This house is an African house.
This your body is an African womanâ€™s body.
This your vagina is an African womanâ€™s vagina.
All three, you keep clean, you hear?
Otherwise I will wash you out
with bleach, scrub between your legs
with a scouring pad, then I will take your body
and clean the house with it.
At eleven years old I didnâ€™t want a womanâ€™s body.
I was sure my friends didnâ€™t have vaginas
and I wanted to be just like them.
They werenâ€™t from Africa either.
~ Kadija Sesay
Kadija SesayÂ is an award-winning literary activist and cultural nomad. Sheâ€™s the publisher of SABLE LitMag, and edits anthologies of writers of African and Asian descent. Her poetry collection â€˜Irkiâ€™ was shortlisted for the Glenna Luschei PrizeÂ (2014). Her forthcoming poetry collection is â€˜The Modern Pan Africanistâ€™s Journeyâ€™ for which she has created an app.Â She isÂ aÂ scholarship PhD candidate at the University of Brighton, researching Independent Black Publishers in the UK.
Editorâ€™s note: â€˜This House is an African Houseâ€™ was first published in â€˜Irkiâ€™ (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) and appears here with kind permission from the poet and the publisher.