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.

18th Jul2016

I See You See Black

by admin

The sun burns Wicked Bodies…

 

Day sees us dying in our smiles

And night waits for us – who we really are – alive.

 

I know you think I don’t, but I do;

I see you see black.

 

And I am here to tell you I am more than that;

Why are you amazed at my presence?

Why are you surprised

That I can have a mind?

 

I am More than an just Art piece, I am More than just a Number,

I am Nothing to watch in that Manner,

 

I have a Heart,

I am Together and I fall Apart,

I Bleed, I feel Rain,

I was bore by a Woman,

I can smell Roses,

 

I am More than the questions raised in ‘Philosophy’,

I am More than just a Dark part in ‘History’

 

Why did I ever need Science to tell me I am a human being?

Why does the colour of my skin have to make me something else?

 

 5_dark-and-lovely-10-x-14-acylic-on-canvas

 

 

 

 

Note: The above Poem is not racist and not intended to offend ANYBODY, but it is just a mere inspiration from the Block 3 First Year Philosophy topic, Philosophy of Race, and My pride in My ‘blackness’.

16th May2016

The Poem That Is So African

by admin

4 Africa-map-on-faceWhy is it we need a day, a week, a month

To say we are proud of being us

And glad to be each other’s sisters and brothers?

Why is it we need a day, a week, a month

To be proud black people, and darker?

We were born into this –

The melodies,

The dances,

The greenest mountains,

The whole of our families,

The clothing,

The crying,

The blood dripping,

The dying,

The hoping

The waking,

The celebrating,

The coming together,

The darkness,

Our dark skin colours…

Why is it we need a day, a week, a month

To look back on where we come from?

Why is it we need a day, a week, a month

To paint pictures and tell stories of our freedom?

Each day is a reminder of where we come from,

Each day is a song of our freedom.

Our names and mirrors reveal us,

There is no hiding the Africanness.

We are naked before the world,

Never to be known as nothing else – but Africans;

African Americans, African Asians,

Everywhere we go the history follows,

And it follows each day.

You are my brother and my sister every day,

Do you hear me, African human?

We do not need Africa Month, Africa Day

To remind ourselves that we are proud of who we are.

We should be proud of it, celebrate it,

Dance to the drum beats,

Dark Skin,

This fire within,

Attires made of animal skin,

Our souls cut open

To be released into some Heaven,

Blood coming from our noses,

The smiles of our many children

Covering the pain that is there

That just will not leave,

The air that we breathe,

The sun setting,

The magic in our every story’s setting…

 

Each day we are African, not only in May.

 

 

 

09th May2016

No More

by admin

No More.

I can’t take this anymore.
Can’t breathe no more.
Robbed of happiness, like it was a thing of some sort.
Can hear my heart shouting for no more.
As if it’s a clock with batteries but not of energy, so it’s asking for more.
Can hear defeat from distance waiting on me 6 feet down the floor.
So, I put that picture on the wall.
Because never will come the day I will forget that war.
Sparked by episodes painted on his mind- an empty hall.
I put those scares and pains and seal them on that jar.
Cause they move with me like a wrecking ball.

Every time I close my eyes, I fell his fist on my body, so rather I fall.
Cause he forced himself on me, build a road where there was no way.
So fuck him I say.
How dare him? But I’ll find him and slay.
“Give it time” they said.
They said everything heals with time.
But I know, I’ll never let him get away.
So with him, he has a part of me that was not built with clay.

Now I know, that the past is a king somewhere.
I swear it has authority of some sort.
Now I am its slave, I am poor.
I have to go down and beg for some more.
Cause only this anger can hold of a soul, so roar.
I used to think the sky was not the limit, cause I was more.
And that I was fly, and strong.

Damn, now I have to fly back to the shore.
To grow the roots of my heart, and make sure.
Sure that even though it’s sore, I will endure so more.
Ask for nothing no more.

No More Image

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