14th Aug2017

Invisible Tears of the Woman

by admin

Eyes swollen from crying countless tears

The nameless pain from within tears the chambers

Of bruised and pierced heart

She cried bitterly till the wells and streams

Within her ran dry

Until what she can excrete was only mud

The mud of blood that stains your hands

Her face painted with blood

That her vision is blurred

And what she could see is the shade of death

A heartfelt solemn prayer is what she breathed

At her last breath

Your cruelty mongers her soul

When she tries hardly to grasp

Her life with her fingertips

But it slips through her fingers

Like the cloud passing through the yellow fingers of the sun

And disappears at the glimpse of an eye

Now that she is no more

She was not merely flesh and bones

But she was made for something more

That you terminated before it even began

And what is left is just bunch of flesh and bones

You show no remorse by dissecting her into pieces

Taking what you consider to be valuable organs

Purchasing them to evil companies

Like stolen goods without conscience

Just to create wealth

You burn the rest

Like a dragon that breathes fire

Her remnants is just ashes

But her mom never bore firewood

Never carried a stick during gestation

She conceived a child, a woman,

But you want her to burry ashes

What happened to your heart?

That it corroded like steal exposed to moist

I know for a fact that regret hits where it hurts the most

Repent and sin no more

Because you cannot undo the done

Women's Tears

31st Jul2017

We’re Back

by admin

We're Back

Hi everyone,

Welcome back to second semester of the academic year. In our first edition back, our talented team has put together a light-hearted and poignant edition for you to enjoy. First, Sandiswa Sondzaba profiles the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion journalist, Robin Givhan, who has successfully used fashion as the lens through which she may provide social commentary. Sekhumbuzo Obvious Nomaele welcomes us back to the second semester by directing our trends that have dominated on social media in the past few weeks. Finally, we end off on a poignant note with Sandiswa Tshabalala’s poem which was inspired the recent incidences of gender based violence that have dominated the Johannesburg public imagination.

Hope you enjoy this edition.

Until next time,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

31st Jul2017

Don’t Come to Johannesburg

by admin

Johannesburg Skyline

You will hear stories of our lost sisters,
The lecherous captors
Snatched off of narrow pavements

You will be enticed by stories of illusion,
Disappearing acts and elusive names turned to
numbers
The silent spectres sweeping the city streets,
An insidious ghost lurking in the shadows.

It’s the city of silence,
Beneath the bedlam walls are filled with wails
Inconsolable mothers,
Abandoned children
Stolen women…

Here, women aren’t human
Taming demons is our nature.
We learn to hide before our bones grind to dust.
Your body a prison, your clothes, shackles
Your home holds you captive in fear.

You will be coerced into a macabre melody
while they circle to your song,
Join the dance, you will join the dance.
We will sing your song;
Shut your ears, shut your mouth, shut your eyes as well.
Sing to your silence

30th Apr2017

Speaking Truth to Power

by admin

Hi everyone,

In this edition, a few of our writers have written pieces for you to enjoy. In Happiness is a Four Letter Word, Naledi Khumalo writes a beautiful tribute to her best friend, fellow writer Obvious Nomaele. Zinhle Khumalo addresses colourism in South Africa’s black community. Finally, Sandiswa Tshabalala shares her poem #TriggerWarning which critically addresses South Africa’s normative violent rape culture. Although few in number, these articles are thought-provoking and truly speak truth to power.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Speak Truth to Power

30th Apr2017

#TriggerWarning

by admin

As a South African woman,
I know my place
Last in opinion,
But first appetizer,
on the course that feeds men’s sordid desires
You were not designed to be my ally,
none of us were,
for we all know that the wheels that move our
‘great country’
drive the patriarchy
Fragile creatures,
we are taught early to restrain the parasites,
Clamorous men
We are taught early to restrain ourselves,
For our small, candid bodies grow into
playgrounds
for preying eyes and eager fingertips
The history of our country is one filled with
struggle
where our fathers and theirs
fought for the right to be within one’s skin
Today we fight a different war.
A war for the right to be within our bodies as
women.
A war to be something other than passive
receivers of aggressive sexual attention.
The war against rape –
A gutless coward,
hiding itself in the makeup of our country’s
shame
We allow young men to continuously make
punching bags of women;
watching the weight of their insides fall
greedily from inside of them
feeding the soils that grow your ignorance
This is no war fought using ammunition,
but fought using power
And half our soldiers will have to fight
for the right to keep their power in a single
lifetime
some before they even know they have
anything to fight for
The nail in the coffin is that us
the non-militants contribute to this endless
plague.
We sit in our comfortable glass houses
Throwing stones of judgement and blame

The words slut, whore, tramp, spewing in the
air like hand grenades in combat
We hide in our fortresses until judgement day
But what redemption do we seek to receive
When our general – the president of our
country is an acquitted rapist
The plague covers our land in its venomous
grip,
taking our soldiers in its many forms
Staining virginal rights, claiming to cleanse our
AIDS ridden men.
Gripping onto the innocence of our infants –
men, who are meant to protect them,
using them for sexual gratification
This country is a ticking time bomb,
Ticking to the day I feel safe walking on the
street
Ticking to the day I don’t feel the need to be as
inconspicuous as possible in front of a group
of men
Ticking to the day I am proud to be a woman,
comfortable in my skin
So as we turn down the lights,
And bolt up the doors
We know that we are waiting for this war
A war that no one can prepare us for…

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

distressingly.

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

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

shine.

 

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

08th Aug2016

Strength

by admin

Keep Calm and Mbokondo Mnyandu

I tried to stand up to the oppressor

and I guess that made him angry to realize that there is a woman so brave who’s able to voice her own opinions without fear of being judged

that there is a woman who is conscientized she might actually rub off onto others and enlighten the fellow women

He got so scared he tried to make the woman feel small and discredit everything that he clearly was guilty of

Oh but this woman was so brave she dared not break

because they threw all sorts of demeaning words at her

tried to break her spirit by all means

but because she was woman and possessed in her resilience so great

it could power the nation

she continued her fight and one by one fellow women starting seeing the light and changing their ways

they were no longer enslaved by men’s expectations and their fickle idea of what beauty is

oh dear because beauty is skin deep hits you like the morning sun and never fades

woman you are strong, stronger than who they compare you with for you carry your strength it resides in you

Now if you could carry with you these word and recite them like the serenity prayer

you would be building a nation full of confident, assured, strong and beautiful women

#HappyWomensMonth #MbokodoLeads #SheRock

08th Aug2016

And So They Called Me a Woman

by admin

Because I was ‘beautiful’ and smiled differently.

Because I cried hourly.

 

Because I wore a dress on my first birthday.

Because I walked weirdly.

 

Because my father was not close to me.

Because I wore a bra at age twelve.

 

Because my voice was not loud enough for this world.

Because hurtful things hurt me.

 

Because I hated touching dirt at age sixteen.

Because I did what I was asked for no reason.

 

Because the smell of cigarettes was hell for me.

 

Because lipstick was invented

 

Because I found white cloths and kitchen sinks appealing.

Because my eyes see colours dancing.

 

Because I can give life to another.

Because I can stay for a while longer.

 

Because I think everything has meaning.

Because I understand where it is all going.

 

Because pain is a living.

Because I walk through the hours dying.

 

Because my name is countless assumptions.

Because science says.

 

Because I sit down.

 

Because I am like the others like me;

6 black-and-white-stripes-watercolor-fashion-woman-art-print-beverly-brown-prints

08th Aug2016

Sentiments of a Poet

by admin

This is what a feminist looks like

Inverse racism

Personally, what worries me more than anything when I consider the discussions black people are proudly, fearlessly and fearlessly and outspokenly having these days is what I had called inverse racism?

Inverse racism is not reverse racism; it has nothing to do with the concept, so nobody should tie me on that. Inverse racism is when you end up hurting black people in some way with the original intent of helping them, or hurting whites. It is about preferring black weakness to white strength, simply because “it’s black”, as if those are the only two options.

The fact of the matter is if you make decisions or deliberations based on what white people think, your mind is colonised. There are some people who are so in love with whiteness that they make it their standard and aim for it-sad and stupid. But equally bad are those people who are so full of hatred (i.e. fear) of whiteness that they go out of their way to make decisions against it-more sad, more stupid.

Being anti-white is not pro-black……What am I?

Women Empowerment

It takes a real man to see something wrong in society especially if it is caused by your kind. If there is anything I hate like white supremacy, it is the treatment of women in our society (especially black women). It sickens me to see the rape statistics in our country and across the world. It sickens me to see that there are no women in the South African Forbes top 10 list. It sickens me that even today woman have to pay for sanitary pads or tampons. It sickens me that only 2.4% of CEO’s in this country are women.

You see being a real man is like asking for the removal of a referee that is helping your own team to win. I am a real man because I see something wrong even though I don’t have anything to lose.

Why are we more offended by swear words and middle fingers instead of the struggles woman face in this man’s world? Why can’t can we get free condoms but women can’t get free pads? Why can we justify rape by saying “She was asking for it”?  Why do we not ask these questions? Why are we so reluctant to speak out about the injustices and evils of this world? Why are we so ignorant?

I grew up mainly around females and I learnt a lot from that, firstly I was taught to respect women. This was not only taught to me by the women in my life but my father too, he showed me how to treat women by treating my mother right. Secondly I find it somewhat disturbing that some guys think that knowing how to braid hair or going to the shop to buy pads as a guy is feminine and gay. We need to grow up as men of our society. We need to love and protect women (even those deemed to be ‘fuckgirls’) because at the end of the day, we are the reason they are at the bottom of mankind.

I am against women abuse, I am against selling sanitary pads, I am against women exclusion in the economy, I support women empowerment, I am pro-black, I am black and proud, I support black empowerment, I am unapologetically black and I refuse to be ignorant.

I am a confused Xhosa feminist.

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