27th Mar2017

Strong Black Woman

by admin

Strong Black Woman

She’s a dark, Nubian queen.

Her Strength a spine made of diamonds.

She is a hurricane of a woman.

A woman who doesn’t care about the hushed

whispers the world envelops her with.

She is a bulletproof spirit made of a living,

breathing black womanhood.

Her body, mind and soul contort and buckle

like the capricious African landscape

under the beating sun.

She carries the weight of the world’s scorn and

derision home

only then does the cracking,

calloused veneer dissipate

like drained leaves

as winter winds push them away to reveal the

bare willowy frame they decorated so


No longer is she strong,

no longer is she the hurricane

that knocked the wind storm

so effortlessly out of her.

The world’s narrative of ‘strong black woman’

has left her mourning in silence,

her silent moans echoing back to her in the

uncomfortable quiet.

Slowly stripped of her humanity and her pain,

her vulnerability

A power so practiced it only serves to struggle

against the scorn.

This ‘strength’ is the only power she has left in

her to strike back; to dance to the unchained

rhythm of the ‘strong black woman’ narrative.

Predisposition is to always stifle her sadness,

to hide even her happiness lest she be

labelled ‘loud ghetto bitch’.

She is filled with magic

– the stuff of faery tales –

ethereal and elusive like the slow, howling

winds before the storm.

The moments of deep anxiety

and depression where the darkness within

herself eclipses all else are frequent reminders

of her humanity before everything else.

Her strength will one day be just words in her

narrative not the cover and content,

too often used to silence her true evocation

when the world looks upon her pages

for the nourishment of their thoughts.

Never downplay her power,

for she is,

from the vivacity in her veins

to the tears on her tongue,

a ‘strong black woman’.

And in the earth of her threshold,

is engraved the image of a Nubian goddess,

so pity the fool that crosses

her unconquerable spirit.

20th Mar2017


by admin

Hi everyone,

We have another great edition this week with many stories from our talented team. Thabisile Miya discusses the nationwide students’ accommodation which has culminated in the rise of movements such as #Shackville and #SouthPointFeesSoRidiculous. Lindokuhle Kolanisi questions whether the post-apartheid political order could be more inclusive of gender and sexuality. Tsholanang Rapoo explains why she believes the recent feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj is not anti-feminist. Molebogeng Mokoka explores the continuous devaluation of the BA degree; is it really worth nothing? Veli Mnisi gives us an in-depth look into how thrift shopping has, culturally and economically, transformed itself. He also gives us an insider’s perspective of Braamfontein’s newest thrift shop- haunt, The Thrift Vintage Shop (T V Shop). We’re also featuring Sandiswa Tshabalala’s poem, titled Black Girl Magic. Finally, Charissa Govender gives us the ultimate traveller’s guide for exploring New York City.

Hope you enjoy what we have to offer. Have a wonderful Human Rights’ Day tomorrow.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017


20th Mar2017

Black Girl Magic

by admin

She was born a black girl, if human beings were stars,

she is the sun.

Scorching brighter than the world afraid of her



She was born a black girl, any strength she

had was hard earned,

not hers to have.

History forgets the stories of loss and violation

written in her skin,


Written painfully in obscured obsidians and

abused Browns.


She was born a black girl,

The most undesirable commodity

built for mass consumption.

Tongues that bludgeoned her blue to black,

called her broken


She was born a black girl.

A root.

As the world clipped at her genteel roots.

They ceased to exist.


In a world of white saviours and evil darkness,

She was born black magic,

She was born

A black girl


Black Girl Magic

02nd May2016

It’s All About the Magic

by admin

SophisticationHey everyone.

In this week’s edition of the blog we have two new contributors who have written for us. Danya Lipshitz explores how Western European arts and culture have influenced Maboneng- the new place du jour in Johannesburg. Julia Roberts reflects on the magic and challenges which have come with her move to Johannesburg. Mamelodi Marakalala tries to unpack an encounter between a female protagonist and a homeless guy who has his untold story. Finally, Noluthando Jevu celebrates black girl magic and discusses the need for increasing visibility of black women in Hollywood.

Here’s to making this week magical.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team.

02nd May2016

Own Your Blackness!

by admin

“I’m so grateful to be a Black woman. I would be so jealous if I were anything else” Dr. Maya Angelou


More and more females are coming forward and being comfortable with their shade of brown. It seems as though society has finally flung open the gates of acceptance to chocolate! It’s about time. However, I find this to be extremely sad. For years and years dark skinned women were  never included in the definitions of what was pretty or beautiful. In fact she was never considered for anything. Today, we have a Barbie in every shade thanks to Ava DuVernay, another dynamic black woman who is giving Hollywood heavyweights a run for their money behind the camera. As one of very few black female directors, she has been honoured for her amazing work in Selma (2014) by her industry colleagues. More Black females are starting to receive the recognition that they so rightfully deserve. Not because they’re dark skinned, but because they’re exceptional at what they do.


I look at the likes of Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o and our very own Terry Pheto and Bonang Matheba, only to name a few, who are excelling in their respective fields. Our society is slowly becoming more open minded. Unfortunately it is true that Rome was not built in a day.


It has almost become fashionable to be dark skinned. Young beautiful women are embracing their “melanin”. But why do we wait until society gives us the nod of approval before we show pride in how we  naturally are? Why are we so defined by what the next person thinks of us? Are we not enough? Truth is we are enough. But in a world that thrives on mental oppression, believing in yourself is almost taboo. Truth is, we do seek that Academy Award recognition because in the world of motion picture, that is the highest accolade one can receive. They don’t want to admit this but it’s true. Every actor would love an Oscar. But you learn to expect nothing, yet still prepare for the best because your job is to tell the story as genuinely, truthfully and as authentically as possible. Your job is to do justice to the story, even if you do not get recognition for it.


Hollywood starts needs to get over their fear of acceptance. The world needs to get over its sad under appreciation of good work, regardless of the shade of skin tone it may come in. As a result of this need for acceptance, so many deserving artists are marginalised. I believe there is room for everyone. There is room for every story. There is  room for every gender and there’s definitely room for every race. We call ourselves artists and public servants yet we are so narrow-minded. How do you trust yourself to tell a story when you are selective of the stories you think should be told? How do we allow yourselves to not be challenged to push the boundaries?


Shout out to Kerry Washington, Regina King, Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Terry Pheto, Nomzamo Mbatha, Bonang Matheba , and Gabriel Union. These are the women who own their blackness. They are the black women who are unapologetic about their successes in a world where a woman is taught to have been born with limitations.



Danai GuriraDanai Gurira , Zimbabwean American actress and playwright.



Viola Davis Lupita Nyong'oViola Davis & Lupita Nyong’o


Black Girls Rock Africa
Bonang Matheba & Nomzamo Mbatha at the launch of BET Black Girls Rock! Africa

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