African · Essays

I’ve lost it

I was born under a Ugandan roof which fell in a Xhosa home. Which am I?

Grew up and started speaking a language foreign to both my parents and “me”…

Began learning more languages even more foreign and further away from my mother tongue. Languages from as far as Europe.

Picked up traditions from “kin” all around me when my own would’ve been enough.

This once empty vessel was being filled from all sides, shaped into a piece capable of fitting into a very large puzzle.

Molded to enter many gaps in that portrait we all fall under. And in each, the whole was broken into many, many lives, formed many, many identities.

Is each one a lie? Is there any truth?

Many know of me, but none know me.

I know you but only a handful know me. Only a handful can grasp at the understanding I have made myself into.

I don’t exist as one, I live as an abundance of cultural diversity.

Though I choose to show you one side, I am multi-dimensional.

I move through each one of you displaying traits you find welcoming. Inviting me in, sharing yourself with me.

Bongani Kigundu


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