Thursday, November 15, 2012



I have not blogged in such a long time I feel like I might need an introduction (again!). But no, I choose  to not introduce myself because my feminist energy is wrecking havok inside me and somehow if I waste another minute she might just get out of my stomach and slap me on the face. My feminist rogue? Mmmmmh, I love her, she understands the power of disobedience.

So, here I am sitting at a conference room for the fourth day in a row surrounded by a group of feminists from across a number of countries in Southern Africa: Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Oh yea, the conspicuous absence of South African participants is rather interesting and exciting for me. One, South Africa needs to  back off sometimes because even with feminists we often internalize hegemonic modes of self-assertion that could be translated as selfish, cultic or outright arrogant. I am glad that there are no South African organisations as participants at this school/workshop.  It helps to imagine how much a strategy of exclusion could possibly prove beneficial to grassroots feminist movement-building processes. Have I lost you already? Helllloooo my South African feminists! This is me sending you feminist love and solidarity. Ok, as you were! :) :) Yes, thank you so much JASS (Just Associates ) for not bringing us in. Oh I fast forwarded there; the second reason I am glad that South Africa is missing from this process is that this opportunity has afforded me honorary South African status! Hey Home Affairs, can you hear me??? I am South African, even if for five days :)

Seriously now, I will avoid all the exclamation marks, smiley faces and blah blah blah. I have listened, in the past few days, to stories of HIV and/AIDS-related experiences of sisters from Malawi. Stories that very strongly illustrate the power of (self-)forgiveness, the power of narrative, the power of a collective, the power of.....I am hearing power all over, all around me. I have heard women from Zambia and Zimbabwe mention parts of the female body that many would consider taboo. Vagina, my vagina, a woman's vagina....uhhhhh this naming is as important as the taking ownership of our bodies. Name it, claim it, re-claim it, own it, use it...Become your vagina, become your body, become a woman, become you. BECAUSE YOU ARE!  I hear the voice of Swati young girls who have figured out the KINGDOM and the space that patriarchy allows this small but mighty kingdom to subjugate women. WoW, hell knows I love women. No, I love feminists!

Please don't ask me how I ended up here...let's just say that the Feminist Goddess Universe knew I needed this!!! Yet another woman that I love soooo deeply! So my feminist goddess did send JASS to find me and find me Anna et al did :-)  I know what I am here to do though, well at least according to my contract with JASS not what I have chosen to do beyond that. I am here to document this process and eventually come up with a report (the boring part) know why I hate poverty? Never mind.

I have to go peeps but one last thing: it is hard to document and have to restrain yourself from participating in something so cloooose to your personhood. To your politics. I care about climate change but I bet you it would be easier for me to be comfortable with non-participation at a Global Warming Conference! By naming myself a feminist, I share in the vision of all these women. I share in the vision of JASS. I share in the freedom of women from all forms of oppression. I commit to find Patriarchy behind every dark corner it hides in. I commit to unmask and expose patriarchy. Today. Tomorrow. Everyday. I AM A FEMINIST. BODY, MIND AND SOUL.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Day you will Read about this Place

I know I will be gone then
My head will have strung itself to my feet
I will have walked miles with my heart
When you start the first chapter

One day you will read about this place
A place never written about
The place I wrote in my head
While you were away I thought
I want you to read about this place

You will read about a place
That I have been to all this while
A place you will never get to
But a place I know all about
Because I created this place

One day you will read about this place
In my absence you will feel the gap
The gap that never was
When I first wrote the preface
A gap that now sits on the blurb

And while you read about this place
I will sit in your head all along
Begging your mind to rewind
What you have been force fed
Before you read about this place

One day you will read about this place
Between your soul and your nails
You will find your heart trapped
In a web of sisal and spaghetti
All dipped in your mustard sauce

When you read about this place
Dare not mention my name
For my veneration isn't yours
Though we shared a sliced heart
While I wrote about this place

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Poem from the Dying

You know I wanted to be there
To hold you if you walk down the aisle
To hug you on your graduation
To play with the child you may never have
I for sure wanted to be there

I wanted to be there my daughter
To reassure you if your husband cheats
To tell you it is fine to date other women
I wanted to be there for you
If nothing else
To be a father
Your father

I watch you watch me
Blankly you blink
Lashes lightly touching
You afraid of closing them
Just in case you dont find me here
Once your eyes open

You know I wanted to stay
Just a little longer for you my daughter
But this pain will win me soon
And  I hope you will be gone
When they push me away in a trolley
Aluminium trolleys that have many before me ferried
Your mother, sister, uncle and a thousand strangers

I hope you do not see me lie there
cold, grey and vulnerable
I wish you dont see them cover my face
With this green sheet on which I lie
As if suffocating me to ensure I never rise
If I cant be there for you now
Daughter I do not want you there then

Perhaps if your mother was there
May be if your granny still lived
Or if your aunts really cared
I would not go so painfully
I wish someone would teach you
About menstruation
How girls get pregnant
For I worry about you
Even on my deathbed

Goodbye daughter
I leave broken, ashamed and weak
If you had grown a little more
I would have told you how I got here
But I will let you be the child you are
And when you grow up I know they will tell you
Dont carry my shame and agony
Let the world  afford you love

Down the Street

You walk the street for the first time
There has been an uncovered empty hole for years
You just did not know where it was
Until you fall into the hole
Its emptiness becoming yours

You walk the street once again
There has been an uncovered empty hole for years
You know where it has been and still is
Again you fall into the hole
Its emptiness doubling yours

You walk the street again and again
There has been an uncovered empty hole for years
You know the depth of its emptiness
Again deeper you fall into the hole
Its emptiness hurting yours

You walk the street once again and again
There has been an uncovered empty hole for years
You pretend you do not know its emptiness
But you still fall into the hole
Its emptiness swallowing yours

You walk the street again, again and again
There has been an uncovered empty hole for years
You acknowledge its emptiness
And push yourself to fall into the hole
Its emptiness embracing yours

You walk the street again, again, again and again
There has been an uncovered empty hole for years
You look at its emptiness
And decide to walk around the hole
Its emptiness staring at yours

Wishing you took another street
Your emptiness
You are lost
But the voices keep yelling
Telling your emptiness
To pull itself together

Prickly Pears are not in Season

My grandfather loves calling me names
names with no particular meaning
of no particular origin
he calls me to make him tea
with the milk he didn't bring
to fetch him drinking water
even after the long drought
a drought that seems to move wells further

My grandfather loves to call me
to bring him a half burnt piece of wood
to light his equally half burnt tobacco
and often his half burnt index finger
a half burnt piece of wood
that he hit my grandmother with
on Sunday morning
burning her only church dress

My grandfather has been calling me often
to scratch his back for he has taken ill lately
there are so many of us but he calls me
not because he loves me I bet
like all my cousins he enjoys the bullying
but I will scratch his back today
may be for the last time
my fingers smell of death
a mixture of sweat and Vicks rub

My grandfather has stopped calling me
In fact for twenty years now
In this silence I learn he loved me
may be only now in his grave
he might have loved me one day
like when he gave me a male chicken
well more like lent me his chicken
bribing me to keep a secret from grandma
for a few days we shared a secret
i was the special granddaughter
until i found the chicken feathers
behind his little farm house
my grandfather ate my cock

And I have erased all bad memories of him
and wish he could give me something else
steal it secretly and lie it was hit by a matatu
and the only memories of him are those of war
the Sunday morning wars with grandma
the end-of-month wars with mum
my uncles
my aunts
his demands for his share of their salaries
wars he fought for other people's causes
for reasons he didnt know

BURMA, K.A.R, M.I.A, WWII, Germans

And in Burma he forgot his brains
came home with a lie about his brother
the Albino brother he lied to us was German
and these fucking prickly pears
that have stolen a half my grandma's garden
and things keep happening in halves
in my family
a half portions of food
a half told stories of fathers
a half schizophrenic aunts
a half religious uncles
and Woolies has the guts
to tell me their prickly pears
are so expensive now because
prickly pears are out of season! GASP

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our Programme for the future

There is a myth doing the rounds

That we no longer have a need
For a conscious revolution

There is a myth doing the rounds
That radical politics is reactionary
For a civilized population

There is a myth doing the rounds
That Black people have become racist
For a theory of evolution

There is a myth doing the rounds
That Black women are too angry
For a role of reproduction

There is a myth doing the rounds
That continental Africans are ready
For a project of neocolonization

There is a myth doing the rounds
That queers are poster children
For a large-scale demonisation

But this the programme for the future

We refuse to sing love songs
In the midst of hate crimes


Africa will no longer be a woman
Embodying fourth-nationalism

The programme for the future
Will entail the criteria for admission


By the time we are done with you
You will understand our need
For a revolution

In world beaten into submission
Warped by the vagueness of a prefix
As if the postcard in your post office box
Did not box me!