In Your Image


I have seen fragments of eternity in the smile of an Afrikan face

Contented by the chance to be visible in a world that sees us

As monkeys that have just learnt to blend into the bigger picture.

I have learnt to laugh with a dagger in my spine so that the knife

Twisters will leave me alone just for another moment

So I can breathe and listen to my heartbeat when there

Isn’t a soul to share my burden with.

My own voice is soothing enough for now.


My mouth tastes like saw dust when I think of the people who have

Hurt me in the name of eternal love.

Feel my stomach as it turns each time I see you trample me with religion and pour

Hatred into my shoes so that when I walk I feel this squishy squishy

Foam rubber they call religion that seeks to keep me from feeling

Proud of my own strength and valour.

I have already been to hell.


My existence is sturdy and unbreakable.

It will never make you feel small or guilty.

It is there to remind you that Afrika is a place of spirit over the tangible.

It is there to remind you that you are because I am.

My existence is there to teach you that you can be anything you have taught

Yourself not to be.

We are the same person you and I.

Except, I am the one inside your mirror.

You keep gazing at me,

Hoping that I will be more palatable to your illusions of

Human perfection.

There is only one way to make me change.

And that is on your side of your mirror.



Frank Malaba © 2011



Published by: Frank Malaba

Frank Malaba is an actor, playwright and a published poet. He was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He has performed on stage and television in both countries. He has a passion for using poetry, storytelling and theatre as a method of healing for both himself and others. His poetry has been presented both at home and abroad. Frank is currently developing a two-man play entitled “Broken Pathways” which will be touring internationally. In 2014 Frank was recognised by Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans as an Achiever in the category of Arts & Culture.

Categories Uncategorized6 Comments

6 thoughts on “In Your Image”

  1. Great work Frank, very proud of you. Very insightful words that touch on so many dynamics of our existence as Africans and individuals regardless of our choices and state of being – whether heterosexual or not. Kudos from a fellow Founders High alumni…


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