by Andiswa Dlamini
Sitting on a chair, with the spotlight on me,
ambient music softly playing in the background,
the music stops as soon as I start to speak.
I am an artist
And you know you can’t always say that when you introduce yourself to people so I’ll
I am a writer, sounds much better huh?
Or rather should I say I’m a copywriter
My name is Andiswa Dlamini
I am an artist that loves to write and I have a degree in Copywriting it’s that simple really
and I will tell you my story because you want to know
In grade 2 I fell off the tree
And that memory will always be seen because
I have an upside down small letter E for a scar under my chin
I have two sisters
They are both yellow bones
I started to write my feelings down at a very young age
I’ll skip a couple of years
Basically I came out and I was already standing on stages wanting to be heard
It’s a bummer no-body ever told me
I’d struggle one day
Oh, my bad you should have told me
you wanted to know about me, now.
You should have said so in the beginning
Well right now, I am artist but for some reason
Every time I perform or write a something I don’t get paid so
I guess you can say I am a struggling artist
Cause I’m struggling every day to get my story out because
I imagine it on stage, with good lighting and stuff
I’m not trying to have the speakers bust once I say my first opening line which is the most important of course…
I imagine a full theatre with eyes that will be intrigued, hanging onto my every word like it were the last thing they will ever get to listen to but of course right now I’m struggling because the truth is my pockets are not deep and I will let all my dreams perform in the center stage of my mind.
I want to be heard, I want my work to be seen
Leave a legacy like Audre Lorde because she once said; “your silence will not protect you”
So I will roar and I will be loud
You will hear the roots of my passion speak about the world I see beyond these parallel limitations of life.
“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”
I wish wrote these words but Ms Audre Lorde, we should give her a round of applause has inspired the mind once again so listen
I believe that I write to feed my soul
I write to make you see, I want you to feel, comment
I want to feed you with my thoughts
I want poetry to be the platform where my opinion speaks
Of issues that affect my direction or our direction
A poet activist in the making
So roll that camera because I will not stop I will push every wall until someone decides to give me the space to speak my words because I write for life.
I cannot kick around a ball and that is not the only way we can get our country to listen
This country needs to be told, needs to be shown that lesbians are humans with voices
And women can speak loudly
Give me the time, give me the space and you will not only be entertained but informed about what my eyes see, what my ears hear, what my nose smells and the things that I have felt.
I speak with my mind, body and soul.
Zanele Muholi once said; “she cannot give up herself and her soul simply because she needs some exposure”.
And I stand by her statement because although I want to expose my work to the world I will not bend myself to fit the social restrains of this world, I will not squeeze myself to fit the limitations of this parallel life.
Because my voice tells a story that is not only mine, it speaks of a life that we live, a sunrise that we fear because every day the lyrics I hear are frightening. There’s a reason why I look back when I walk because he said he wanted to change me. There’s a reason why I write, a reason why these words are written.
Spotlight switches off.
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