next goal is to educate them, overcome this barrier and stigma. We’re making progress, I know it’s small, but it’s progress. My mother talking to me openly about how she feels is progress. I would like for the next step to be my mother attending a therapy session, but that will be difficult due to the language barrier and cultural differences. If I can find a therapist for her that speaks French, we can make it work.

For my fellow Africans, let’s not be shy. To practice now on speaking about mental health and wellbeing in your homes will definitely prepare you for your future family. It should not be taboo to talk about how we feel. Simple check-ins are helpful. Encouraging your family to take a day or two for themselves. Having a family conversation and creating a strong family support system. Seeking professional help. Creating a safe environment in the home (being inclusive).

I barely touched the surface in this blog post. There’s a lot to be discussed especially when it comes to our family members who have mental health conditions. How do we overcome the stigma surrounded by those conditions? How do we educate our family members who are in denial?

It starts with you. Yes, you, reading this post. Take the steps needed. Take the initiative. If you would like to talk more about this topic, please feel free to reach out.

Thank you for reading! More on this topic coming soon.

Written by: Diaka Thiam

Who told you I wanted you?


Wow it has been a long time since I wrote on the blog. I had to take a break and finish my second poetry book, The Sweetest Nectar. How are you? Are you taking care of yourself? I hope you are well 🙂

Yes, you did read the title right. I was told once before by someone, “I would’ve married you, but your parents are complicated.”


One thing I will say, men have the audacity. I knew this person as a friend and I remember him looking for someone to marry. I was even helping him look for someone. In all of our interactions, not ONCE had he mentioned his interest for me. I never looked at him, and said to myself, “Self, we want this man as a spouse.” Never. He was my friend, but obviously, he didn’t see it that way. And, before you mention whether I was oblivious, I was not. I promise.

You know what’s funny? He actually stopped talking to me when he got married. What’s even funnier, he went to everyone about me- telling them he wanted to be with me, but NOT ONCE told me his interest. At the time, I was single (still single), and honestly unavailable. But can I ask you a genuine question? When you’re interested in someone, do you tell them? Or do you tell the entire world about your interest in this person, but not the person? I promise I will not judge you.


I hate that because I am single, men think I am suddenly available. I stopped making myself available, which really means telling people I am looking for a husband. When you tell people you are looking, the door opens for nonsense. Suddenly, all the cousins are lining up for your hand in marriage. Your mom is trying to kick you out of the house. Your dad is becoming EXTRA overprotective. Your aunties are begging you to get married because you’re getting “too old,” whatever that means. Your friends are telling you to just settle and stop being picky. And the list goes on and on.

No one ever asks me what I want, or even when they do, I am being selfish. I have had a very traumatizing experience regarding marriage, which is why I keep talking about it on the blog. People think I am being picky. Let me tell y’all something really quick. Someone not wanting to settle for less DOES NOT mean they are picky. However you want to define what being picky looks like. I do not want to settle for anyone, I know what I am looking for and I just haven’t found him yet. That, my friends, doesn’t make me picky. Let’s read below for an example-

My parents gave me two men to choose from. Let’s call them Man A and Man B (I know it’s terrible but follow me here). Man A is in academia, a professor. He is a little bit older than me, so it’s difficult to have conversations with him. Any time we talked, he sounded like he was lecturing me about life. Man B has his own business. He is also older than me but not that much, like a couple of years. He is pretty chill.

Initially, I said no to both men. I said no to Man A because I didn’t like him as a person- there was no attraction there. In order to marry someone, you have to at least like the person right? You have to like who they are as a person. I am using the word like for my case. That is not me being picky. A counterargument to this might be, “Well, give him a chance, and you’ll eventually start to like him.”

I did. We talked for a few months and nothing came out of it for me. I did not want to waste this man’s time, so we stopped talking. Now, let’s talk about Man B. It was complicated with him, and it still is. I said no for personal reasons that I will talk about in another blog post (maybe). But you get the point?

I want to marry someone I actually like- no, I should marry someone I love. Not someone I have no desire in being with. I wish people would stop telling me how picky I am. Whatever that means. If I say no to my suitors there is obviously a reason, a good reason.

All in all, I am in a really good place at the moment. Peaceful too. I don’t know how to end this blog post, but I hope this made you laugh. More marriage nonsense blogs to come, be on the lookout. As always, thank you for reading.

Written by Diaka Thiam (ya favorite blogger)