I first came across the Divine Alphabet when I was reading ‘The Tao of Wu’, written by Wu Tang’s the RZA. The Divine or Supreme Alphabet was written by Elijah Muhammad – who some of you would know as the late Malcom X’s mentor – where he assigned a meaning to each letter. RZA studied the work of Muhammad which he talks in more depth about in his book and I’d recommend it to anyone to read. I’ve read it several times and I get an knew perspective on something every time I do.
‘Zig Zag Zig’: it is the path or journey from knowledge, to wisdom to understanding. It symbolises personal growth and maturity. Something that started for me when I went from learning I have alopecia at age 17, to shaving it off at age 20 and then wearing a headscarf every day from age 21. For women (and some men) it’s not just hair. It’s a part of your identity and without it (unwillingly) you feel like you have lost a part of your identity. Then when I started wearing headscarves and dressing the way that I do today my perspective changed again. I was treated differently – both good and bad and found it easy to make both friends and enemies. I found that I was representing an entire group of people and constantly had to prove myself. One thing that helped me so much during this time was sisterhood – the sisterhood coming from Muslimahs. Their turban tying advice and support has been very helpful. This period got me thinking about a lot of things, I started reading more and was studying hip hop in my spare time.
‘Cypher’: it’s the areas in your life that you have control over. Losing my hair was not one of those things but what I did have control over is how it would affect me. I wanted to turn this weakness into a strength. I found myself changing my studies and moving cities to help get on the path to where I wanted to be. Along the way I’ve met people or have had experiences that kept pushing me in the right direction and have helped me get to where I am today.
‘He or Her’: you or me. We have the power to either build or destroy. I choose to build, create and empower.