I stare out through the dirty panes

high up, looking down at my world

I look out to desolation, children playing on the roads,

the cold hungry stares of the disadvantaged,

to the superficiality of being human,

with disdain.

Born in a society, shackled due to the mandates of segregation,

due to the colour of their alabastar skin,

living and working where you are treated a lesser human

as God chose to use a darker colour for your skin

Walking up and down the stairways of humiliation

to a toilet not fit for humans in my pregnancy,

taking on more responsibilities only to

earn less than a light coloured skin

it is not right, but suck it in and know your place

as the whip cracks on relentlessly

Conformity is not a gift I was blessed with

being a mindless sheep bowing down to

a pigmentless skin is not why I was born

Defiance burns as coal in my stares,

in my soul, for I have marched, I have protested against inequity

I will fight until the shackles of segregation are forever removed

for we are Human, it is our Right!

On a rainy cold Friday night, I make my way to the hospital

A barrage of questions ensues, 'Do we save her or the baby?'

Still lucid, I plead in supplication, 'Save my baby, I give up my life for hers'

Birth of Democracy was being celebrated, as I watched Mandela

being released from prison, elation breaks out in the hallways

with melodious rapture as they sway with shackles on

I await our first meeting, filled with distress

'Why did I bring a child into this world to be ensalved based on skin colour?'

I gazed in wonder at her – spikey hair, rosy cheeks and flawless skin

looking into her eyes, seeing the birth of freedom

holding hope in my arms,

to break the qualms of the shackles

that have imprisoned my mind

with her hungry shrieks.

I looked out my window and saw a rainbow;

a covenant made by my people, 'The Rainbow Nation',

never to segregate based on the colour of your skin

Freedom was at last born.

God Bless the People of South Africa!

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Born in South Africa, living during pre-apartheid and post apartheid era