By Entle Dambuza
You woke me up with a deep penetration and I have not even stopped to blink. My eyes are wide-shut.
Now that the sensation of your movements deep within me have subsided and I am learning to trust again, I want to tell you one thing and one thing only; Africa, I forgive you.
I forgive you because I am a black child, trying to live her life and you got in the way.
I forgive you because I have a voice and you are not used to the noise.
I forgive you because my muscle does not come from exercise but a strength birthed from my home, my Africa.
I forgive you because I am WOMAN.
I forgive you because I forgive.
I forgive you because I have realized that I am JUSTICE. I am the reason justice will be served and I realize that that justice has nothing to do with the police force that is a mirage of exactly that, JUSTICE.
I forgive you because I forgive him. Him? The one, you used to penetrate me awake, and everyone after him. I forgive not just him but his manhood too that had done its rounds and happened to bump into me along the way.
I forgive him for thinking that I wanted to “get to it”, get him and all the trauma that followed. I forgive him for thinking that he was powerful enough to own me for those minutes and I forgive myself for allowing him too. I forgive him for being part of my every thought, movement and psychological thread for months on end. I forgive him for whatever he did to get out of prison so fast and I forgive him for being him.
I forgive opportunity for not allowing us to meet so I can tell him to his face that I forgive him. I forgive time for evading me and holding him captive.
I forgive every day that passes where he is probably raping yet another woman because, he can, he will and may never stop because of you Africa.
I forgive every man and woman in the police force and I forgive those that will rape one of yours. I forgive you before it dawns on you that you could have and should have done better.
I forgive every short skirt that thinks that it is the reason I am a survivor. I forgive that high heel that accentuates my leg, causing my well shaped calves to greet every eye that passes by. I forgive my flat, toned stomach that is hugged by dresses as they flow down to my wide “African” hips, as the dress swooshes left and right as I must be parading myself down the streets of JHB.
I forgive every mirror that lies to you, telling you that you are not good enough hence you think that blaming me for my choice of clothes and company is the reason I was raped, not just once but daily.
I forgive the mothers of Africa for assuming that befriending males, transfers a magnet that attracts sexually frustrated men to come help themselves with you. I forgive them for never seeing a younger version of themselves and noticing that all I needed was them to be who they were created to be: nurturing, warm and birthing. I forgive each African woman for not taking me in and making me anew, for reminding me that I am not a victim of circumstance.
I forgive every African man for having a penis. I forgive you because it drives you, it thinks for you and it is the reason you are not where you are supposed to be. I forgive it for being your red robot.
Africa, I forgive you for not knowing the power you possess and instead oppressing me because I am realizing mine. Africa, I forgive you so much so that I refuse to let you go and choose to be raped over and over by you until others like me rise up and eventually rape you too so you can wake up and realize that you are perfect.
AFRICA, I FORGIVE YOU…
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