The Slumflower on the joys of living alone
Author, campaigner and social media influencer Chidera Eggerue, 24, says everyone needs room to know who they really are without the interference of family and friends
Produced, filmed and edited by Joe Sinclair
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Hey, welcome to my apartment. Come on in.
My name is Chidera. I am popularly known online as the Slumflower. I'm 24 years old, and I'm an author and activist. This might sound terrible, but I do not miss being at home at all. I really, really love living alone.
And what are you best known for?
I am best known for a movement I created that went super viral called #SaggyBoobsMatter. And that movement's all about encouraging women to see their bodies beyond vessels to be consumed by men.
So I'm an influencer. And for those that don't know what an influencer is, an influencer is someone that basically convinces you to make certain decisions, whether its making purchases or changing the way that you view yourself. And mine kind of merges into both where I convince you to purchase things by allowing you to believe that it's something that you need. Duh, that's how capitalism works. But also, I allow you to change the way that you view yourself through me living by example and showing you that there are other ways to view yourself as a person. So I'm basically making you do something, controlling your mind.
Young people should decide to live alone because it's important to give yourself room to know who you really are when you are not responding to other people. And what I mean by that is if you live with family or your partner or roommates or anybody, it means that you're being a particular version of yourself that those people bring out of you, because every single person we meet brings up a different side of us. So if you're living alone, it means that you actually get to explore yourself. And you will find that you'll discover things you didn't even know you liked, because you now have all this space to really explore who you are.
And then this is a random plate that I just really like. So I thought that needs to go on my wall because it's too cute to eat wrong. We have so much messaging flying through our phones and our screens, computers, TV, Netflix, everything, it's just a lot. And it's just really cool to be able to strip back and decide who you are on your terms. And it's something that you deserve to explore.
But you're part of that sort of cacophony of social media noise, aren't you?
I definitely am one of the people that tells you to stay online more so that you can hopefully spend money on something. But at the same time, I also tell you to create healthy boundaries, because ultimately, you are responsible for the decisions that you make for yourself. So it all comes down to recognising that you are your own keeper.
Isn't living alone lonely?
Lonely is very subjective and is a concept that I think is imposed mainly on women a lot, because it's the idea that: don't you crave companionship? Don't you feel incomplete? And I think those questions are valid, but we have to really think about where they stem from. And it's the idea that if you don't have companionship, then you're not a complete person and that you aren't completely happy until we have someone who is the apple of your eye and finishes all your sentences and loves you unconditionally.
But I don't think that joy begins or ends there. I think it's so much more than that and that you get to decide what joy looks like to you. And for me, joy looks like living alone on my own terms without anyone making me feel bad about my happiness.