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
dividing
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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Malika Ndlovu

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1A 7 Year Frame

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2A Woman's Path

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3And the Word was Women

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4Ash

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5At a Loss

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6At Home

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7Bath

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8Black River

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9born in africa but

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10Confirmation in Crimson

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11Dear Dad

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12Domestic Revolution

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18Instruments

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19Life Light of My Elders

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21Next Door

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23Stay

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24Story Beads

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25Struggle to Surrender

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26The Invitation

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27This Morning is New

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28Truth is both Spirit and Flesh

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29Walk with Me

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30Well Wishing

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31Wings

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32Women Weaving

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