Years later and miles away from the place where I was born – bearing little resemblance to the inexperienced girl I was – I have grown certain that I never really left.
That the eloquent woman I am is a convenient cocoon for the girl I’ll always be – a Venda child; straining at the invisible chains that keep me fettered to lessons learnt too well.
How to laugh while my heart bleeds, remembered pain welling up as if the years in between then and now never existed – I find myself back where I started.
I still play music throughout the night to drown out the deafening silence of yesteryears – how one can be both a woman and a child.
I search for where the transition took place; where I traded my childhood for this cumbersome womanhood?
The futility of it – how, were it possible, I would trade my now for my then.
Trade the passions that burn and simmer within me for the untangled laughter of my childhood – swop the tears and emotion for the toothless grins and gaping smiles of the child I once was.
How is it possible that I have come so far and yet I find I have not gone anywhere – for while my body outgrew girlhood to ripen into womanhood – my heart and mind lingered a while longer; clinging on to the safety of the harbor of innocence.
Trying to reclaim a long lost era, to recapture a long gone naivety: how life lets us go where we dare and chance lets us find what we seek and irony opens our eyes to see that the destination we’ve arrived at is the same place we left, that the things we sought were the very same things we let go off.
So how can I have come so far – only to find that I never really left at all? How amusing that the great discovery I thought I had made turned out to be nothing more than a truth that had been hidden within me all along.
That I am strong – that I have always been strong… and that I can never be otherwise. So whatever is my fate – I will face it and as papa always said, whatever happens – I will always land on my feet.
I am the child turned woman that my parents didn’t live to meet. But they did not miss anything for they would find traces of the child I was in the woman I have become: that though the years have passed and I have travelled far from what will always be home – I never really left; I still am that child who sees a baobab tree and remembers home.
I will always find my way back – never forget who I am, where I come from and whose I am: because even though I may travel – it seems I never left.