21st Century Girl


You loved me
You held me
You said “My heart belongs to you”
But it seems you gave it out to two

You loved me
You kissed me
You said “I am yours and you are mine”
But those words you’ve said unto nine

You loved me
You praised me
You said “You are my blessing”
But that was only when my wallet was undressing

You loved me
You left me
You said “My love for you is gone”
Yet I loved you through all you did me wrong

I’m tossing
I’m turning
I’m losing my sleep
Sanity is so hard to keep

Hours turn to Days turn to
Weeks turn to Months
The pain was once too much but now
I have my heart back in touch

I’m healing
I’m feeling
I relearned how to smile
Lord help me hold on to this joy for a while

I’m lively

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Farafina Trust Creative 2016 Workshop Application: – ‘Life In Death’ (800 word sample)

Beads of sweat trickle down skin the colour of molasses and onto the red, barren ground beneath. Her face glistens, slick with the sweat that flattens the coils in her dark hair, in the light of our mud-hut fire. Black smoke fills the air and invades my nostrils, reaching in to the depths of my throat and causing my eyes to water. I watch, helpless, as alabaster teeth bite down on her full lips and break skin, painting her mouth a brilliant ruby red. She grimaces in her delirium-filled sleep, turning this way and that, tortured by sickness.
“Ni ukimwi”. AIDS. That’s what the doctor said, when we managed to get my sister to the collapsing, public hospital after months of waiting for him to return. He was cold and indifferent when he uttered the words from his educated, up-turned lips. Cold like the filth-spotted floor we had sat on for hours till our limbs ached and stiffened, his voice sterile of emotion. I watched him as he wiped crusting spittle from the corner of his mouth with one deft movement, no more different to the way he had wiped out my own sisters life with his words. The only sign of humanity left in him was the fear in his eyes, the slight way in which his hands trembled, noticeable only to those who had known fear all their lives. He was afraid to be here, I had thought to myself. Afraid to get gunned down in a place like this, to be reduced to no more than an equal to someone like me. I remember the flat shine in my sisters deep-set eyes that told me all along she had known. That deep down, in the crevices of her soul that remained hidden away even from me, she had always known.
Now I stand, as still as a stork in hunt, staring into nothing, feeling my heart break and freeze over just as quickly as it had that day. I pull at my clothes, struggling to breathe and I know it is not the thick smoke blown my way by the dry wind, but rather the agony I feel within that is suffocating me. Outside, the cicadas and crickets meld their song in a moving rendition for the heavens and even then, the night sky continues to lie still, starless, and unimpressed. Making my way to the opening of the hut, I breathe in the clear air, steadying my hands for what I am about to do.
“Forgive me Sauda. Dear sweet sister…forgive me.” the words catch in my throat, slowly trickling out of my mouth in silent prayer laced heavily with guilt.
I reach into the pocket of my skirt and drag out a steel knife,clasping my weathered hands around its wooden handle as my mind is suddenly flooded with images of Sauda. I see her in my minds eye as a happy, gap-toothed little girl with her hair intricately woven into plaits. She holds onto the tightly wrapped leso around Mama’s waist with all the confidence of a child that still believes her mother knows everything. The ingrained scent of Mamas spiced plantain in my memory reminding me of how things used to be.
I see her again, much taller than I ever was at her age, slowly ripening and turning sweet like floral honey. Vibrant in the energy of her teenage years and maturing out of her lithe, girlish figure
And now I see what remains of her, as clear as day. This ghost of a soul cannot be the Sauda I grew into womanhood with.
“Amina, nini inakusumbua?…I heard you tal…” her voice, close behind me, falters at the sight of the knife. I turn to face her and her eyes widen, darting from the dull blade to me and back. What’s wrong? Everything. Everything is wrong.
I push the blade into her stomach, all the way to the hilt, feeling her warm blood flow in streams down my wrists and arms. It soaks into her dirty cotton wrap like a flower in bloom that is slowly unfurling its petals. I lay her on the bloodied earth when her breathing stills and close her eyelids, kissing her forehead for the last time. And yet.. where is my justified sense of relief? I saved her didn’t I? I saved her!… And yet the air in the hut smells of sin, washing over me like plague. My desperation magnifies and I shake her. I scream and scream at her and I scream even louder when she feels “oh so stiff” in my arms.
“Sauda please don’t be dead! I don’t know why… I was wrong…you can’t possibly be gone. Your hands sister, your hands…”
Cold. Limp.
I have murdered my dying sister.


This is so beautifully written.



Maman’s eyes have been draped in sadness for years now. She has worn her greying mane in the same way for the past three: packed to the crown of her head in a bun. Sometimes the piece of liputa she used to tie it up loosened and strands would fall to frame her slim brown face. Oftentimes, Maman would smile to herself, plagued by her many memories of Papa. She believed he spoke to her from the grave.

“Ariane, I hear his baritone, after all these years it still makes my heart skip beats,” she would drawl in French.

The only time I got to see her beam was when she recounted stories about Papa, she could speak about him all day if you were willing to listen. I hear her giggle whilst washing plates, or doing the laundry, in the same high-pitch way she used to when Papa was…

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Remain Nameless.

It was you and I, and I and you.



And I began to become you, more and more. So much that I lost the “I” that had made me the person I was. No sense of identity, no individuality. I was consumed by you. A soul emptied out and re-constructed under my own watchful eyes. I let this happen. I let myself burn into ash while present in your passionate, untamed company.

I was mad for whatever handful, or spoonful of love, you were willing to give me in the night, or the next night. Or perhaps not just now.Perhaps “when I’m not too busy” time.

So I let myself fall deeper and deeper. Enough so, until all this…this emptiness…became suffocating. The little that remained of me, often reached out, stopped me in my self-destructive tracks with a rude awakening.

My heart would mourn, blackened and desperate. Growing colder with each rejection and sinking into a bottomless chasm. I yearned for those two, meaningless words I was willing to do anything for.The words that I was willing to play second best for, if only to have your attention for a moment.

Come over. And so I did. I always did.

It was so unfair.

And my soul knew, just as much as my entire being did, that no eyes would ever burn with such passion for me, as they did when you allowed them to. So I waited for something that would never come. I waited for you to allow yourself to love me. For you to give me a chance, like a student at a job interview with no credentials to their name.

I made excuses for the girls I saw you with, and apologized when you told me it was none of my business. It wasn’t… and besides, all I had given to you was my entire being, my heart and body and spirit.

And I chose to remain nameless when I knew that no other lips would ever stop my breath when they uttered my name the way yours had.

I remained nameless when the numbness of my anti-depressant pills wore off and I stared at myself, no longer “us”. Just me. In my own identity, with a history already developing in my name.

The girl who was rejected.The pathetic, hopeless romantic. The desperate, needy, abandoned girl.

The depressed girl.

The girl in the headlines in the news last night. The girl who killed herself.

I became nameless.

I was just a girl. Among a sea of other girls.

And when I died, I was just a body. Put out wordlessly and quickly. Like a candle.



Knowing Your Worth.

Knowing Your Worth.

Last night, through glassy tears, I smiled at myself in the mirror for the first time in years, genuinely happy in my own skin.

Like many of these journeys, mine begins with a source of open wounds, and vulnerable scars buried under a plaster of fake smiles and a façade of ‘alright-ness’. Re-opening these wounds is simply a way for me to re-kindle my past and to fully begin my journey to healing as an individual. Last night I stood in the mirror, remembering a conversation with my mother where she had told me I was beautiful, and before she could complete the word I had laughed and shrugged off the compliment. Saying, “no, I’m not”…”you’d just say that because I’m your daughter”. I had trained my mind to shut off the sincerest of compliments, to minimize the impact of kind words directed towards me by forcing myself to believe that they were forced out of individuals lips. When I looked in the mirror, I sometimes felt pretty…but it was only for a passing moment. I’d begin to pick at the things I hated about myself, my scars, my stretch marks, the alignment of my teeth. Even my smile looked forced, because my own soul knew I wasn’t genuinely happy. So I stopped smiling, I laughed less. I made excuses to avoid being around people whenever I could, to avoid having to pretend I was perfectly fine. I lost friends who had been there for me through my darkest times, simply because I had pushed them away. I consoled myself by believing that they were better off without me…and began to only see myself, my problems, as a burden to everyone around me. By distancing myself, I felt I was doing the world a favour.

My inner demons pushed these thoughts into my mind when they were unwanted, and when I was trying to escape from them they always seemed to know just where to find me, interrupting all thought in my most vulnerable times . I had soon developed an eating disorder from age eleven through fourteen. I had become depressed, eventually almost suicidal and attending therapy sessions. My self-esteem was at an all time low, and I knew I had hit rock bottom when I began to no longer recognize the person who stared back at me, in that very same mirror that had taught me to view myself as worthless. Worthless and unwanted: I associated these two things as the truth, with a father who had never wanted to be a part of my life from the minute I was born and through being an unplanned pregnancy. I learnt not to love myself, and to criticize those who did, in the end always asking myself “How could they?”. Because I saw nothing to love.

As the years went by, I slowly began to reach out, desperately trying to seek acceptance and validation from all the wrong things. Trying to prove to myself that because of the superficial avenues I found, I was worth something. No matter how small and insignificant it may have seemed to those on the outside looking in.

To be continued.