African · Essays


To think I never used to like my skin,

cursed into darkness from my heritage.

More than sun kissed,

but beaten and hardened into the coal of my DNA.

I despised it and often wondered why, wishing for a brighter future.

Shaking foundations of parenthood,

built on years and generations of culture. Never appreciating it’s history

and now it’s the one thing I love about myself the most.

Few have seen the way the sun does kiss my skin,

glistening and leaving it’s lip prints

sparkled across my body,

my chest attracting all the light

as waves ripple across my timeline

to the drumming of my heart beat.

My legs molded like an animal,

animal of the soil, cultivated

and grown into a fine pedigree.

True blood flows through these veins,

rivers of ancestry flowing in my arms

leaving a path of destruction.

My naive former self shed

and I love it.

I still don’t like my skin

but for other reasons now.

So I’m looking forward to the day

at age 60, like my father, un-cracked skin,

I will look back and realize how much of a fool I was.

Oh no, I am.

Bongani Kigundu


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