born in africa but

born in africa but
breastfed another mother tongue
put to sleep on foreign lullabies
praying for a jesus-heaven
when i die

born in africa but
into a designated cultivated patch
flung far from the indigenous tree
strategy for carving out my destiny

born in africa but
mixed equals inferior,
rearrange that exterior
scorned for the secret
exposed by my skin
enslaving beliefs
this child was bathed in

born in africa but
i have died to
the hiding
fearful deciding
of what i am
who i should be

born in africa but
a self made prisoner
i release captivity
i am free to unfold the sacred map
no other will dictate my individual destiny

born in africa but
living before and beyond
a universe awaken in me


from Born in Africa (Educall Publishers, 2000), © Malika Ndlovu 2000, used by permission of the author.

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