Tendai Garwe

They are telling lies

Tendai Garwe

Tendai Garwe

By Tendai Garwe

They are telling lies

Who tells these lies?

That women pull each other down,

Size each other up

And are not united?

Who is it?

It’s patriarchy

 

We celebrate each others’ child birth,

dance around and sing with joy.

Appease the ancestors and force facial similarities with ease.

We name the baby and collectively buy toys.

We have always been united;

They are telling lies

 

We cry at funerals, cook;

Meal after meal by the fire;

Whether they are genuine tears or smoke induced, it doesn’t matter, we do it together.

We hold each other tight when the pain is unbearable and stay up all night reminiscing the unbelievable.

We have always been united;

They are telling lies.

 

We face the same struggles;

Understand the sound of different laughter and pain;

Be it inequality and violence;

Lack of democracy and security;

Child birth and silence;

Betrayal and starvation.

We have always been united;

They are telling lies.

 

You fly, I soar;

You land, I lay;

You nest, I hunt.

There is room in the sky for all the birds.

We are an ecosystem you and I;

You do you and I do me.

You need me as much as I need you.

When I am weak you are strong; your strength propels me to a better us.

We have always been united;

not that we owe them an explanation.

 

This work was developed during the African Women’s Development Fund and Femrite African Women Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop in Uganda, July 2014.

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