Gogo. Mama. Umama kamamam’

Did you know?
When you would wake up before the sun,
back aching,
bed begging you to return to its warmth…

Did you know,
when you were breaking your back to fill our parents stomachs.

Did you know you would be here?

Did you know,
when you had to call them Baas and raise their children.
When uMkhulu had to dig for gold far away?
Gold that he would never wear or touch on his finger…

Did you know,
that you were Building and not just breathing?
That your life was the foundation and not just a bridge to the next?

Did you see me in your  visions?
What you created and left behind.

Did you feel it?
Did you feel your Queendom?
Your grace, the gold liquid pumped by every heart beat?

I feel it,
coursing through my veins
and the brown of my mother’s eyes.

Gogo. Mama. Umama kamamam’

I know you see me.
I feel you walk with me through the jungle that is this life.

Are you proud of me?
Of the woman that I have become?
Am I worthy of your shoulders?
Your blood, your name?

Did you  know,
between those heavy sighs and wieghted eyelids,
of the power that you held?
The greatness that bore?
Of the majesty I was wombed within?

Did you know,
sitting by that stove,
making me amagwina,
that you would nourish me with that image,
Make me strong?

I hope you knew.
Because I knew. And I know.
I see the Queen in you.
She lives in me. Of me.
Before me.
After me.

Your reign will never die.
The reign of your sweat has nourished the ground I walk on today.

Gogo. Mama. Umama kamamam’

                                 -Nonjabulo Kandawire 


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