This poem is for
The one who built and birthed the African nation
The one who is either at the forefront or background of every African child’s struggle
This is for the crown of our nation
The chief cornerstone that the builders of Africa rejected
Yet she is the foundation that holds Africa down
Imbokodo…

So,
This poem could be titled…
UNITY

But see,
If I had titled this piece RACISM
I’d have the attention of every black person
And other people of colour
Similarly,
If I had titled it FEMINISM
I’d have the solidarity of every woman
And some men,
whether or not they agreed with my ideals
And if I had titled the piece
ANTI HOMOPHOBIA
I’d have the attention of every queer person
And most members of the LGBTQI+ community…
In all these equations,
The common denominator is the Black African Woman
Yet when we speak on issues affecting her
She is left to stand alone…

Maybe this piece should be titled
EQUALITY

We need to stand up for the Black African Woman
Not because she needs a saviour
Because see,
She has fought many wars
And conquered many struggles
Uliqhawekazi!

See,
When she lifts up her fist
She isn’t raising the race card
OR declaring war against masculinity or “patriarchy”
She is simply reminding herself that buried seeds don’t die in vain
She is declaring that she too will rise
and multiply!

Maybe this piece is actually titled Social Cohesion and Social Justice

What would that even mean to her
When we keep on conveniently minding our own business when injustice is inflicted upon her…

Isn’t it said that when watch injustice and do nothing about it
We are as guilty as the perpetrators??
Wait…
We are the perpetrators!
We are the same children she either birthed or raised
Who grew up to be more painful as thorns on her skin
than the labour pains she endured to give us life
Then we come back and subject her to the hardest labour with the least pay
Causing her to be the one most affected by poverty, inequality and HIV and aids
See,
She isn’t only plagued by disease but tormented by all social ills…
She is the least safest on the same streets she built with her bare hands!

She cleans houses she could never afford to stay in
Works in neighbourhoods she could never live in
We treat her as if she is only good enough to impart lessons into our children
Yet we think she is too stupid to be spoken to like the adult that she is
Not by you though right? You were raised well…
What about that bed you left undone for your maid to fix
Was that necessary?!

See,
I won’t stop writing until this poem makes you feel uncomfortable enough
To step off of her crown and let her shine
I won’t stop speaking
Because maybe my eloquence will cause you to pay more attention
But I don’t blame you for being a bit intimidated by her

Because
When an African Woman Speaks
She is like roaring thunder
Her truths shake the very core of injustice
Her stature oozes with authority and power
She causes kings to vacate their thrones and bow at her feet
She shakes every kind of oppressive system
She is unapologetic and demands change
She incites order and commands undivided attention with each word
The world cannot but shut up and listen
No wonder she is perceived as angry and bitter
The truth does that to people!

Feeling uncomfortable??
That’s the point…
See,
Taming a Lioness doesn’t make her less powerful
It just means that you should be careful not to slip and forget
Because
With or without your help
She will rise and her roar will remind you that
It is as true now as it always was
That
Amandla,
Ngawethu!

Kay-Dee Mashile

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The way that you love me…

This feels like dejavu
Almost as though I’ve sat down before
And penned down these very words
It feels like I’ve sung this to you before…

See… Being loved by you is so familiar
Because I have written so many poems
And sung so many songs
I have even dreamt
Of this kinda love…

I have imagined being loved
The way that you love me
And just before I lost hope
You showed up
And then I knew it was possible
To be loved
The way that you love me

I hope that I can one day love
The way that you love me…

Kay-Dee Mashile

Another piece without a title

When you drew away
I drew closer to God
I guess that’s the blessing in this whole situation
That when I missed your texts
I ran to the best love story ever written
And when I missed you
I ran straight into my Father’s arms

I didn’t realise how much of an idol I had maid us
Until God had to be the only Man in my life for the past week
I realised that the reason why I felt alone without you
Was that I was letting you replace Him
And somehow this week forced me to reflect on my life and do some much needed growing up

See, spending time with God reintroduced me to me
It reminded me of the me that I had let go of in the process of fixing the me that I met through you
To be honest
I love who I am through your eyes
But I choose to be who I am through His

So, hello
This is me
I am first and foremost His before I could ever be yours
And I pray that it be in Him that we grow as us
May our lives meet where He is
May it be in His perfect will that we build us
I look forward to introducing you to our Father
And to meeting Him every day that I get to spend with you.

 

I don’t know what’s worse
Whether it is that I don’t remember what it is that got us here in the first place
Or that I wish you could just end it already
Or that I actually still have hope that we can survive this…

I don’t know what else to do
After I have pleaded and poured out my heart to you
There is nothing left to say that could possibly be true in attempts to convince you
So I prayed
I prayed until all the words I could utter were “Please, God!”
I cried myself to sleep and dreamt of you
My dreams of us deceived me into believing that my cries for mercy had been heard
But I woke up to the reality that we’re still bent
I determined within myself that I wouldn’t give up without at least trying to fix us
But it seems that the more I try
I increase the chances of breaking us
Because, you see, we must want to become better
Not just me…

So this is my final plea
Now that the worst has happened
See, nothing could hurt more than knowing that you are there but not here with me
Knowing that I have you but I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to…
Now here is my plea,
Please don’t prolong ending us if you have already decided that we’re not worth saving
And if we are,
Breathe life into us before it is too late.
Love, like other major life decisions, remains a choice that no one else can make for you…

And if this is the last poem I will ever get to write to you,
I may as well end it with a note that I have been meaning to send to you:

“Good morning Love…

We tried. And that’s what counts. I wish you nothing but the best for your future in ministry, business, politics and all your other endeavours. I know that you will make an amazing husband to someone one day. Sadly, I’m not that someone… I hope that this doesn’t end our friendship as well. It would be a pity to lose you altogether. I love you. Bye Baby.”

You could have warned me
You could have honestly told me
I think I deserved that much
I deserved to be informed
That this is what you meant when you said
You want me

See,
I was not ‘available’
I was waiting
I was waiting for the person who would invest time into getting to know me just as I have invested time into getting to know you
I was waiting for the person who would pursue me
The person who would make me a priority in his life
So you should have told me…

I am not needy
I had no voids for you to fill
Yet you asked and I made room in my heart for you
But then you decide when you want to be there
You come and go as you please
You could have at least told me that you were looking to rent but not to buy

I have a life
Yet I make an effort to involve you in it
Albeit it worked excellently before you
You could have told me that this is not what you wanted
You could have told me to care within boundaries
So that when you going through it and you push me away it wouldn’t hurt so much…
You should have told me hey!

But then,
I can’t complain
You mos can’t deal with complaints…
I will rather keep it all in
And just before I can’t take it anymore
I will pour it out in a poem
I guess I also should have told you
And if you choose to leave,
It was nice knowing you!

This is why I Love You

I love you,
Mostly because I love me
The me that I met through meeting you…
Because see, you introduce me to myself

You allow me to shine forth my beauty
You encourage my heart to love and care for those around me
You urge me to relate
You introduce me to a happy and nurturing me…

You challenge me
You push me over the edge so that I can have no more excuses but to fly
And then you take my hand and sour with me
You introduce me to a courageous and bold me

And then you challenge me
You push the buttons I never knew I had
You introduce me to the hurt parts of me that never really healed
You introduce me to the sharp parts of me that are cutting at me as I try to conceal them
You introduce me to a me that needs to grow past her pains and disappointments

You excite me
You show me a world of joy and peace beyond understanding
You aid me to see that growth is an exciting journey that no one can take for me
And then you offer to walk with me through it…
You introduce me to a me that knows how to relax and trust

You introduce me to my flaws and shortcomings
And then you me while I work and pray through them…
You introduce me to a beautiful me
And then you love and appreciate me for it.
You introduce me to the me of my dreams
And then you love me enough to allow room to live out her dreams…
You introduce me to an imperfect me,
And you love me with and through it all…

You introduce me to myself
To a me that I’m learning to love
And as I continue to learn to love myself
I am learning to love you more and more…
I love you
Because
I love how knowing you introduces me to who I am

Miss K.D Mashile

While I wait

Hi,

I trust that this finds you well.

I am Dineo, although you may not know me yet
I am the one waiting for you
The one for whom you are looking
I am HER
I write this poem to you while I wait

I know that you are close by
But I will not seek you out
For my sole pursuit is after Our Father
My heart’s desire is to be with Him first
And I trust that the same is true for you

I will pray for you while I wait
Not that we meet quickly but that we meet at His appointed time
I also pray that we both get to our respective places of wholeness in Him
I pray that we will be completed as individuals while we wait to be merged into one
I pray that we stay on the path of righteousness as God leads us
So that we don’t miss each other or meet outside of His will

Most of all
I know you are closer now than you have ever been
So I choose to save my body, mind and soul and focus on my energy on God and the advancement of His Kingdom until such a day when He gives me to you

I choose to forgive and let go of any past hurt and sanctify my heart so that I may be able to see you through the eyes of Christ and not compare you to anyone other than Him
Even then, I pray that our destinies will collide and where 1 could have reached 1000 2 will reach 10000

I am excited to meet you
Yet I pray that I will not wait for you to be happy
But that I will be joyful even while I wait

I will see you soon then
Even while I wait…