I am Zimbabwean.
I am the real definition of a Zimbabwean.
I do not say so because it is suggested by my skin tone,
Or because it is the country in which I was born.
But when I say, “Cobra,” I am referring to any floor polish,
And “Colgate” is any tooth paste.
“Nugget” is any shoe polish,
While “Boom” is any detergent paste.
The same way that “Surf” is any washing powder,
And “How far?” refers to debt repayment.
We do not have traffic lights, we have “Robots.”
We do not use loo’s or restrooms, we use toilets.
Navigating the CBD has become more and more perplexing.
As it is flooded with vendors and mushikashika taxis.
I don’t know of soft drinks,
I only know of cokes,
And when a horrific occurrence unfolds,
I am quick to make jokes.
When I say, “I will be there in 5 minutes,”
I mean 30 full minutes.
Also, it’s not a party without casserole salad
neither is it a funeral without cabbage.
On a more serious note, let me introduce myself.
…I am a survivor.
I was born out of the misery and pain I saw as I grew up.
Out of the moment when only the anger burning within my heart could warm me up.
Out of the cold.
Out of the dust and dirt that clung onto me.
Out of the mosquitoes that made a feast of me.
Out of the darkness of the night.
I could not sleep,
As I felt the pain of a fish’s bone inside my skin.
It started way back when I was thirteen.
I worked three hours each night for my family to have a decent living.
So, I slept only for an hour or two
Before waking up and going to school.
All stars, however, are both deaf and blind.
Hence, I was resistant to discrimination as I burnt with determination.
All it took was a distant observer to classify me into the right constellation.
I was told that I’m destined for greatness.
I just had to follow rules and pursue academic success.
But if I’m a great person then how could it be,
That I’m living in squalor and poverty?
Let me introduce myself for I’m sure you do not know me.
…I am a straight A academic.
School records and my IQ suggest I’m bright.
I work hard. Before grasping a concept, I don’t sleep at night.
But I’m not just an ordinary Science student.
I’m an athlete, a writer, and a poet.
I won the Euclid Maths Contest, Maths and Science Olympiad.
But university decisions make me feel like a retard.
From American universities, I have been rejected.
Yet they claim to be looking for students that are multitalented.
Let me re-introduce myself in case you missed it the first time.
…I’m a boy growing up in an era of crime.
But I’m God fearing and value things like virginity.
Though girls around me want to lose it before twenty.
I do not smoke, use drugs or even drink.
I’m straight edge for life regardless of what you think.
A dog is my closest friend
Because all relationships I’ve entered have had a dreadful end.
Modern legal systems get me scared of marriage
For its detrimental to my fortune carriage.
Despite having paid for the dates, the rings, lobola and the wedding,
Wives always seem to have a boyfriend they are bedding.
It’s a fact… Wives nowadays always seem to cheat,
And after divorce, they always get the kid.
Such that I not only lose 50% of my wealth through a divorce settlement,
But I should also pay her a monthly wage in the form of, “child maintenance.”
Let me introduce myself for the very last time.
… I am The Prince.
I am a young leader who understands what it means
To have power and expectations bestowed onto you
By a birth name given to you when you had nothing you knew.
To have big dreams to look up to.
To have to face the hypocritic critics and the stereotypic.
To address a controversial topic.
To uphold a talent when you are told to quit it.
Having character to push for change when the world no longer believes it.
To have your political voice taken away from you.
Its lonely at the top,
To have no one to run to.
Hence, I do not derive my significance from the blood flowing underneath my skin.
I derive importance from where I’ve been,
From the things I’ve seen,
And the joy I bring.
That’s why I work hard every day so that I can be called The King.
You’ve had the privilege of getting to know me,
Now it’s my turn to know you.
But first share this with a friend,
Or maybe… two.