We are Royal.
We are Kings.
We are Regal.
We are Queens.
Lets peel back this shroud that crowds our dialogue, a conversation that remains pregnant with our peoples pride, history. Echoes from the diaspora are calling for home, crying out for comfort, wondering where the sinews hold their strength. Their lives – an eternal bond that ties our today’s to the genesis of our story. Long live the never ending pieces of history that insist on their relevance. Surviving through the static of confusion, that infinite crash in tumultuous times that have drowned so many voices.
Leafing through this potent lineage of kings and queens, we are bound. Unearth the twisted faces of pain and the heavy pages of the past that disfigured the picture of our family. – forever loaded, with beauty and pain. These memories that unfolded fed the fire needed to hold true to home. It’s easy to lose sight of that trail of bread crumbs. They aren’t as easy to find after the sand storms of time have swept through.
I know that I wasn’t always listening when there was history to drink in and soak up.
I noticed this when my mother spoke clearly and I could only watch on as I choked, my confidence broke when faced with the notion of culture and tradition. I will be the first to admit shame, I hadn’t learnt to love the pieces of my people’s past that lived inside of me. For a while, Zambia was just a word, Africa was simply an obligation my family had taught me. Leaving Zambia so young, I found it hard to recognise the ties that my parents cherished. I have since grown into the soft syllables of bemba that my tongue was once too heavy to play with.
Bleached of culture, too heavily starched and weighed down by the urge to blend into this new world, the prodigal child had to wonder into the wild and find his mother tongue again.
I can finally call on home in familiar tones. I am now liberated by the bounty of Bantu spirit revived in my veins. Ten years on and I’ve only now come to terms with the notion of self. I’ve learned to love these motifs etches into my family tree, rooted in my smile and always present in my spirit. Although masks and mirrors crowd these halls I will no longer find shame in contradicting the status quo. I will wear my culture proudly, because there is nothing to fix about knowing where you come from, the roots will keep me grounded when the world around me trembles.
I am Zambia.
I am Africa.
I am blessed.
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