Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.
NoViolet Bulawayo, "We Need New Names".
Tell them what I did to you…
both judge and jury
Petals of your innocence
a witness to the floor.
Tiles on that fall of Spring in leaves-
pages of life rewritten
in the absence of the presence-
a blossom, au naturel like the
naked features of your face…
Doors closed in open spaces.
Take off your shoes,
tonight we set footprints
in seconds too short to remember-yet experienced
so long and lasting…
taste but do not savor instructions-
that good kind of bad, amber October.
Cracking and hissing firewood, a melting pot
of passion pulsing on her wrist-
Tired pleasure, hanging on that last moment
the promise of a tattoo.
Warm laughs like the oven of sunset…
let me Watch the coals in your eyes,
that lava-manna from the heaven below the 7th
A poem by a young Zimbabwean writer who goes by the pen name Adonis Young.
And these days it is worse, with the poverty of blackness on one side and the weight of womanhood on the other. Aiwa! What will help you, my child, is to learn to carry your burdens with strength.
…condemning Nyasha to whoredom, making her a victim of her femaleness, just as I had felt victimised at home in the days when Nhamo went to school and I grew my maize. The victimisation, I saw, was universal. It didn’t depend on poverty, on lack of education or on tradition. It didn’t depend on any of the things I had thought it depended on. Men took it everywhere with them. Even heroes like Babamukuru did it. And that was the problem…all conflicts came back to the question of femaleness. Femaleness as opposed and inferior to maleness.
A quote from Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga's debut novel Nervous Conditions, book I love more and more every time it’s brought up in conversation.
So many of the words in this book, and both Nyasha and Tambu’s lives, resonate so deeply with my experiences.
AUGUST: Celebrating African Women
Our daughters are prepared
to run where your sons
are taught to never go.