This is a graphic depiction of violence…dedicated to all the Sonias who only get heard after self-immolation, or the Sonias who keep quiet because nobody believes them.
Today a woman died after being abused, and nobody would listen to her until she was dying on a hospital bed after setting herself ablaze. Now she’s dead and the police would investigate her case.
Imagine the frustration that led her to consider the only outcome “Let it burn!”
This is a fire for Sonia and all victims of abuse, male or female: Your life is precious, we know what you’re thinking, but that fire will not heal you, faith will.
Let it burn! Let these tears on my skin burn! Let these tears fall down and burn! Let years of hope years of study and work burn! Let the future burn, let my past and dreams and memories burn ! Let this body borne 9 months in my mum then born burn ! Let this city I walked safe sear in the heat, I say let it burn ! Let my country and all who walk it, think it, breathe it burn ! Let the world hurtling and hurting innocence within it burn! Let those men who saw innocence walking and got heart burns, Let out vicious virility ripping my clothing and my skin burn! Burn! Burn ! Burn! Let the pain of nails digging into my tender breasts burn Let it be that in that instant I had a phoenix to protect my flower while they burn Let it be that the blood in my taste the pain round my eyes, my loin which burns, Let out this creature as 2 pulled then slammed me to the concrete burned My life in a fire consuming them inside which I denied them, And punched as I tried to protect dignity dying, and jabbed feeble Arms trying to keep off intrusion inside, moving violently moving Beating me inside and outside wounding me killing me stroke By stroke defeating strength straining youth for old men’s Gain! Choking, choking, choking, breathing hindered by hands covered in My blood flowing from up and where mum told me nobody must touch, Flowing going with all, going with all, my all going With all their coming with confusion, in my wrecked mind wondering What being would come of all this? What illness pouring From the instruments of my undoing would come in, Into my safe haven: my garden, my own mine no more! Let it be that the phoenix helped me now kneeling here, Letting kerosene wash me clean, heal my wounds Letting me heal in the flames of renewal Letting me burn. (c) Nyonglema