Written by: Tshedza Mashamba, Grade 11 – Hyde Park High School
And if Manchorane was here, she’d be proud of the way I’ve looked after our home, listened to all instructions and followed them and understood the significance of entrusting my daughters with the same home.
See, when Mama entrusted me with the home, our home, Gogo Mpho entrusted her with I’d sit and watch silently how the Molefe inheritance should be taken care of. And if Manchorane was here, she would be proud of how I’ve nurtured the walls, protected them from any harm from the sun, bacteria and germs and soaked them in water three hundred and sixty five times a year. She would be proud of how I’ve rinsed off sweat and all things from yesterday that rest on them, scrubbed them and cleansed them with bars of soaps made from African recipes. She’d be proud of the way I’ve dried them with Mama’s towels and coated them with bottles of oils, rich with the Molefe clan intensive care.
And if she walked into our home, she would sing praises of our beauty and immaculate interior, how everything, big and small, is arranged. She would appreciate what lies in the centre, the heartbeat of who I am, who she was and who we are. And in the centre is the soul, our soul that carries paintbrushes and ink to create art out of our important thoughts and feelings that will forever live within. Manchorane would understand how on the walls are framed photographs; stories of where we come from and narratives about why our walls are rich with an auburn complexion, why our eyes are full of hidden pain, why our backs ache from li tjali le moralo and why inside we carry those who died and things that were demolished long ago. And if Manchorane sat inside she would sing praises of how mosadi wa Afrika Borwa is built from within.
Then, I’d take her to the garden exhibited on our rooftop, through the coconut oil watered flowers and authentic roots to remind her of what her hands concoted, the seeds to trees, flowers, fruits, a garden of African curls. And I know she would smile at the manner in which our coils grow from soils of hairfood, admire the allure of winter colours that give life to our gallery of curls and applaud me on the cleanliness of our natural expression.
And once she’s walked every corner of our home I know she’d understand the language our home communicates in, mantswi abuwang ka botle le botlhale ba Molefe, ba Afrika, ba mo retswang teng.
If Manchorane was here, she would be proud of the African home I am.
Khaloza Books feedback on submission:
A rich piece that is both thoughtful and uses great imagery to capture the writers culture. We enjoyed the use of native language in the text, and the strong sense of how heritage has shaped the writers identity and worth. The writing style is beautifully descriptive and full of colour, symbolism and cultural nuances. Congratulations Tshedza for being our 2017 Writing Competition winner; you will receive a book voucher worth R500 from African Flavour Books!