Too bold a voice

“You are too young to have such a voice”
She said to me.
“You just speak to these men.
You don’t even seem afraid. ”
“You just speak” she continued, in an accusatory manner.
I was to be ashamed of my confidence and freedom.
I was to shrink myself and act like a little lady.

How dare I forget my place of insignificance?
How dare I speak my mind?
How dare I think?
How dare I even think that it is permissible to take up space?

Who did I think I was?
What made me think that it was ok to be bold?
To smile with men like the humans that they are, rather than gods that are to be worshipped?
What in the world made me think that I was more than a porcelain doll?

All I wanted to ask her was:
When?
When will I be “old enough” to have a voice?
Are you old enough?
Have you found yours?
Do you grow into it?
Do purchase it?
Does each year lived qualify you to speak louder or do you get gifted more words with each birthday?
I mean no disrespect, truly.
I just want to understand.
And what I really need to know is why?

Why does it still seem like you’re afraid of the little gods that you build shrines to in your heart and dare not speak to or confront out loud?
Why does it seem like you opted to use your gift card of power on me?
Why are you wasting your voice on oppressing young women rather than on raising young men that do not view us dolls to be toyed with and never to be taken seriously?
Why won’t you give me the same respect that you give them?

I wish you would find your 55year old voice.
I wish you had found it earlier.
I wish you were able to see men as…. Men.
I wish your 20 year old self would have been more confident and able to stand up for herself.
I wish your mother would have raised your 5 year old self to express herself freely.
I hope your daughter has a voice at her workplace and her home.
I hope she’ll raise her 3 year old to be bold and fearless.

See, I have no box.
I have no “place”
I have a brain.
I have a voice.
I am confident.
I am bold.
I take steps to become more fearless each day.

I was named Freedom, because my mommy wanted nothing less for me than a world with no limitations on who I could be and what I could become.
I was raised to live up to this powerful name.
I was raised to be a roaring lion.
I was raised to be a meteorite – you can appreciate me or fear me, but your perception of me won’t change who I am or take away my power.
I will not feel guilty for all this grace that I have been given.
I was taught to be myself and never to be apologetic about it.
I know that it’s tough for you to comprehend just how amazing it must be to be true to yourself without all the constructs that society has placed on you.
It’s breathtaking to escape the weights that hold you down and keep your lungs flooded.
I wish you didn’t have to drown in expectations and limitations.
I wish I could release your anchor and bring you up for air.

I wish I could speak freely with you, but I know you wouldn’t understand.
I wish I could speak freely with you, but I was taught to respect my elders, even in their ignorance.
I wish I could speak freely with you, but I wouldn’t want to make you feel small.
But ironically, in this moment, I shrink myself to give you the dignity that you don’t think that I deserve.
I keep my mouth shut.
I smile like a pretty lady and I bite my tongue.
Along with my freedom to be, I have the responsibility to have insight.

You will never understand, and I don’t have the magical wand that I need to speak to your 3, 5, 15or 20 year old self.
What I do have is the opportunity to interact with 3,5,15 and 20 year olds.
May I be a great mother, aunt, friend, cousin and stranger.
May I be the kind of woman that makes other women want to find themselves.
May I be the kind of woman that inspires other women want better themselves.
May I be the kind of woman that encourages women to be themselves, unapologetically so.

Sometimes I have to remind myself not to get to excited see, because when I do, my voice reaches octaves that will make your ears bleed at the same frequency as my heart does.
I am all love, you see,
All excitement.
My heart pours out through my laughter and words.

Most times I counter that thought with one that says “be free”
I am all love, you see.
These high octaves,
This smile
This laughter,
These tears in my eyes,
This is me,
Pure joy and love.

If it is too much for you.
If you need me to tone it down.
If you need me to tone *me* down.
If I am too loud and too much for you,
Please step aside for those who appreciate my authentic sound.

Authentic sound

Mould

You mould me with every opportunity that the world takes to maul me.
You make all things work for my good.

I will always put my trust in you,
even in the darkest valleys.
Even when I feel the anxiety of failure trying to tie a noose around my neck.
Especially when I see no way out.

I will trust in you,
For your thoughts far outweigh my own.
I cannot begin to imagine what you have planned for me, but I know.

I know that you only have plans for my peace.
You plan for my joy, because it breaks you to see me broken.
You conjure up my success as easily as I prepare a cup of tea.

What reason do I have to distrust you?
When you give me every reason to keep believing.
You give me love and peace that surpasses all understanding.
You provide for my every need.
Wa go swana lewena gagona.

I don’t know your entire plan.
I don’t understand all of my struggles.
But I sleep peacefully, knowing that you have my back.
Knowing that I have nothing to fear.
So instead,
I wait in anticipation of your revelations.
Because you mould me in every situation that the world tries to maul me.

I will trust in you always.
There is none more faithful than you.
No one is more committed to my purpose than you.
I will keep on going.
I will keep following your lead.
I will trust in you until the mosaic creates a masterpiece.

Time is a concept

What time is it?
How old are you?
Who knows, and who the hell cares?

We don’t set alarms,
We wake up naturally and do our day’s work before the sun comes to scorch our backs.
During the day we rest under the trees and enjoy each other’s company.
The scale of time is broken here.

Ask me who I am.
Ask me what I love.
Ask where I’ve been.
Ask where I’m going.
What have I done?
What am I to do?
Those are reasonable questions.
With those you can see that I’ve lived.

We don’t set alarms,
We wake up naturally and do chores before the sun comes to scorch our backs.
Our scale measures purpose, intimate connections and fulfillment.

What does it matter if I’m 70, having only existed?
What value is age?
Time will go on and the body will mature.
What value is it all if I don’t mature?
What value is it all if I don’t achieve anything?

We don’t set alarms,
We wake up naturally and do chores before the sun comes to scorch our backs.
The scale of time is broken here.

Our scale measures purpose, intimate connections and fulfillment.
We appreciate achievement.
We value experience and maturity.

You measure time.
We measure purpose.
For it is understood, that it’s not about about time, but what is done with it.

Unstoppable

She is an unstoppable train going at full speed.
She cannot be broken.
She cannot be slowed down.
She is resilient.
She is relentless.
Her power and brakes are within her reigns.

She has no time for questions and explanations.
She is a woman of action.
You must just admire in awe.
She is a force to be reckoned with;
A miracle to behold.

Her head is filled with a million ideas.
Hammer in hand; she breaks down walls.
Her days are filled with hard work to fulfill her dreams.
Her nights are filled with reconciliations.
The aim is to change the world;
There is never has a moment to spare.

There is no time for clouds.
Nor is there time for smoke.
Warning shots?
For who?
For what?
She is thunder.
She is all fire.
She is a nuclear bomb.
Where she passes, she cannot be forgotten.
Her heart is imprinted on all that she touches.
The world was never ready for a wonder such as she.
And she didn’t give a damn what they were ready for.
Who she is, is who they’ll get.
All of her glory
All of her wonder.
All of her magic.
She is determined to leave this life, having given it her all.

She is thunder.
She is fire.
She is a nuclear bomb.
Where she passes, she cannot be forgotten.
Her heart is imprinted on all that she touches.
You were never ready for a wonder such as she.
And she does not give a damn what you’re ready for.

Picture perfect

Happiness and peace are more worthwhile than living in picture perfect glass walls that you hope will never be examined too closely.

Pretense leaves you trapped and lonely.
Self awareness and assertiveness are the keys to your freedom.
Self love is the beginning of a monumental pivot in one’s life.

Imagine if you stopped competing.
Imagine if you ran your own race.
Imagine how beautiful it would be if you took off all the masks.
Imagine how free you could be if you stripped yourself of their shackles.

Normal is boring.
Existence without purpose is futile.
The image of success is smothering.
The facade of perfection is quixotic.

Happiness and peace are more worthwhile than living a picture perfect life that is impossible to maintain.

Be you.
Be true.
Set your own standards.
Be your best self.
Be phenomenal, by being you.
Being yourself is all you need to be inspirational.
Enjoy your true success.
Breathe and live out your destiny.

Humanity

There is a threat of sanctions upon my country.
They are “compelled to act” when there are human rights violations.
Never before have they acted this quickly.

Where were they during colonialism?
Where were they during the first 40 years of Apartheid?
Where were they during Mugabe’s rule?
Where are they now?
Do Syrians, North Koreans, Iranians not deserve refugee status?
Do the people of Burma, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire not deserve expedited visas to first world countries?
Are many leaders in the world not desecrating the very idea of humanity?
Have their refugees been offered a place of solace?

I guess it’s ok for the animals kill each other.
No one bats an eye when a lion devours a buck.
And it was ok when humans killed them; no one blames a man for killing a wild animal that strays onto his compound.
But now that animals are “annihilating” humans, the world must stand to attention.
The threat of taking away land that was never theirs to begin with is just too much to handle.
It’s only reasonable to rescue a man from the loins of a snake when it is too full.
Cockey animals need to be reminded of their place and put down.

When you chopped down the forest and claimed the land as your own, where did you think the animals would go?
When they come onto “your compound” you fear for your life and kill them.
Don’t be surprised if the animals come to reclaim their territory.
Do not venture into the Jungle lest you’re ready for the fight over territory.

My heart bleeds for my country.
My heart bleeds for my people, for they continue to show us what they think of us.
May we build a legacy that we can be proud of, although they will never recognize our achievements.
May we live our lives on our own accord.
May their approval not be the measure of our success, because we can never compete with them if we continue to rely on them.
May we take care of our own and continue to grow.
May we limit the corruption and maximize our accomplishments.
We need to remember that we are men, women and children that capable of infinite triumph and success, irrespective of the fact that they might never recognize our humanity.