"Born to a valley of dust" speaks of a young girl born to a world that does not define who she is. Feeling misplaced since birth she takes you on a journey through her childhood to experience her struggles with identity.
Born to a valley of dust
Born to a young woman of colour in a city of dry sands and windy desert like storms. I, the dark skinned child screamed form across the nursery and could not be recognised by a mother who is of light skin and had birthed a light skin boy three years ago. The only comfortable identification was the sharp forehead and gleemy eyes that arose of my innocence. I took the appearance of my father and there was no denying that I was his child.
I could feel the cold tiles of white sanitised corridors that hold this clinical fortress suffocate my undeveloped lungs; I let out another scream to get my mother’s attention. I felt safe and protected again as she held me in her arms and sang sweet gospel verses to me in her mother tongue: Sesotho.
Sudden footsteps rushed down the cracked corridors and a stern and soft manly voice asked for his wife and was pointed to the nursery. I was kissed with a mouth surrounded with dark sharp hair breathing hot smells of alcohol. It was an unfriendly feeling and I just wanted the warm, friendly and godly arms of my mother back.
Six years have passed by and still I remain in the care of my grandmother, strong and very verbal English women who raised two other children on her own. I played games with my stick like friend from across the fence. We ate fruits every time we played together from the garden that my granny had planted. We also loved to picked flowers for our homes from the front yard garden that she maintained. My love for plant life began at this age; I fell in love with the yellow roses that opened so beautifully.
My favourite games were introduced to me by neighbourhood children from “diketo” to “hide and go seek”.
The days were filled with yellow sand and the air was dry.