This powerful thingThat connects billionsAnd divides them fromBillions of others,This thing that allows some of usTo walk thoughtlessly through the worldAssuming it was built with us in mind,And yet this same thingReminds so many others of usThat they need to hurry up and ‘upgrade’ themselvesIf they want to belong.English unites and divides usIt opens up […]Read more "English"
Beyond semanticsIt matters what you callThe person you seek to engage.A customer is a personInterested in a product,And expects a fair transactionGetting what they expect,Fair trade.No need for namesNo need for small talk,Sometimes the less peopleA customer has to deal withThe better.Convenience.A client is a personWhose name is known.Their needs are anticipated.Their nuances taken into […]Read more "Customer, Client or Patient?"
In many African languagesThe word for ‘white’Is often the same word usedColloquilly for ‘better’Or ‘superior’ or even‘Learned’.ChirunguSegoaIt is no wonder thenThat it seems that whenYou are in some postion ofGood fortuneHave good tasteProvide a quality serviceOr have some advantageThat has come your wayThen you can be said to ‘acting white’.Being good at something doesn’t mean‘Acting […]Read more "On ‘acting white’"
Are not synonymous.But they are are related. It takes a compassionate eyeTo see through the self-effacing habitsOf the quiet brilliant ones among us.Not everyone who holds silenceHas nothing to say,And many of those who fill up spaceDo so in service of themselves. When it comes to a language thatOne may not be confident in speaking,Those […]Read more "Confidence and competence"
Unless we decide otherwise. Not knowing how to do something is not a factor of opportunity or even ability for a lot of things in life, Its a factor of choice. Of choosing to not make a big deal about the fact that You are no more financially literate than you were last year That […]Read more "Ignorance is temporary"
I do not feel at home in a hut. I have never lived outside Africa either. I do have a Shona name. No middle name. And I insist on being called by it. English is my strongest written and spoken language yet there are certain things deep in me that i can only express in […]Read more "There is more than one way to be African"
There is a certain kind of flexibility required For those of us who navigate the world in more than one language, Particularly if your mother tongue Is not as widely celebrated as your acquired language(s). There’s a process of having to make sense of the world Through a lens that not everyone may fully appreciate, […]Read more "Lingual Gymnastics"
Its that particular way of speaking That draws a certain kind of attention And is perhaps one of the most polarizing things In modern black African culture. The way you speak. That idea of being ‘well spoken’ Being able to roll this English thing on your tongue As though it were your mother’s. It says […]Read more "The twang"