Yolanda Mbatha – African Roots

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My DNA dates back to the trees that planted
My identity.
Soils creep up to distress how the hairs on my head were made.

My ancestor…
the ghosts that breathe through me
exclaiming their identity.
The roots that planted my existence flow through me
My
African roots.
The earth carries on its back the blood of those who fought for our liberty

Liberty… Our hips, our thighs
Free to paint itself into a frame of its own choice
And it chooses the hourglass
Dating back into time where
African women spoke through their stride
Head bowed down
An unspoken noun

That he the man and his muscles may protect his crown
Wabonga izulu
Esho izithakazelo zikaShaka Zulu
Thina ma-Afrika
Thina esinsundu
Esabeletha isintu
Ngoba kwathiwa umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu
Thina esinezimpande ezingasoze zahlubuka

Indoda yabukwa
Yabukwa indoda
Kwaqubuka ukuziqhenya
Laqhamuka iqhawe
Kwaqhaqhazela umhlabathi
Kwazalwa izwe eliqhakazile
Thina ma-Afrika
Thina esinsundu

Our DNA dates back to the trees that planted
Our identity.

(A poem by Yolanda Mbatha and Mbali SImelani)

Yolanda Mbatha

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