02/09/2014 — “the other”

Saturday: Is that your hair? You have such nice hair! Are you fully black? I don’t think that kind of hair grows on black people.

Sunday: Iyho, bug’inzinwele zingaga! Do you relax your hair?

Monday: Where are you from? No where are you actually from? You’re not from here…

Monday: What’s your name? You must be Ghanaian?

Tuesday: Where are you from? No but where are you really from? You don’t look Zulu, Zulu people definitely don’t have hair like that

Tuesday: *changes cover picture on Facebook* You guys have such great skin, how?!

Everyone wants an explanation for why you were born on the wrong side of the colour wheel and why your hair is not nappy enough to support the weight of your melanin. Everyone wants to slip you into a neat category because being human isn't a descriptive enough existence.

The tracks of my bloodlines have never marked this Southern soil. With every footprint dust rises and paints my body a shade of ‘other’. The embers of my forefathers never shone as brightly here. With every attempt I make at keeping their fire aflame, a shroud of ignorance engulfs me, reducing my fire to ash.

There is nothing to mourn about the colour black. My skin is not an apology. And no, it does not need your fascination or pity. This is not a congenital abnormality, it does not need bleaching or fixing. My body is not an internet board-game, it does not ask you to match skins with hair textures.

People are hasty to find out “what” I am and neglect the fact that “I am”.

I did not ask to be here. Do not question the aesthetic of my existence.

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