THE NAMES.

Her name stands in a vineyard in Stellenbosch. Infant vine with the promise of youth. Old vine with the accentuation of wisdom. Look at how it is being taken to the refinery. A name should not be refined, only glorified. Her name now lies in a glass bottle. Confined. Watered, to give pleasure to the lips of men. Her name is something no longer tangible. It lies forgotten in the pits of stomachs. It is being churned into something unrecognisable-into something crude. Into something we shall pretend to not know. Into shit.

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His name is sited on a stool in a craft shop next to the River Nile. It is being admired by the lady with a kitenge headscarf. She buys it and hangs it up in her house. It is her trophy. A mere object, to be looked at and discarded when she tires of it. To be replaced by the television and the mobile phone. To find its way back where it started, on the ground. Only this time as something that has outlived its usefulness, not as bark nor wood.

 

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Their names lie on the skins of the men of the Asante Empire. These names are warriors. Resilient. See how resilience is turned into something forbidden. The letters R-E stay and the rest morph into B-E-L-L-I-O-N. Resilience is now Rebellion. The names are captured, chained and bundled onto a boat. These names traverse the Atlantic. Look at how some jump ship and drown. Look at how Mother Nature conspires against the rest of them- the winds fail to carry these names back to their motherland.

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