Rainbow Nation

I was born in South Africa, at a time where black meant darkness and white implied light and there was nothing in between bar a peeping rainbow trying to needle it’s way through a steely curtain of conflict and confusion.

Despair.

I grew up on rich african soil, where golden treasures were awash with rivers of blood. I breathed the warm air and my skin suffered the sun’s wrath when it was caught unaware.

I witnessed injustice when my best friend and I were denied a simple pleasure of shared coffee for her face was too dark and mine

Was fair.

We were bound together for a forced separation could never deny the power of friendship.

Ever.

I was blessed by Africa. By the soul, the sound, the constant beating of drums coursing through my veins.

I felt the raw fear of raging summer thunderstorms. Clouds as mountains, ominous and oppressive.

Threatening destruction.

And then.

And then.

I came of age on a crisp clear morn. When I joined an endless queue – rainbows of joyous smiles, and shining eyes and hours and years and decades of patience. Confusion yielded to fusions of vibrance and anticipation. With ribbons of hope and peace and opportunity intertwined. From each individual equal ballot, emerged a rising dawn and from it

Victory.

My country that had been tied up and captured in chains was brought to

Liberty.

Exposed

Cloaked in a sheen of

Vulnerability.

Obscuring hidden scars unseen

Before a blinking eye –

Or shocked murmur could

Escape.


Her cloth was yanked aside

Exposed!

Not everything was lost.

For past the steaming horror

Of uninvited eyes

A tapestry of beauty

Expressions of life and colour and love and pain and strife

Quietly shyly

But with a growing confidence

Emerged.