walking on eggshells

Try.

Try walking.

Walking on eggshells

In high heels

Heel toe, heel toe.

Tread softly

To avoid injury

To that ego,

Ego so big there’s not enough room

in the office

Even in the basement,

A reminder

Of the pecking order.

A prized parking spot

for his wheels

Bavarian Motor Works’ finest

Luxury SUV

While you squeeze

Your plebian set of wheels,

A Volkswagen between

The pillar and the dusty pipes.

Yes all animals are equal*,

Only some are more equal

Than others.

You would do well

To remember that little fact.

Smiling through gritted teeth

At the backhanded compliments

On your efforts

to hold onto

That bottom rung

Of the corporate ladder.

*From George Orwell, Animal Farm

*Picture courtesy of Pinterest

©️ Nomathemba Pearl Dzinotyiwei 2018

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Mother’s Day

This is who I do this for

The unborn generations

And the children I bore.

Let me remind you who I do this for

My matrilineal line

Those who’ve gone before.

This is who I do this for

The women that never made it to school

Or to the factory floor.

Let me remind you who I do this for

Those that died in childbirth

Too far from the hospital door.

This is who I do this for

The women in domestic service

Still getting up to scrub the floor.

This is for the hustler,

The worker,

The housewife,

Bespectacled academic

High-flying executive

The married one

The single one

The one grieving

Longing to hold

Her departed child

one more time.

You deserve more than a day

Of celebrations

You are worthy of celebration

For all time.

©️ Nomathemba Pearl Dzinotyiwei

A Working Girl’s Dream


Picture Courtesy of Pinterest


Dr. King had a dream.

One deeply rooted in the American dream

That one day his nation would rise up

Would live up to its creed,

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.”

Dr King had a dream too,

That his four little children would one day live in a nation,

Where they would be judged

Not by the color of their skin,

But by the content of their character.

I too, an ordinary working woman

Have a dream.

Of the day,

When my dark skin, thick lips and nappy hair will not be held against me.

When I will be judged by the stellar results of

My hard work

Leadership qualities and

The brilliant disruptive game-changing genius of my creative mind.

Not by
My expensively made up face, (I only wear Mac darling) or;

The red soles on my stilettos (Genuine Louboutins dear, I don’t wear knock -offs);

Not by

The hideously expensive boutique original outfit (You know from his Ready to Wear Autumn Winter Collection, darling)

Nor by

The price of my handbag, ( Check the label and the stitching please)

the car I drive; or

The address of the secure complex where I lay my head.

Judge me,

Not by

My ability to flatter, woo and schmooze; or

The impeccably impregnable facade of my perfectly managed perceptions,

All designed to flatter and placate superiors

To prove that I’m worthy of my place.

On that day my spirit will dance and my soul will sing.

Free At Last! Free At Last! Thank God Almighty! We’re Free At Last!

Yes! A working girl can dream too!

In living colour!

Angry Black Woman


Picture courtesy of Pinterest

I am a black African woman. I get angry. Being black, and a woman does not equate to being angry. I am not always angry. Sometimes I’m happy, other times I’m excited and on occasion I am fearful. Anger is an emotion not a permanent state of being. Emotions come and go as and when they are triggered. There are two triggers for anger, fear or trauma. But today I am angry.

Dying For Love

I am angry because yet another black woman not unlike myself has died at the hands of her partner. I don’t care if there was a fight. I don’t care who started it. I don’t care that she spent his money or whether she wanted to break off the relationship. I am angry because it could happen to my sister, my daughter, my niece or my friend.
I am angry because I live in a society where a woman cannot negotiate relationship terms, ask a man to use a condom, or walk away from an abusive man without losing her life. I am angry because men who kill their partners get off with culpable homicide because the prosecution cannot prove that the killing was pre-meditated.

It’s Your Fault For Being Irresistible

I am angry because black girls are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, at the hands of family, friends, teachers or complete strangers. I am angry because 40% of women in South Africa are likely to experience rape at least once in their lives. I am angry because the trial, court system, rules of evidence and conduct of police, judges and lawyers retraumatise the victims.

I am angry because black women and girls cannot walk in public or travel on public transport at certain times, without being sexually harassed. I am angry that men actually think they should be flattered by the attention and accept being groped, fondled and raped. I am angry because black women and girls are told what to wear and where to go, instead of telling men not to grope, fondle or rape. I am angry that rapists don’t get to go to jail to experience the hell of rape themselves by other men.

Where the Slay Queens At?

I am angry because in this world, a girl must prostitute herself for alcohol, drugs, a new hairstyle whether Brazilian weave or a synthetic bob, a designer outfit, sanitary pads, a two piece meal at KFC, a can of coke or university fees. I am angry because a young woman must grant sexual favours to the boss to get a job, keep her job or get a promotion.

Sex is For The Man

I am angry because black girls are mutilated to control their sexual feelings. I am angry because they are cut open with knives by their husbands when they have sex for the first time. I am angry because they have to be treated at a specialist hospital for injuries sustained during childbirth.

I am angry because a black girl is seen,  not heard, not educated, or given an inheritance ahead of her brothers to assure her independence. I am angry because black girls are married off before they finish puberty to assure men of their purity. I am angry because educated black women are under pressure to find a husband, as if men who are marriage material are as many as grains of sand on a seashore. I am angry because a black woman cannot decide when and if she wants children or how many. I am angry because black women still die in childbirth in South Africa.

Hanging Off the Last Rung

I am angry because I live in a world of whiteness and patriarchy, that puts a black woman at the bottom of the social and economic ladder. White man, White woman, Indian Man, Indian Woman, Coloured Man, Coloured Woman , Black Man then Black Woman. I am angry, because when a black Woman challenges anyone above her on the ladder, even based on facts, she is labeled as emotional, irrational and you guessed it, angry.

I am angry because a black woman is offered and paid less than a white or Indian man or woman for the same job, even if she has more qualifications and experience. We know from the cars that they drive, where they go on holiday and where they send their children to school. I am angry that the diversity and inclusion committees have no real power to influence transformation in corporate entities.

I am angry because a black woman executive must put on a performance to get ahead in the patriarchal corporate death cult. She must read more, learn more, work harder, sleep less, lean in. She must show just enough passion, not too much, or the place will burn to the ground. She must smile, be pleasant, make her point without ruffling superiors’ feathers, tiptoeing around gross executive egos with jagged edges. She must be on the side of management even when they are wrong. She must defend the oppressor against the oppressed because they hold her livelihood in the palm of her hand.

I am angry because black women experience racist and sexist road rage, sometimes just for driving with care. I am angry because black women still get verbally abused in restaurants by white patrons. I am angry because black mothers have to bury their children killed by white farmers for spurious reasons.

Why Were You Angry Baby? ( Vivienne Johnson to her daughter Maya Angelou)

I am angry that many reading this article will either minimize or deny this constant assault on black women’s bodies, lives and integrity. I am angry because others will be emotional without taking any action or doing any self-introspection. I am angry at the black men who are more oppressive of black women than other races, calling them ‘bitches’ or ‘hoes’. I am angry at black women who blame the victims and take the oppressor’s side, that lack empathy because they are in a more comfortable position with education, money and choices that other black women don’t have.

I have plenty to be angry about, enough for several lifetimes. Most of all, I am angry that I will be called an angry black woman, as if anger is a permanent state of my being, by the people who do the very things that make me angry.